Reimagining our Future
Kingswood Oxford is a transformative day school that engages students in real-world and interdisciplinary learning opportunities by expanding the classroom beyond our campus and partnering with people and institutions in the Greater Hartford area. Our signature educational approach develops compassionate collaborators, ethical problem solvers, and active citizens who lead and serve in the wider community.
Our Strategic Plan Approach
At the beginning of 2019, Head of School Thomas Dillow announced that Kingswood Oxford School would embark upon a strategic design process to frame a compelling vision for the future and to articulate the key commitments and priorities that will enable the School to achieve that vision collectively.
Following Kingswood Oxford’s re-accreditation by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) last spring — an exercise rooted in deep self-evaluation that occurs every 10 years — the School entered into the planning process to reimagine its future and chart its continued success. This vision will drive KO’s strategic priorities and will provide the roadmap for the allocation of our talent, time, and resources.
The strategic vision will center around how students learn best and how we can prepare them for success in college and the future. This plan will be timely, as the world they are about to inherit is more uncertain than ever. Our plan will focus more intentionally on teaching and fostering new skills and dispositions and add new opportunities to our already strong program to help our students better meet these future challenges.
To achieve the vision in the strategic plan, specific priorities will be identified with action steps. These priorities will ground the plan and provide a roadmap. Once the first set of priorities is accomplished, the next set will be identified, helping the School focus on staying true to the vision. This is a multi-year and iterative process. Its very nature encourages self-reflection and continuous fine-tuning along the way.
The end goal is to ensure that our students are well-prepared and that our School is well-positioned to continue to deliver on our compelling mission to inspire students to excel and lead lives of integrity and involvement.
The Planning Process
During the summer of 2019, Kingswood Oxford employed the consulting services of Greenwich Leadership Partners. Stephanie Rogen, the founder of GLP, worked with members of the Board of Trustees and the Senior Administrative Team to develop an approach for undertaking this project. It involves, among other steps, soliciting input and feedback from all of Kingswood Oxford’s constituents. Rather than produce a monumental tome of initiatives shelved once it is produced, GLP advises its clients to develop a dynamic plan based on the School’s core values that can be adapted as priorities are achieved, and new opportunities present themselves.
Since 2010, GLP has worked with more than 64 independent schools and school districts, higher education organizations, and education-based not-for-profits.
The Strategic Design Team is a facile group representative of the various constituencies in the Kingswood Oxford community. They guide the strategic planning process and cull information in an iterative process. Importantly, this group does not decide our strategy for the future. Rather, it facilitates conversations and gathers and synthesizes feedback from various KO constituents that will be critical in determining our path forward. Ultimately, the committee will compose a vision statement and list of strategic priorities based on workshops and focus group feedback obtained over several months.
Kingswood Oxford inspires students to excel and to lead lives of integrity and involvement by nourishing their talents in a community of teachers, friends, and families.
Demonstrate honesty, integrity, and respect
Learn with passion and perseverance
Embrace intellectual curiosity
Care beyond self
Take personal responsibility
Work hard, take risks, become involved
Vincit Qui Se Vincit – “One Conquers By Conquering Oneself”
A Powerful Synergy of Three Strategic Pillars
Our vision statement drives our strategic priorities and provides the roadmap for allocating our talent, time, and resources. A powerful synergy of three overlapping areas – people, program, and place – each impact one another and align with our priorities to further our goal of becoming a truly transformative day school.
The true value of a school is measured by the dedication, passion, and innovation of its faculty. KO has long been recognized for having exceptional teachers, and they remain our greatest asset. We are committed to hiring top talent and supporting their professional growth.
Our students learn best in a diverse and welcoming community representing a kaleidoscope of ideas and life experiences. Our vision seeks to provide greater financial assistance and access for talented students.
Students learn best and are most engaged when they have choice, learn by doing, understand the purpose of what they learn, and can see the impact of their work. Our Strategic Vision builds upon those core principles and will create new learning opportunities to prepare our students to create, innovate, and lead in the jobs of tomorrow. We will build upon our existing signature programs and develop new centers of learning for our students that promote interdisciplinary learning.
Focusing on KO’s unique Day School Advantage – a place for building an authentic community with our students, faculty, parents, and alumni– KO plans on reimagining the Conklin Library, Mead Dining Hall, and outdoor spaces to create a new Community Commons that will serve as a vibrant community hub for all members of the school and become the heart of campus.