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Shady Hill School's 2013 Strategic Plan

“There is no room for complacency in our view of the School’s future.
Shady Hill has been a pioneer, but pioneers have a tendency
to become settlers, letting a new wave of pioneers roll over them
to an even more promising future.
To maintain vitality will require new vision and new methods.”

Joe Segar, Shady Hill’s Director from 1963 to 1989


Since May 2011, the Board of Overseers and Administration have been working to develop a strategic plan to ensure Shady Hill’s future position as a national leader and innovator in elementary education. Over the past two years, our inclusive strategic planning process has drawn from all segments of the community — alumni, board, faculty, staff, administration, and current and past parents — who have given their time and expertise to this historic endeavor. Our ambitious yet attainable goals are intended to honor our past as a school that fosters a love of learning, teaches students to think by thinking, and develops ethical citizens. We will retain the hallmarks of a Shady Hill education, such as Central Subject, nurturing student/teacher relationships, an indefatigable commitment to diversity and a strong sense of community. At the same time, we aim to strengthen our program and facilities to incorporate new needs and new thinking for the 21st Century. To accomplish these goals, we will invest in our educators, program, and resources to sustain Shady Hill’s educational leadership position and to ensure our students are prepared to meet the challenges of the future.

We began the strategic planning process in the spring and summer of 2011 with a Community Engagement phase led by board members David Altshuler and Hyun-A Park Friis. During this phase, we sought input from all members of the community to broaden our understanding of the school’s strengths and opportunities for growth. After identifying key areas from a community-wide survey completed by nearly 900 respondents, the Board of Overseers and Administration embarked on an in-depth investigation of the following three areas: Mission and Identity, Financial Sustainability, and Master Planning/Facilities. We formed working groups that met regularly over the past 12 months to consider important questions and to conduct research to inform their recommendations.

In September 2012, a Teaching and Learning working group was formed with six subcommittees. These faculty-led teaching and learning groups spent the fall researching best practices and innovations in pedagogy and curriculum. The members of these six groups — 21st Century Students and Families; Community Connections and Global Learning; Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics; Student Support; Technology, Materials, and Instruction — considered the essential question, “What will hands-on learning, mastery of skills and teacher/student relationships look like in the 21st Century?” School visits, consultation with outside experts, and research were just a few of the resources that helped to inform the robust conversations of these groups.

The four working groups concluded with presentations of their respective recommendations to the Board in January 2013 and the Board approved the plan in March 2013. As Shady Hill approaches its Centennial Anniversary in 2015-2016, this strategic plan will serve as a guiding road map for the present and the future. Our forward-thinking approach will continue to build on Shady Hill’s rich history and traditions.

We would like to express our deep appreciation and gratitude to all of the people who volunteered their time and shared their ideas throughout the strategic planning process.

Mark J. Stanek, Head of School
Sue George Hallowell, Board Chair
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Shady Hill School's
2013 Strategic Plan