Heathwood Hall Episcopal School cultivates creative and critical thinking, develops leadership and social skills, and promotes service to others over the pursuit of self-interest through a rich academic and extracurricular program in a supportive community of talented educators and engaged students.
To inspire and empower students to unlock their potential, develop their character, and gain the confidence to transform a dynamic world.
Strategic Focus Areas
1. Academic Program: Deliver an educational program that appropriately challenges a variety of learners, increases engagement and learning, prepares students to be productive 21st-century citizens, and helps them recognize their strengths and passions.
- Prioritize student learning and engagement. Develop programs and attract teachers committed to this goal.
- Develop programs of distinction in each division that are consistent with Heathwood’s ethos, philosophy, values, mission, tradition, and commitment to experiential learning.
- Evaluate the efficacy of our academic support and enrichment services to meet the needs of a broad array of learners.
- Evaluate our commitment to physical space, personnel, and program development to improve research capabilities and library resources.
- Strengthen technology resources and their educational application.
- Increase our commitment to continuing education, professional development, and faculty evaluation.
- Realize the full potential of, further integrate, and focus resources toward the Columbia Connections curriculum.
2. Co-Curricular Programs: Support and develop programs that stimulate the mind, body, and spirit of our students and cultivate skills and talents that are under-recognized in the traditional classroom but are necessary in life.
- Evaluate our vision for Extended Programming
- Strengthen and broaden our interscholastic and extra-curricular programs
- Evaluate the functions associated with the chaplaincy, including the chapel program, pastoral care, and religious instruction/formation.
- Develop a comprehensive service learning program that combines our desire to develop leaders of high character with service to others promoted by the Episcopal tradition.
3. The Student Experience: Develop a program that supports student development, diversity, physical health, and mental well-being, while also making recommendations to address campus safety concerns.
- Investigate campus safety and crisis management protocols and develop specific recommendations for implementing them.
- Evaluate programming that supports students' mental, physical, and spiritual health.
- Integrate Chapel programming with other initiatives to promote student well-being.
- Establish a comprehensive program supporting diversity and inclusion in the Heathwood community.
4. Campus Infrastructure: The school will examine, maintain, and expand its facilities and infrastructure to meet current and future needs of the students, faculty, and staff.
- Create a facilities master plan to guide plans for campus grounds maintenance, beautification, and future new academic buildings.
- Prioritize campus beautification and develop a plan to address weaknesses.
- Evaluate network capabilities and address deferred maintenance of technology infrastructure. Create “next steps” to ensure excellent electronic infrastructure.
- Utilize the facilities audit to create and guide a deferred maintenance schedule.
- Evaluate transportation resources and develop a replacement schedule.
- Catalog physical plant equipment needs.
- Maintain awareness of neighboring land use changes and impact on physical plant.
- Engage the greater Heathwood community to assist in caring for physical plant.
5. Community Engagement & Communication: Research, design, and implement a comprehensive plan for effective engagement, communication, and inclusive community building that best articulates the execution of its mission, strengthens the Heathwood community, drives enrollment, and increases fundraising.
Construct an Advancement Team that:
- Prioritizes leadership giving through better stewardship;
- Effectively engages its varied constituents through communication, marketing, and personal interaction;
- Provides exceptional customer service;
- Nurtures the financial health of the school through positive increases in both enrollment and fundraising;
- Encourages our current families to effectively volunteer and donate their time, energy talents passions on behalf of the school;
- Develops a two-year plan that enables Heathwood to effectively communicate in print, email, social media, web, outdoor, and TV/radio the execution of its mission; and
- Engages and collaborates with the Midlands community surrounding timely, relevant, inclusive, and scholarly topics impacting schools, parents, students, and society.
6. Fiscal Health & Sustainability: Develop and sustain a vibrant enrollment funnel, investigate new revenue streams, and increase fundraising.
- Evaluate the structure of our development office and develop recommendations for a structure that is capable of consistently effective fundraising, grant pursuit, and large-scale capital campaigns.
- Investigate creating a director of alumni relations position to actively track and engage alums, alumni parents, grandparents, etc. to raise school awareness and financial support from this group.
- Investigate and evaluate the profitability of alternate revenue streams.
- Address issues surrounding employee compensation and benefits to attract and retain talent.
- Evaluate our current expenses and revenue streams to remain financially sustainable while simultaneously delivering a strong program, transformative experience, and a safe environment.
