Strategic Goals 2008-2013
As part of our responsibility and accountability to our CAS community, we continuously engage in a self-examination process. As a community, we value quality education, we aspire to high standards for our students, and we insist on high accountability.
This year, our continuous improvement process has three areas of focus—two internal and one external. Internally, we are analyzing, redesigning and documenting our curriculum, assessment and teaching practices. The second internal focus area is the development of a new strategic plan. The external area of focus is our official accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). We are also considering going through the accreditation process of the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS).
As the school year progresses and we delve further into each of these three focus areas, we will be seeking your input on issues critical to the school’s mission and vision to ensure the process is collaborative and inclusive. You may be called upon by CAS to attend a meeting, complete a survey, respond to a question, or in some manner provide us with your thoughtful input on questions of great importance to the future of CAS.
The Board’s previous strategic plans have focused on:
1. Academic Excellence — curriculum development instruction
2. Teacher Training and Professional Development
3. Financial Aid — to include fund development, teacher retention and tuition affordability
4. Strong Leadership — Board development and parental involvement
5. Facilities and Technology
The remainder of this letter explains the important issues we are working on to make decisions about your child's school.
As we move forward with our planning, we want to be sure the vision for our future is built on our 40 years of success and is guided by detailed strategic actions. We have carefully considered the most critical issues or challenges that we believe CAS will face over the next several years, what aspects of the school we want to see preserved in the future, and what changes we would implement at CAS if expense or logistics were not a factor.
The Board and administration have reconfirmed a commitment to the school’s mission and values and have created a vision statement to help drive our strategic work.
Charles Armstrong School serves high potential students with language-based learning differences, such as dyslexia, empowering them to thrive as learners in school and life.
All kids can learn.
All kids learn differently.
All kids must learn to use their minds well.
Teamwork & Collaboration
Commitment to our Mission
Responsibility & Accountability
We ask a great deal of our faculty and staff in order to provide the highest quality instructional program and support services to our students and their families and we want to be sure that this quality can be maintained and improved upon in the future.
In addition, after digging deep into the challenges that we face and the strengths that we have, we have identified five strategies that we are investigating this year.
Strategy No. 1:
Define measures for evidence-based school effectiveness.
- Develop appropriate measures for Individual Thrive Index, Class Thrive Index, and Alumni Thrive Index.
- Develop annual accountability report for whole school effectiveness.
Strategy No. 2:
Improve Classroom Learning
Redesign Curriculum & Assessment
Guarantee Exceptional Teachers
- Develop a long-term plan that assures appropriate focus is placed on redesigning the curriculum and guaranteeing extraordinary teachers.
- Use the CAS continuous improvement process to research and develop what works best for each CAS student and LD students globally.
- Tease out characteristics of the curriculum that are most effective for different students and LD students globally.
Strategy No. 3:
Figure the Facilities Factor
- Document how facilities can impact our program.
Strategy No. 4:
Broaden Financial Support
- Ensure financial stability by expanding funding sources with diversified revenues.
Strategy No. 5:
Attract students that match our program and have the best probability to thrive after CAS.
- Financial Aid
- Determine CAS philosophy of diversity and how to fully enroll students matched for success in CAS.
A team has been created to investigate each of the strategies above and to make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees with a cost benefit statement and an execution plan by April 2009. At that point, the Board will determine which of these strategies we should pursue over the next five years.
Priorities we considered as we were developing the strategies:
- Organizing and optimizing resources for improved student outcomes.
- Aligning the curriculum, instruction and assessment.
- Using student, faculty & school performance data to monitor and improve student outcomes.
- Developing better systems to support and improve faculty and staff effectiveness.
Your feedback is vital to our data gathering process and we very much appreciate your meaningful contributions as we request information from you in the months ahead.
Thank you in advance for your participation in this critical process for Charles Armstrong School.
President of the Board
Head of School