Dear St. Margaret's Community,
In 1979, the Reverend Canon Ernest D. Sillers opened the doors of St. Margaret’s Episcopal School in pursuit of a mission to educate the hearts and minds of young people for lives of learning, leadership and service. The school’s mission is rooted in the development of four core values in our students: character, community, balance and breadth, and high expectations.
Fr. Sillers kept a loving eye on St. Margaret’s Episcopal School throughout his life. The school’s growth was a source of tremendous pride and joy for him until his passing at the age of 99 in 2009. I am honored to be a part of his legacy, humbled by our responsibility to carry it forward, and believe he would be excited about the school’s boundless promise and bright future.
While the landscape of education has changed over the last four decades, our school’s mission and core values have remained constant. Together, they represent the bedrock on which this school has been built and they will continue to serve our community well into the future.
One of the primary responsibilities given to the Board of Trustees is to safeguard the mission of the school, which is fulfilled through the selection of the Head of School, the stewardship of the school’s financial resources, and the periodic review of the school’s strategic plan.
We recently completed our multi-year review process, and on behalf of the Board of Trustees, I am pleased to present the 2016 Strategic Plan for St. Margaret’s.
The plan is purposefully constructed around the school’s mission and core values, which were overwhelmingly endorsed by our entire community throughout the review process. The plan restates the core values, followed by a list of the school’s priorities and goals associated with each one. There is also one additional category related to the long-term financial sustainability of the school and its facilities. This plan captures our community’s collective areas of aspiration and opportunity to advance our academic programs and more fully realize our mission. The successful implementation of this plan will further improve the education of our students and positively impact the members of our community in a lasting way.
We hand over the implementation of this plan to our Head of School and our talented faculty and staff, who give so much for the care and development of our students. It will be their responsibility to make any necessary changes to the school’s programs and curriculum in order to achieve the plan’s goals in a manner that is consistent with the school’s Episcopal identity, mission and core values. Next, the Board of Trustees and the Head of School will be jointly responsible for communicating the school’s progress to the entire community.
Finally, I would like to thank all of the people who were involved in the development of this plan. The list is long, and includes students, parents, alumni, faculty and staff who each played a role in the gathering of key information that led to the construction of this values-based strategic plan.
President of the Board of Trustees
Our mission at St. Margaret's Episcopal School is to educate the hearts and minds of young people for lives of learning, leadership and service.
St. Margaret’s Episcopal School is upheld by the basic principles of our Episcopal tenets that individuals and institutions are called to strive for justice and peace among all people, and to respect the dignity of every human being. Episcopal schools are not solely communities for Christians, rather as ecumenical and diverse ministries of educational and human formation for people of all faiths and backgrounds. Episcopal schools also integrate religious and spiritual formation into the curriculum and life of the school community. Episcopal schools exist not merely to educate, but to demonstrate and proclaim the unique worth and beauty of all human beings.
Our community places a high value on the following qualities:
Character - In the Episcopal tradition, we emphasize moral integrity, spiritual growth, compassion, and responsibility.
Community - We seek diversity and acknowledge the dignity of each individual within a community framework that emphasizes teamwork, mutual respect, service and commitment to the common good.
Balance and Breadth - We believe that personal growth and awareness are best fostered through the pursuit of a broad range of academic, artistic, athletic and co-curricular opportunities.
High Expectations - We guide and nurture our students as they discover and cultivate their unique gifts and talents, challenging each individual to achieve his or her full potential.
Our community participated at record levels, and overwhelmingly affirmed the school’s mission, as well as the curriculum, which places a high value on character, community, balance and breadth and high expectations for our students to achieve their full potential.
• 93% of parents understand and agree with the guiding principles of St. Margaret’s Episcopal School: the mission, vision, values and educational philosophies.
• 91% of parents believe that the character, spirituality and leadership education at the core of St. Margaret’s education sets the school apart and are of high value to their children.
• Students feel that the school community is welcoming, safe, nurturing, and possesses a strong school spirit.
• Students feel challenged and engaged by a strong academic program and outstanding teachers who care about them and invest in their success.
• 85% of alumni say their St. Margaret’s education was a positive and rewarding experience.
• 89% of parents believe the curriculum and pedagogy meet the evolving educational needs of 21st-century students.
• 99.2% of alumni respondents have graduated from college.
• 85% completed their undergraduate degree at the institution they matriculated to upon graduation.
• Our students enjoy learning and interacting through the use of technology.
• 84% of alumni have participated in community service activities since graduation.
• Students care about the world around them and desire experiential learning opportunities.
