Strategic Plan: Lifelong Learning & Leading
The Haverford School has a long tradition of producing young men who have transformed the world. Over the past two years, a team of dedicated alumni, board members, faculty and staff, parents, and students have endeavored to chart a path forward to enable today’s and tomorrow’s Haverford School graduates to thrive in a world that is very different from the one our first headmaster, Charles Crosman, contemplated when he founded Haverford more than 135 years ago.
Our path is guided by the School’s core documents: our mission, vision, Principles of Community, and Essential Qualities of a Haverford School Graduate. As part of the strategic planning process, we led open discussions with faculty and staff about these documents to ensure they reflect the Haverford School of today and that they will endure into the future. The resulting documents strongly reassert our commitment to preparing boys for life and to creating a supportive and inclusive community of lifelong learners.
Lifelong Learning & Leading, our 2020-25 strategic plan, identifies three pillars, each of which supports the School’s core documents. We chose as the first “Inspire 21st Century Teaching and Learning.” Our graduates must possess the intellectual curiosity, teamwork skills, and dedication to lifelong learning necessary to thrive in an era marked by rapidly changing workplace demands and the greatest rate of technological change in history. While honoring the traditional liberal arts education that remains the foundation of our work, we will increasingly endeavor to help boys apply those skills through project-based learning and design thinking. While we have made strides in this direction in recent years, there is more we will do to ensure that boys learn how to apply their learning to the world they will soon lead.
Our second pillar, “Enhance and Embed Our Commitment to Character,” focuses on the environment we will create to enable that learning, and the kind of men we will forge. We are proud of the work we already do in the areas of educating boys to lead groups and to support each other. But there is more to be done to make Haverford the most respectful community it can be — and to ensure our graduates are prepared for the very diverse America and world they will lead. We are accelerating our commitment to graduate men who will serve as role models for a world in need of strong character, empathy, and compassion — who will provide a strong shoulder for others to lean upon and who are not afraid to lean on others for help. As a first step in this work, we reaffirmed the School’s mission and vision to make them more accessible to the daily life of the School.
Our third pillar, “Expand and Ensure Our Future,” concerns the critical work required to ensure that the School remains on sound footing, both physically and financially. This strategic plan arrives as we close two important initiatives. The construction of the new Middle School this year will complete the current campus master plan. Next, we will develop a new long-term plan for physical surroundings that further enhances how boys learn. At the same time, the completion of the Character at Our Core campaign will do a great deal to ensure the financial health of the School for years to come.
The only constant is change, and as independent school education remains an economic challenge for more and more families across America, we must continue to think hard about the kind of school we want to be — and work hard to ensure that remarkable boys can continue to enrich the fabric of our School community and the experience of all of our students, regardless of their family’s financial status.
We have already begun to implement much of what we have learned through the strategic planning process in our classrooms and art studios and on our playing fields. That process will continue as we strive to be the exceptional learning and leading community that we describe in the pages that follow. What will not change is our absolute dedication to preparing boys for lives that make a difference for generations to come.