EnVision SA 2024 Strategic Plan

During the 2018-2019 school year, Sewickley Academy embarked on a strategic planning process. This process was inclusive and gave members of the community, including parents, students, alumni, faculty, staff, and friends of the school, the opportunity to have input into determining the school’s priorities for the next five years. The resulting plan was formally adopted by our Board of Trustees in May 2019.

List of 7 items.

  • Preamble

    At the heart of any great education are vigorous academic programs and the relationships that support and inspire learners. Sewickley Academy excels at providing learners with a strong academic foundation that prepares them for future challenges by fostering relationships that inspire learners to pursue areas of interest and passion that will develop and deepen over time, or perhaps shift, to create novel and unexpected avenues for exploration. The journey from the here and now, from who the learner is today to who the learner will become tomorrow, is one that must be thoughtfully mapped, not towards one predetermined destination but in a way that will allow that destination to emerge.

    At Sewickley Academy, we honor each individual and his or her skills and talents, and seek, relentlessly, to find ways to create the opportunities for learning and discovery that will allow our students’ best and truest selves to reveal themselves and flourish. We do this in a diverse and vibrant community that values individuals for who they are while always acknowledging that each person is a work in progress. While each journey will be unique, the skills and knowledge acquired along the way will create a shared foundation that will prepare our students to propel themselves towards yet unknowable experiences with the necessary tools to ensure their success.
  • Vision for the Future: The Relentless Pursuit of Transformative Learning

    As we look to the future and seek to enhance the way in which we deliver a transformative learning experience, Sewickley Academy deliberately and relentlessly seeks to exemplify the best elements that characterize excellence in education. We believe that excellence in our educational programming includes, among other things, inquiry- and experiential-based learning at all levels with a robust global orientation. Because transformative learning is most authentically achieved in a community that believes in the absolute dignity and worth of each individual regardless of race, creed, color, ethnic origin, sexual orientation or gender expression, physical ability, and any other element of identity, Sewickley Academy celebrates and embraces diversity while espousing the centrality of exemplary character as a foundation for a life well lived. While valuing each individual, we seek to create a dynamic, challenging, supportive, affirming community of learners, each of whom is committed to achieving personal excellence and developing the types of relationships that are at the heart of a Sewickley Academy education. Finally, we are committed to having the facilities and financial vitality necessary to support a transformative learning experience for all students. In this relentless pursuit of transformative learning, Sewickley Academy will become a beacon others will seek to emulate.

  • 1. Educational and Programmatic Distinctiveness

    Deliver an interconnected, distinctive, and innovative program that prepares our students for an ever-changing global community and provides them with appropriate educational and emotional support.

    In an ever-changing world, where advancements in science, technology, and communication media, in particular, continue to evolve with astonishing rapidity, it is imperative that schools provide students with an educational foundation that prepares students to be nimble, responsive, and adaptable to unanticipated challenges, while reflecting the highest standards of character. To provide such a program, Sewickley Academy understands that it must take full advantage of what is understood about how learners best learn, and tailor educational experiences, activities, and the environment itself to support that learning. In order to make that learning even more meaningful and relevant for our students, Sewickley Academy must develop and leverage partnerships to extend the learning environment and create even more robust opportunities for personal growth. Sewickley Academy must also recognize that the rigors of such an education present academic and emotional challenges that it must be ready to address for all students.

    1.1 Identify a coordinator for experiential learning to facilitate community outreach and connectedness to support service, entrepreneurial, and/or experiential learning that includes on- and off-campus opportunities.

    1.2 Provide professional development for all faculty in experiential learning.

    1.3 Continue to evaluate and develop curricular maps that align with our Mission, Core Values, Vision of a Sewickley Academy Student, and discipline-specific standards, with a particular emphasis on the development of opportunities for experiential learning.

    1.4 Design and implement a schedule that provides opportunities for students and faculty to collaborate cross-divisionally.

    1.5 Expand Global Studies to include a purposeful, globally-informed curriculum focused on developing intercultural competencies for students in Pre-K – Grade 12.

    1.6 Plan age-appropriate, Mission-aligned travel opportunities (regional and international) to support experiential learning.

    1.7 Continue to support the development of character through all programs, including academic classes, the arts, athletics, and Responsive Classroom, Developmental Designs, and Senior School advisory.

    1.8 Develop an Academy Athenaeum so that students may access and leverage connections within the student body, alumni, and family networks.

    1.9 Develop and deploy resources that ensure equitable access to individualized support for the academic, social, emotional, and health and wellness needs of all students.

    1.10 Incorporate the recommendations of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Plan that is being developed as a part of this Strategic Plan as they relate to educational and programmatic distinctiveness.
  • 2. Educator Excellence

    Invest in the recruitment, retention, and development of outstanding educators, both faculty and staff, who embrace our Mission and Core Values, are truly devoted to developing quality relationships for learning, and are committed to the relentless pursuit of improving their craft.

