Dear Ranney Families,
As we enter the second half of the 2014-2015 school year, we thought it was a fitting time to provide the community with a strategic update from the Board of Trustees. This past August, the Board engaged in another strategic planning process, after ending a successful three-year plan in 2013 and allowing Dr. Griffith a year to establish himself as Head of School, to listen to the school's constituents and evaluate the school's various departments and divisions. As you have no doubt seen, Dr. Griffith has undertaken a number of initiatives in his short tenure and the Board couldn't be more pleased with his dedication and desire to continue improving upon the school experience for our students, teachers, administrators and parents. Some things you can look forward to from the school administration later this year include:
- A new 360-degree faculty and administration evaluation program; teachers, administrators and students are already participating in the process to improve teaching standards;
- A renewed and comprehensive physical and health education program for the Lower School that will also integrate health topics into classroom instruction;
- 1:1 access to technology in the Lower School for all grade levels;
- Continued College Guidance, admission, grant and scholarship offerings to Ranney students for academic achievement as well as for student leadership, service and athleticism;
- An expansion of global initiatives to include student exchange opportunities;
- Growing opportunities for alumni involvement with the school, including a newly established Alumni Council.
In addition to these efforts and as part of our new strategic planning process, we want to thank everyone who took time out of their busy schedules to meet with our strategic planning consultant Skip Kotkins in August and September 2014 to give candid feedback about Ranney School, including what we do well, what we could improve upon and what could uniquely define us in the future. The commentary was extremely consistent and served as the centerpiece for our annual off-site Board meeting in October. The common high level themes were as follows:
- A need to revise the Ranney mission to include a profile of a Ranney student and a Ranney graduate; these statements will support admission and enrollment standards by attracting, identifying and retaining students and families who will thrive in an environment that values the tradition of academic rigor and personal excellence;
- Investment in hiring, developing, evaluating and retaining highly qualified independent school faculty;
- Development of an Athletic Strategic Plan that includes aligning coaching and teaching standards and that requires excellence in the development of athleticism and athletic dedication from faculty coaches, including Health and Wellness education for Ranney students;
- Enhancement of school communication in a way that ensures our school's mission and purpose are clear, precise and easily consumed - including via the school's website, and that raises awareness among the community of the work of the Board of Trustees as stewards of the school.
The administration and the Board, through our committees and bi-monthly Board meetings, have been focused on shaping these broad themes into an execution-oriented strategic plan; you should expect its release before the end of the school year. This plan will serve as our guidebook for the next chapter of our great school.
We'd like to point out that, in June 2014, the Board unanimously approved Bill Maher as a Trustee. Also at that time, the Board unanimously approved Brian Torpey as Chair Elect. Dr. Torpey will begin his role in June 2015, which is when current Chair Jamie Price's four-year term will end. In addition, Chris Fitzmaurice was unanimously approved as Vice Chair Elect of the Board of Trustees.
We would like to thank all the volunteers who agreed to join committees and commit their time and talents to Ranney School (view the committee list). Committee participation is a wonderful way to make an impact on the school, and also makes it easy to select new dedicated and committed Board Members when term limits come due. We would like to thank those who made 2013-2014 a record year for fundraising and those who have committed already for 2014-2015. We had 100% Board commitment to kick off this year's annual fundraising. Combined with the early commitment of teachers, administrators, our parent-led Annual Fund committee and all Ranney parents and grandparents, we are on track to surpass last year's record. It's a great time to be a Panther!
Lastly, we wish you and your families only the best in this New Year.
Honored to serve,
The Ranney School Board of Trustees
Jamie Price, Chair
Brian Torpey, M.D., Chair Elect/Strategic Planning Advisor
Marshall Knopf, Senior Vice Chair
Josephine Esquivel, Vice Chair
Christopher Fitzmaurice, Vice Chair Elect/Treasurer
Daniel B. Goldberg, M.D., Past Chair
Patricia Kurdyla, Secretary
Michael Jones, M.D.
Ann Ross, M.D.
Scott Woska, M.D.