The new year is a good time to pause and consider our key intentions and actions in the world – personally, professionally, and in our case at Crescent, institutionally. Rather than focus on resolutions or changes from the past, I tend to reflect on my desires and commitments for the present and future.
Last week, Dr. Boyes and I participated in strategic planning with the International Boys’ Schools Coalition (IBSC). As an IBSC trustee, I was struck by the depth and breadth of global voice and participation from Board and committee members; these are men and women from around the world who are deeply committed to championing and advancing the cause of boys’ education and serving boys’ unique strengths and needs.
While the IBSC Board was thinking about boys’ schools in particular, we also considered many of the larger educational issues facing young people today. These include personalization of learning, gender diversity, social enterprise, environmental sustainability and political instability. These forces remain some of the largest disruptors to families, schools and other youth-serving organizations. By the end of the session, we arrived at a series of key inflection points so as to ensure the IBSC remains as thriving tomorrow as it does today. This delicate dance between present need and future state is what good strategic planning seeks to get right.
In a similar fashion, Crescent community members have responded exceedingly well to the opportunity to participate in our own strategic planning in recent months. This work included a cultural audit facilitated by CIRCLE, with the survey being completed by a wide group of stakeholders. We also held focus groups to elicit ideas from students, parents, teachers, non-teaching staff, school leaders and the Board for potential strategic development. The CIRCLE team report that the quantum and quality of responses from our community are strong and they are now assembling a detailed report. Earlier this month, a series of “Preferred Futures” conversations took place with mixed groups of stakeholders focusing on four areas of strategic possibility (Our Difference, Our Diversity, Our Standing, Our Campus).
With this work now completed, the strategic planning committee is prepped to forge goals and objectives, and later this term the committee will make recommendations to the Board regarding potential strategic trajectories. These recommendations will inform the next strategic plan that will emerge later in 2020. I thank everyone for your support of this important work and look forward to bringing you further news in due course.
At present, Crescent is flourishing. Yet, similar to other boys’ schools around the world, there are challenges and opportunities for us to embrace as a school community so we can move into the future with confidence. Strategic planning, like New Year’s resolutions, challenges us all to consider how our thoughts, intentions and actions converge. And while Crescent’s mission, vision, and values will not change through this planning process, our steady way forward will most certainly create new commitments for those called to serve and be served by a Crescent education.