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The Strategic Plan: An Overview

A strategic plan, like all ISM-endorsed plans, meets four criteria.

  1. Each item in the plan shows a cost estimate in tuition-impact and/or capital-impact terms.
  2. Each item shows the revenue source (e.g., tuition, annual fund, campaign) for its funding.
  3. Each item shows the person/entity responsible for its implementation (e.g., School Head, Board Finance Committee, Parent Association).
  4. There is sequencing of items, Years One through Six.

If the plan is indeed "strategic," by ISM's criteria, then it restricts itself to "viability-related" items, which is to say those items will allow the school to occupy and protect a competitive niche in the marketplace. The plan sets forth the financial and structural components that will support student programs.

The Board of Trustees' core responsibility is to create—on a quadrennial basis, ISM urges—and to monitor the execution of a strategic plan to which is attached a strategic financial plan: the quantitative expression of the strategic plan itself. The Board develops the plan with participation from the School Head (and, if he or she chooses, the Management Team). Community input is solicited by means of survey data from the parent body, the faculty, the students, and school leaders.

Annually, the Board leadership and the School Head create separately the annual Board agenda and the annual operations agenda, the list of tasks implied by the strategic plan in the upcoming 12 months. Each item in each agenda can find its antecedent in the strategic plan.

Accountability for the Board is through the Committee on Trustees, which carries out an annual process for ensuring that that the Board is on track.

Accountability for the School Head is through the Head Support and Evaluation Committee, which provides the support and evaluation necessary to ensure the Head is moving the school in the right strategic direction.

Learn More

To learn more about how our Consulting Services can serve your school, e-mail Helen Foster, Consulting Manager, or call 302-656-4944 (ext. 134).

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