Dear Hudson Montessori School community,
Last Spring, the Board of Trustees adopted a Strategic Plan. Illustrated by the image below, the Strategic Plan reaffirms our school's mission, declares our values, establishes a vision, and outlines important strategic imperatives.
Over the next several weeks leading up to our State of the School meeting on Thursday, February 7, 2019, I will highlight work occurring within each strategic imperative. Taken together, this work will ensure that the school is moving towards its vision consistent with our values and mission.
This week's update will explore Sustaining Program Excellence. This initiative evaluates the core of the HMS program to make certain that it remains excellent and continues to evolve. During the many listening sessions held last year as part of the creation of our Strategic Plan, we learned that we MUST retain current program excellence as our starting point.
Three focus areas throughout the school guide this work. A brief overview of the three areas, and a sample of some of the steps we are taking in each follows below:
- Ensure our program is properly aligned with mission, values, vision and Montessori best practice.
- Ongoing Assessment of Program: Abbie Wexler, Director of Teaching and Learning, and Adam Ladd, Middle School Director, consistently work with our faculty to assess our curriculum and identify what is essential within and across our divisions.
- Outside Experts Visit our School: On a rotating basis, we will have Montessori experts visit a division to provide perspective on our implementation of the philosophy. This will provide opportunities to identify and celebrate strengths in our program and outline areas where our students' growth can be enhanced. This February, Robyn Breiman, a well-known consultant and trainer of elementary teachers and former head of school and American Montessori Society Board Member, and Pat Ludick, a former faculty member, founder of our Middle School and highly respected consultant of Montessori schools throughout the world, will visit our Elementary program.
- Mindfully incorporate vision-focused innovations to our program:
- Expansion of North House Specialties: The middle school faculty is working to grow the entrepreneurial focus of the program by expanding the student-run business and further integrating the business throughout the curriculum. Our Middle School students have added a service division which encourages them to understand how their business can improve their communities, locally, nationally or internationally in the immediate and the future. Members of the Middle School will also participate in the Youth Impact Forum as part of the Montessori Model United Nations in New York this Spring. Additionally, our Middle School students have added new business lines to their offerings including a hospitality division that provides specialty coffee drinks. Through this authentic learning opportunity, the students develop academic, intra-personal and inter-personal skills that will serve them well into the future.
- Provide support and feedback to our faculty in expertly implementing our program:
- Focus on Improvement of Craft of Teaching: In many ways tied to conversations about what is essential within and across divisions, Abbie Wexler and Adam Ladd are working with faculty to reflect on their presentation of lessons, interaction with students and maintenance of a prepared environment – a term critical to Montessori philosophy which ensures that the child's developmental and learning needs are met by the space in which he/she learns.
- Faculty Evaluation and Growth System: Working as team, Abbie Wexler, Adam Ladd and I are developing an evaluation and growth system that recognizes our teachers expertise in working with children and provides opportunities for future growth, reflection and improvement.
Taken together, this work is directly impacting your child's experience at Hudson Montessori School and helping him/her grow into the person that is embodied in our school's vision – one who is a lifelong curious learner, a courageous and compassionate leader and a student of humanity. It is exciting and rewarding work.
In early January, I will provide the next installment of these updates to our Strategic Plan concentrating on its second imperative: Investing in Passionate and Effective Faculty.
In the meantime, if I may answer any questions about this email or have feedback on how we can continue to improve our engagement with you on our strategic plan progress, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 330-342-7236.