• Students desire more opportunities to interact and make connections with students from other divisions and to invest in community building.
The findings and conclusions of our strategic plan process have been analyzed through the lens of our Mission and Core Values. As a result, we have intentionally aligned the Strategic Priorities and Goals of our plan with our Core Values.
• St. Margaret’s cultivates intellectual vitality and the love of learning through an academically vigorous learning environment.
• St. Margaret’s keeps pace with technological advances and infuses STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programs and design thinking into the curriculum.
Continue to elevate curriculum and pedagogy to enhance the liberal arts, multidisciplinary knowledge and develop higher cognitive and critical thinking skills.
Maintain excellence in academic programs, teaching and faculty subject-area expertise, through investment in professional development and recruiting.
Deepen the learning experience through new technologies that create opportunities for connections inside and outside the classroom and instill greater technological competency.
Further develop innovative programs and STEM education, specifically in curriculum development for computer science and engineering. Incorporate design thinking, entrepreneurship and relationships with industry.
In the Episcopal tradition, we emphasize moral integrity, spiritual growth, compassion, and responsibility.
• Nurturing students’ character, spirituality and leadership potential are paramount to the St. Margaret’s experience and consistent with our Episcopal identity, as well as a balanced focus on educating the hearts and minds of our students.
• Students need understanding, perspective and skills on matters of diversity, inclusivity, multiculturalism and interconnected local and global communities.
• Experiential and service learning programs provide personal growth opportunities, and deepen understanding, empathy and real-world connections.
Establish cultural competency as an essential element of a St. Margaret’s education, equipping students with the awareness and skills necessary to effectively engage with others across cultures, perspectives and backgrounds.
Infuse global content into the learning experience from a broad range of topics that include equity and justice, multiculturalism, economics and sustainability.
Expand experiential learning programs with an emphasis on service-learning, personal exploration, leadership and involvement with outside communities. Utilize outdoor, local, national and international opportunities that allow for personal and spiritual growth.
• Critical thinking, problem solving, interpersonal and communication skills enable students to navigate and lead in the world outside and following their St. Margaret’s experience.
• Mind, body, spiritual health and wellness, and one’s ability to reflect critically on his or her life, are essential for living happy, fulfilling lives.
Cultivate important non-cognitive, behavioral skills that are predictive of successful life outcomes, including grit, conscientiousness, emotional intelligence and resilience.
Develop student health and wellness programs that support nutrition, fitness, rest, and emotional and spiritual well-being.
Develop a personal goal setting and reflection program that nurtures spirituality, mindfulness, and critical life skills.
• Community engagement, connectedness and healthy relationships provide meaning and understanding of one’s place in the world.
• Advancing the role of St. Margaret’s in serving a broader community creates deeper purpose and impact of our mission.
Foster students’ sense of self and belonging by actively nurturing an inclusive community committed to equity and justice so all students feel known, loved and included.
Embrace our unique preschool through grade 12 school, as well as the physical campus, as a classroom and opportunity for learning, community connection and service.
Leverage the school’s reputation and faculty expertise to foster new partnerships with other educational and industry leaders, as well as the broader community.
• St. Margaret’s will continue to lead and look forward as an education institution by striving for excellence in all its student programs and school operations.
• Prudent stewardship of the school’s assets and annual budget process, and transparent reporting are essential to the health of the school.
• A healthy relationship between St. Margaret’s Episcopal School and St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church is vital to carrying forward the mission of the school.
Grow the school’s endowment so that it can become a significant source of annual income and help modulate future tuition increases.
Continue to provide transparent reporting to the school community on issues related to the health of the school, its programs, and its governance.
Ensure the continued development of facilities and equipment to support the institution’s mission and goals.
The Board of Trustees delivered this strategic plan to the Head of School with the following directives:
Over the next five years, the Head of School shall develop plans that are designed to implement and support each strategic priority and goal contained in the plan, along with corresponding resource requirements, timelines, assessment process and benchmarking tools.
The Head of School shall provide periodic and detailed updates to the Board of Trustees, as it relates to the design, implementation, budgeting and changes in any of the plans related to the strategic priorities and goals.
The Head of School and Board of Trustees shall report on the progress of the strategic plan to the school community in the fall of 2016 and then annually during the State of the School address.
At their discretion, the Head of School and the Board of Trustees will communicate any material developments related to the strategic plan to the school community.
The Board of Trustees will work with the Head of School in order to determine the appropriate time to initiate a comprehensive review of the strategic plan, but not to exceed seven years from the date of this document.