The development of Bancroft’s next Strategic Plan is an exciting opportunity to dream about the future and develop a path to move the School toward that dream. The success of Vision 2016 gives us a springboard from which to launch new initiatives and well-designed, human-centered solutions to organizational challenges.
This process gives Bancroft School a strong sense of our future direction, backed by a set of priorities and initiatives for the near-term future that are tied to a long-term vision for the School and grounded in our mission, core values, history, and culture.
With our next Strategic Plan in hand, we will focus our time and resources to ensure that Bancroft continues to deliver a relevant, engaging, and meaningful program to students in these ever-changing times and remains affordable, accessible, and attractive in a competitive market.
Bancroft’s administrative leaders and board of trustees are working with members of our community to write the next chapter in Bancroft’s narrative. Here are some of the steps we have been taking along the way.
Our strategic planning partners from Leadership and Design (L+D) returned to Bancroft on Saturday, February 9 to help facilitate conversation and brainstorming with alumni, students, faculty, and many other key stakeholders on Bancroft's future. Split into 14 groups of 4 or 5 individuals, teams were assigned one of five important topics related to areas of interest stemming from the NEASC report. These topics included diversity & inclusion, path to sustainability, the student experience, supporting faculty & staff, and Bancroft in Worcester. The design prototypes and ideas that were generated amongst these diverse and committed groups will inspire the next phase in the strategic plan.
Our strategic planning partners from Leadership and Design (L+D) were on campus November 27 and 28 for their second visit. They continued to gather information about Bancroft by shadowing students, facilitated discussion for faculty, staff, and parents, and met with the Strategic Planning Team. We are still deep in the inquiry phase of this work, gathering information and ideas that will inform our future actions.
Approximately 70 people attended three “Think Tank” programs hosted in the Field House on those two days. Bancroft is fortunate to have parents, faculty, and staff who are so committed to our future and to strengthening our School and community.
During each Think Tank session the participants learned about our partners from L+D, about the process, and contributed ideas to provocative questions about the future of Bancroft School. The story boards they created—and the various 5+ year visions for Bancroft they set forth—served as the springboard for the Strategic Planning Team meeting. We reviewed each of them and spent time discussing them. The Team will continue to digest and incorporate recurrent themes and threads from the story boards and ongoing interviews with community members in the next Strategic Planning phase.
- Why Bancroft in the world? What do we uniquely contribute to teaching and learning?
- How might we continue evolving our program to meet the needs of modern learners in a global, innovation economy?
- How might we support our faculty and staff at all points in their careers and make Bancroft a destination workplace for talented educators?
- How might we deepen our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and create a strong culture of belonging and respect?
- How might we make stronger connections with the greater Worcester community through collaborations and partnerships with other local schools, entrepreneurs, alumni, parents, etc?
If these questions interest you and you would like to join the conversation, please contact Nichole Aubin at firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP for one of the Think Tank sessions listed above.
Our strategic planning partners from Leadership & Design helped us kick off our Discovery and Exploration Phase with two days of inquiry and conversation on October 3 and 4. They spent their first day getting to know the School by meeting with faculty, staff and trustees, as well as walking around campus and observing Bancroft in action. On Thursday the Strategic Planning Team gathered for a day long meeting to begin exploring and asking big questions about Bancroft’s future.
Each team member shared a different metaphor that captured their sense of Bancroft. These 22 metaphors describe some of the current strengths and challenges faced by our school community and serve as an introduction to some of the questions we want to answer in this early stage of strategic planning.
Leadership and Design team members Carla Silver and Erin Cohn also led the team through an exploration of academic, work, and worldwide trends, facilitating discussions around how Bancroft might respond to the future. Team conversation generated scores of fantastic possibilities and further questions.
Carla and Erin trained team members as anthropologists and sent us off to collect information from across campus. Each of the 22 team members has committed to continue collecting information and will conduct three additional interviews before we meet again in November. That adds 105 more contributors to this process… and it’s only October!
An effective strategic plan depends upon input from the entire Bancroft community. Get involved by coming to one of these upcoming events:
- Faculty Think Tank, Tuesday, November 27 4:00-5:30 pm
- Parent Think Tank, Tuesday, November 27, 7:00-8:30 pm
- Parent Think Tank, Wednesday, November 28, 8-9:30 am
- Design Day, Saturday, February 9
- We have engaged Carla Silver, Executive Director of Leadership+Design, a consulting firm that works with schools to turn ambitious opportunities into action.
- We have established a steering committee: Board Vice-President Katy Sullivan (chair), Head of Upper School Lisa Baker (co-chair), Board President Catherine Colinvaux, and Head of School Trey Cassidy.
- We have set a calendar for meetings.
- We are forming a Strategic Planning Team that includes Bancroft parents, faculty, students, staff, and alumni, and local partners.
As the planning process moves forward, we will be inviting all members of our community to participate.
|Katy Sullivan, Chair||Trustee, Current Parent|
|Lisa Baker, Co-Chair||Upper School Head, Current Parent|
|Trey Cassidy, Steering Committee||Head of School, Current Parent|
|Catherine Colinvaux, Steering Committee||Board President, Current Parent|
|Kaya Dorogi||Upper School Student|
|Nate Erskine ’06||Alumnus|
|Mary Halpin Carter ’83||Alumna|
|Pete Janhunen ’85||Trustee, Alumnus|
|Shirley Harrison Konneh ’01||Alumna|
|Peter Lukes||Current Parent|
|Rosalind Martin||Current Parent|
|Peter McKone||Director of Operations|
|Kristina Melo||Upper School Student|
|Elvisi Mena||Current Parent|
|Aaron Payson||Community Partner|
|Andrew Stahovec||Upper School Student|
|Rachel Wagner||Faculty, Current Parent|
|Elizabeth Wambui||Community Partner|
|Carrie Whitney||Auxillary Program Manager, Current Parent|
|Kathleen Wood||Current Parent|
As a member of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), Bancroft must be re-accredited every ten years. The two-year re-accreditation process involves a comprehensive self-study in which our community thoroughly examines and reflects on all aspects of our School — mission, curriculum, and major programs. The self-study is an invaluable opportunity for Bancroft to assess its current strengths, define opportunities for growth, and form the basis for our next Strategic Plan.
In recent years, the School's investments in campus enhancement have improved energy efficiency, air quality, and public safety; created flexible, multi-functional spaces in the music wing of the Performing Arts Center and the Field House; and enhanced our ability to attract new students and families. We are now poised to take further steps to improve the learning and teaching environments across campus. With the help of an architectural firm, we have developed a master plan to guide our thinking about further campus investments for the next ten years.
The campus master plan, combined with the findings from a 2016 campaign-preparedness (or feasibility) study, helped set the parameters for Bancroft’s first capital campaign in nearly 20 years. Now underway, Out In Front: The Campaign for Bancroft School is expected to bring in $8 million ($1.5 million for the Bancroft Fund, $5.3 million for campus improvements, and $1.2 million for the endowment) to ensure that Bancroft will remain out in front for many years to come.