- Evaluate what level of tuition the Columbia/Midlands market can sustain
7. Governance & Leadership: Develop and support a culture that improves the strategic leadership of HHES’s Head of School, Board of Trustees, and members of the School’s Leadership Team.
- Organize the Board of Trustees and its committees to maximize their respective members’ talent and desire to serve the school and yield a more dynamic governing body.
- Develop Board and Heathwood community matrices to ensure that Board vacancies are filled by those with needed competencies, resources and diverse backgrounds.
- Develop a system for evaluating the effectiveness of the Board of Trustees.
- Assist the HOS in evaluating the structure of the School Leadership Team and consider how professional development and reorganization may optimize their ability to respond to educational and institutional challenges.
- Make strategic planning an ongoing focus of the Head of School, School Leadership Team, and Board of Trustees.
CORE VALUES (Guiding Principles)
Respect and Trust
Teaching and learning take place in the context of knowing and being known. We listen and observe to uncover interests and refine learning as we grow to value one another’s viewpoints. These intentional relationships contribute to a culture that embraces diversity, expects empathy, and manifests trust.
Self-Discovery and Inquiry
Self-discovery through inquiry creates meaningful understanding (knowledge). We encourage learners to explore the world not through didactic delivery, but through their own questions and hypotheses, intentionally providing opportunities for them to engage with real problems and take ownership of their learning. Learners are expected to step away from the known, take risks in a safe environment, and tenaciously embrace both success and failure as integral parts of the learning process. Learning designed in this way develops stamina, resilience, and motivation—expanding the vision of what is possible and building the confidence to face the unknown.
Creativity and Innovation
Creative thought generates new and valuable learning and inspires innovation. We encourage learners to dive deep beyond surface learning to imagine new possibilities as they foster flexible thinking. We provide opportunities for creative thought through active learning, collaboration across multiple disciplines and age ranges, and exploration using a wide variety of academic and artistic lenses.
Learning as a Physical Act
The body and mind are never truly separated from learning. As we explore the physical world, we sharpen our intellects and push our physical limits through activities ranging from athletics to service for others. Additionally, we emphasize learning through play and recreation that continues throughout our lives.
Meaningful and Thorough Scholarship
Deep scholarship establishes a framework for knowledge that focuses on essential concepts and eschews superficial understanding of the disciplines. Our teaching and learning incorporate multiple academic and artistic disciplines to help our students make sense of the world as they build knowledge from a variety of vantage points. Through an emphasis on high expectations without anxiety, learners are engaged to achieve their academic potential. Students leave our community on the road to self-discovery, well-prepared for college with the courage to work, confidently and efficiently, in a world of emerging needs, challenges, and opportunities.
Reflection is an integral part of meaningful learning. We intentionally plan for and teach reflective thinking. The act of reflection solidifies concepts and creates new understanding through connecting and integrating prior knowledge with new experiences and information. Reflection is a discipline that leads to self-discovery and deep understanding.
Assessment toward Mastery
Ongoing assessment of learning informs future instruction. For assessment to be informative, it must influence learning positively. Through active and meaningful tasks, learners display their increasing mastery of complex concepts. We better understand a learner’s strengths and future needs through multiple forms of evidence, ranging from observations to specific projects. Mastery includes teaching learners how to teach one another. Having an audience for our learning demonstrates mastery because it requires synthesizing and applying knowledge and articulating it to the wider learning community--our peers, our family, and other learners. We seek to develop lifelong teachers as well as lifelong learners.
Learning as a Social Act
Knowledge and skills are more meaningful for individuals when they are learned in a community with others. These intentional relationships are based on the shared values of respect and trust, which allow us to be vulnerable in our successes and failures, to learn effectively from one another, and to establish connections with the larger world. Beyond our community, we embrace learning as an opportunity to address the needs of others while we learn about ourselves, understand the interdependence of all peoples, and engage as stewards of the Earth.
The spiritual dimension of learning grounds everything we share. Standing firmly in the Episcopal tradition, we are a community that models God’s love and grace. We exist not merely to educate, but also to demonstrate and proclaim the unique worth and beauty of all human beings as creations of a loving, empowering God. We guide and challenge all in our community to build lives of genuine meaning, purpose, and service. Through this commitment to the spiritual dimension of learning, we are driven by passion and joy towards excellence, inclusion, and open inquiry. With the twin guides of faith and reason, we explore our world and see the awe and beauty inherent in knowledge.