Our Strategic Priorities
In February 2016 our community came together to think strategically about our school’s future as we launched strategic planning. We are excited to share with you the key strategic priorities that emerged and our progress as we establish our vision and goals for 2017-2018 school year and beyond. Below is the list of the main strategic priorities that will move the school into its future, noting further high level implementation/action plans. We look forward to discussing these ideas and their action steps with you in more depth in the coming months.
1) Unite Our School Around Its Common Purpose: We launched the school year with our new brand, name, and foundational language expressed in our Purpose, Promise, and Principles which align our programs through common philosophy.
Further action plans: Fully become “Headwaters” by continuing to express this rebrand within our community and throughout Austin, and advance our pursuit of accreditation with ISAS (Independent Schools Association of the Southwest).
2) Support and Develop Outstanding Educators: Our school has grown, developed, and flourished because of its teachers, guides, and staff. They are at the core of who we are and what we do, and, aside from the welfare and health of the students, their support and growth is our most important responsibility.
Further action plans: Articulate attributes of a “Headwaters guide,” further develop faculty compensation plans, create a culture professional development and improvement and raise the funds to support these efforts, invest in high quality teacher training.
3) Create and Sustain Vigorous and Meaningful Programs: Students thrive when challenged, when known, and when supported. Our school is uniquely positioned to stretch its students and to love them. To do that, we need to both create and sustain high quality curricula and programs.
Further action plans: Develop a vivid and forward-looking Vision of the Graduate that is applicable to key transition points in a student’s education and informs decision-making about:
- High School: Reinvigorate program overall with city-as-classroom, community involvement, and real-world problem solving
- Middle School: Articulate and act on the educational links between Montessori and IB
- Lower School: Evaluate a potential shift in Primary and Early Elementary Montessori programs from two-year to three-year cohorts
4) Establish Dependable Facilities That Enhance Our Beliefs About Learning and Teaching: Our school practices and nurtures resourcefulness and resilience. While we have designed learning environments in a wide variety of conditions, it is time for our school to design spaces that amplify our programs and our beliefs about teaching and learning.
Further action plans: Develop a comprehensive and responsible facilities plan that will both support our faculty and students in performing to their greatest potential and allow our school to fully realize its vision, and gather the funding and capital to make it happen.
5) Inspire Engagement Across Our Campuses and Across Austin: While some education occurs in individual moments of study and reflection, most learning is a social act. It happens across age groups and outside of the classroom; it happens between a parent and her child’s friend; it happens sitting on a rock by the playscape or walking to lunch. Our school believes deeply in community, and we desire to strengthen our connections within and beyond the campuses and participate fully in the dynamism of Austin.
Further action plans: Develop relevant and innovative parent education + Austin-wide programming/education/service projects, and create traditions and rituals that exemplify our values and unite our whole community.