Head of School Letter on Strategic Planning Process (Aug. 27, 2014)


August 27, 2014

Dear Members of the Ranney School Community,

In 2010, Ranney School underwent its first intensive strategic planning process, Turning Vision into Reality.  Launched during Ranney's 50th anniversary year, the plan was the first strategic roadmap the school developed. The timing of the plan was not only historically important for our 50-year-old school, but also crucial in paving the way for future development. Most importantly, the plan helped prepare our community for a new accreditation cycle.

As you know, Ranney School finalized a successful Middle States Accreditation in 2012, and also underwent a headship search and transition this past year.  I am honored to have been given the opportunity to lead the school in its next phase of growth and improvement. As part of the planning for the transition during the past year, I have encouraged the board to launch an even more transparent and inclusive strategic planning process that will help us as a school to assess our strengths and weaknesses, renew our strategic planning for the next 2 to 3 years, and build upon the foundations of the school in ways that will advance Ranney in the long term. The school will focus on four to five key strategic areas, with detailed plans for improvement that address the most significant challenges and opportunities for Ranney School.  

We have engaged a consultant from Carney Sandoe and Associates, Skip Kotkins, whose experience will be invaluable in guiding our efforts to assess where we have been, where we are currently and where we aspire to be as an independent school. Skip has a long professional career in business and business development, and has served on independent school boards and on the board of the National Association of Independent Schools. Skip has conducted strategic planning consultation for some of the country's finest schools, and we are proud to partner with him at Ranney School for our new plan.  The new plan will help us to craft a self-study to be used in our new accreditation cycle with the New Jersey Association of Independent Schools. That process will culminate in a visit from an accreditation team in the spring of 2015.

As we start reaching deep into the Ranney community for feedback about the school and prioritize the areas that need to change at Ranney School, Skip will conduct a series of focus groups with all stakeholders at Ranney. Upon meeting with members of the community, Skip will identify the major trends and threads that result from community-wide interviews and surveys and present them to the school's administration and to the Board of Trustees.

We will be communicating to the Ranney community the emerging goals and the feedback we gather.  The support and participation of the entire community is vitally important. Therefore, we have worked with Skip to develop an agenda of meetings and focus groups that will engage Ranney families, faculty, staff, alumni and students in providing us their feedback and perspectives on the future of the school.

Below is the agenda of meeting times open for parents and alumni. We hope you can participate in one of the open invitations listed below. Should your schedule not permit participation in these focus groups, please know that we will be following up with a community survey at the end of September.

As I enter my second year, I look forward to leading the community through this important project and working with you to envision a great future for Ranney School.

Sincerely,

Dr. John W. Griffith
Head of School
Ranney School

Tuesday, September 16
8:45-9:45 a.m. Parent Meeting, Open Invitation Lower School Board Room RSVP Here
9:30-10:30 a.m. Parent Meeting, Open Invitation
(at RSPA Meeting)
The Commons RSVP Here
6:00-7:00 p.m. Parent Meeting, Open Invitation Paulus Library RSVP Here
7:30-8:30 p.m. Alumni Meeting, Open Invitation Paulus Library RSVP Here
8:15-9:15 p.m. Parent Meeting, Open Invitation RSPA Panther Hall RSVP Here
Wednesday, September 17
2:15-3:15 p.m. Parent Meeting, Open Invitation Lower School Board Room RSVP Here
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Ranney School

235 Hope Road
Tinton Falls, NJ 07724
Tel. 732.542.4777
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