    Because teachers are the primary designers of the learning environments in which students will learn and grow and because teachers are vital role models for their students, Sewickley Academy must strive to recruit, retain, and support the most talented, Mission-committed faculty who reflect the wonderful diversity of the students in their care. Likewise, because staff members serve as critical contributors to the culture of the educational environment and because they too serve as role models for our students, Sewickley Academy must strive to recruit, retain, and support the most talented, Mission-committed staff who reflect the wonderful diversity of the students in their care.

    2.1 Monitor, evaluate, and strengthen compensation and benefits, including salary, healthcare, and tuition remission, for all faculty and staff.

    2.2 Develop and execute a plan to bring all employees to the 75th percentile of the benchmarks for their compensation.

    2.3 Hire an HR professional to better serve the needs of faculty and staff, and include that individual on the Administrative Team.

    2.4 Incorporate the recommendations of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Plan that is being developed as a part of this Strategic Plan as they relate to educator excellence.

    2.5 Clarify the description of the compensation framework for faculty to improve predictability and transparency.
  • 3. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

    Establish, communicate, and execute a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Plan in support of our Mission and Core Values.

    In addition to the moral and ethical imperatives that drive our engagement in the work of improving diversity, equity, and inclusion in our community, Sewickley Academy is also mindful of the research that demonstrates that excellent results are more likely achieved through diversity. We know that in an ever more interconnected world, it is essential to equip our students with the analytical framework and the language for thinking and conversing about diversity. It is also essential to provide our students with the immersive experience of learning in a diverse, inclusive, and equitable community, so that they can become fully productive, culturally competent contributors to their communities. Further, we recognize the importance of engaging our parents, families, and the larger Sewickley Academy community in meaningful conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion.

    3.1 Within 12 months of the adoption of this Strategic Plan, engage stakeholders in the creation of a Board-approved Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Plan that defines diversity, equity, and inclusion, establishes DEI objectives and policies, and articulates in clear language how we plan to meet our objectives.

    3.2 Communicate our new DEI Plan to all stakeholders at multiple touchpoints (e.g., during the admissions process, online, in publications, community forums, etc.).

    3.3 Continue to pursue all current DEI objectives as they relate to enrollment and hiring, professional development for faculty and staff, and education for students and their families until the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Plan is developed.
  • 4. Space and Place

    Ensure that the Academy's physical plant meets the evolving needs of the learners and teachers, reflects the high-quality of our programs, and is maintained in a manner that meets the high standards we have for all we do.

    Sewickley Academy believes in the importance of spaces and how they support the people who inhabit them and the activities that take place in them. Quality environments support learning, inspire learners, and send a message about how much the community values education. Physical places must follow Frank Lloyd Wright’s dictum that “form follows function,” so all spaces at the Academy should be designed with an understanding of how the space will be used by students and their teachers, and spaces must be designed to augment and contribute to learning outcomes.

    4.1 Within 12 months of the adoption of this Strategic Plan, initiate a comprehensive master planning process that supports the curricular and pedagogical goals of the school, is driven by the needs of students and their teachers, and can be phased in over time.

    4.2 Develop cost estimates for each element of the Master Plan once it is completed.

    4.3 Develop a list of facilities priorities from among the items identified during the master planning process that reflect the needs of the community, keeping in mind those that received particular mention during the strategic-planning process: the arts, Nichols Field, the Senior School, flexible spaces, and storage on campus.
  • 5. Financial Vitality

    Growing our capacity to support the ambitions laid out in this Strategic Plan.
    A school with over 180 years of history knows that thoughtful, judicious, and forward-thinking financial planning is essential to long-term viability and strength. In order to ensure that Sewickley Academy can meet its ambitious goals as laid out in EnVision SA 2024, Sewickley Academy is committed to developing and executing financial plans that will provide the resources and support the execution of the plan and set the stage for the next chapter in its history as the preeminent school in western Pennsylvania and among the leaders in independent education nationally.

    5.1 Grow our Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program from the current $284K per year to $1M per year.

    5.2 Increase our Annual Fund campaign to 100% participation of faculty and staff, 60% participation of parents, and 15% participation of alumni

    5.3 Develop and implement a program of affordable tuition to attract middle income families by academic year 2020-2021.

    5.4 Develop additional sources of revenue such as increasing/restructuring our summer program and after-school program and leveraging facilities for rental income, grants, etc.

    5.5 Once our campus Master Plan is complete, initiate a feasibility study to determine the community’s willingness to support a capital campaign to achieve phase one needs.

    5.6 Conduct a feasibility study for an endowment campaign, the ultimate goal of which would be to grow our endowment to a size 2.5 times our operating budget with an annual endowment draw of 4%.

View the EnVision SA 2024 Plan

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Sewickley Academy
315 Academy Avenue
Sewickley, PA 15143
Sewickley Academy is a nationally recognized

Pittsburgh Private School

enrolling students in Pre-K through Grade 12 on a single campus.