BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT
During the school year 2014-15, Jackson Prep launched a strategic planning process. The strategic plan was developed to provide a long-range view of future school priorities created through a highly inclusive and participatory process. A steering committee was formed and focused on research, environment scans, SWOT analysis, committee exercises, and trends in both the independent school and education world.
In order to build a base of sound information and to guide the planning process, the school enlisted the assistance of a research and planning firm, Ian Symmonds & Associates. A comprehensive research effort was completed, including stakeholder surveys, competitive and educational landscape analysis, market segmentation, and demographic trends.
Early in the strategic planning process, it was determined that the steering committee would benefit from gaining additional industry context. As a result, a comprehensive list of best-in-class independent schools in the Southeast was developed, and the steering committee divided into visiting teams on a journey to learn more about the latest innovations in independent education. The schools visited by the steering committee included Baylor School (TN), Ravenscroft School (NC), Parish Episcopal School (TX), and Galloway School (GA), among several others. Steering committee members created post-visit observations and shared them with the larger group, reflecting upon their visits in the context of planning for Jackson Prep.
In the winter and spring of 2015, the strategic planning steering committee worked collaboratively through a series of exercises designed to establish priorities based upon the findings of the research. This process culminated in May 2015, with the steering committee developing a small set of priorities for future focus.
As strategic priorities developed, the steering committee expanded upon then to outline specific initiatives, action plans, and immediate priorities.
Each of these strategic goals contains several strategic initiatives and numerous action plans. The strategic initiatives and action plans benefit from having additional implementation details, such as costs and metrics of success, recorded in the planning process and will be utilized as the school moves forward on executing the strategic plan.
The planning process was completed in May 2015 as the steering committee recommended the following strategic plan to the Board of Trustees. The Board approved and adopted the strategic plan, and in September 2015, it was unveiled to students, faculty, alumni, and friends as #PREPJourney: A Roadmap to the Future of Your Education.