Introduction

Since its founding in 1952, Norwood School has thrived as a dynamic and beloved institution that has embraced change and innovation even as it has held fast to its mission, core beliefs, and traditions. For more than six decades, Norwood has sustained continuous growth and improvement by following a series of thoughtfully crafted strategic plans. Today, we are proud to present the next plan in the School’s history – a bold, focused, and exciting blueprint that charts our course for the next five years.
 
The 2016-2021 Strategic Plan for Norwood School builds on signature strengths and core beliefs. At the same time, it responds to current best practices and timely opportunities. What skills, knowledge, and character traits will our students need to be successful in this rapidly changing, complex, and interconnected world? What resources will our teachers need to ensure that every student is challenged, nurtured, and supported? How do our campus and learning spaces reflect an innovative, dynamic, and child-centered approach to early childhood, elementary and middle school education?
 
Throughout the year-long strategic planning process, the children attending Norwood School – today and in the future – have been at the center of every discussion held and every decision made. They inspired a renewed Mission Statement, the reaffirmation of the School’s core beliefs, and the creation of the new Portrait of a Norwood School Graduate. They provided focus and direction as four key strategic priorities emerged: Program, Image, Campus, and Ensuring Our Future.
 
The new plan was created collaboratively out of a shared vision to deliver the best educational experience possible for our students – one that will have distinctive and enduring impact on their lives. It has been truly amazing to witness the love of this community for Norwood School throughout the planning process. It is abundantly clear that all of us believe passionately in the difference a Norwood education can make in a child’s life. Thank you to everyone who participated in this important work on behalf of our beloved school and remarkable students.
 
This is an exciting and inspiring time at Norwood as we look to the future with clear priorities, strategic direction, and an innovative spirit. With this strategic plan, we embark on the next phase in our journey. We begin from a place of great strength, and we are confident that the new plan will guide Norwood School to even greater heights.
Sincerely,
 






Clarke D. Camper
Chair, Strategic Planning Committee
Calvin C. LaRoche
Chair, Board of Trustees
Matthew A. Gould, Ph.D.
Head of School
 
 

Process

The 2016-2021 Strategic Plan involved hundreds of members of the Norwood School community: current and past parents, trustees, teachers, staff, administrators, students, and alumni. Over the course of a year, through committee meetings, surveys, focus groups, and small working groups, the Strategic Planning Committee received tremendous input, ideas, and inspiration from community members. This information was instrumental in identifying and building consensus around four key strategic priorities: Program, Image, Campus, and Ensuring Our Future.
 
Throughout the deeply reflective process, the Strategic Planning Committee was guided by Kathleen Hanson, a senior consultant and principal at one of the nation’s leading consulting firms, Marts & Lundy. With more than 20 years of experience working with independent schools, Kathy was instrumental in helping the committee identify an accurate picture of the School’s challenges and opportunities, resulting in the development of an integrated, achievable plan with measurable goals and strategies.
 
We were fortunate that the timing of the new Strategic Plan dovetailed perfectly with Norwood’s 10-year reaccreditation with the Association of Independent Maryland Schools (AIMS). The rigorous and intensive self-study required by the reaccreditation – an 18-month process completed in March 2016 – provided an ideal opportunity for the School to reflect deeply and critically on strengths, challenges, and priorities for the future. Our AIMS reaccreditation work contributed valuable information and data throughout the strategic planning process.
 
For nearly two years, Norwood has been engaged in a highly collaborative and broadly inclusive examination of every aspect of school life. The resulting plan is a living, evolving document that is both aspirational and practical, and designed to adapt to new challenges and changing needs in our dynamic world while always focusing on our most important asset – the children attending our school. The Board of Trustees approved the 2016-2021 Strategic Plan on April 18, 2016.

List of 3 items.

  • Our Mission

    Norwood School’s child-centered program inspires confident, compassionate, independent, and creative thinkers who embrace lifelong learning.
  • OUR CORE BELIEFS

    Norwood School implements its mission through these core beliefs:
     
    • How you lead your life matters.
    • Our dynamic, integrated curriculum – focused on academic excellence – challenges and encourages each student’s intellectual development.
    • The inclusion of diverse perspectives nourishes our common humanity and builds understanding, empathy, and social responsibility in our school community.
    • Our joyful, nurturing, and inclusive community emphasizes the education of the mind, body, and spirit.
    • A K-8 educational environment, cultivated by educators who truly know each student, provides the best foundation for a young person’s academic, social, and emotional growth.
  • PORTRAIT OF A NORWOOD SCHOOL GRADUATE

    A NORWOOD SCHOOL GRADUATE IS:
     
    CONFIDENT
    A well-prepared student, a strong communicator, and a caring friend.

    CURIOUS
    A healthy risk-taker who seeks and explores new experiences.
     
    CREATIVE
    A critical and reflective thinker, maker, and problem-solver.
     
    SELF-AWARE
    A self-advocate who embraces personal wellness and intellectual growth.
     
    JOYFUL
    An enthusiastic learner who welcomes new opportunities and celebrates both their own accomplishments and those of others.
     
    ETHICAL
    A community member who serves others and understands that how you lead your life matters.
     
    EMPATHETIC
    A global citizen who values the underlying humanity of all people and respects and appreciates others.

OUR PRIORITIES, GOALS, AND STRATEGIES

List of 4 items.

  • PROGRAM

    GOAL:
     
    Further develop and support a child-centered program of distinction that is designed to provide each student with the skills, knowledge, and adaptive thinking set forth in the Portrait of a Norwood School Graduate.
     
    STRATEGIES:
     
    • Purposefully integrate a curriculum rich with varied perspectives to encourage critical thinking skills and to create deep multi-disciplinary connections.
    • Continue to explore and implement methods of differentiated instruction that support student growth.
    • Establish a strong, vibrant pre-kindergarten program that lays the foundation for a creative and challenging child-centered elementary and middle school experience.
    • Further develop a comprehensive framework that leverages technology in order to advance innovation in teaching and learning.
    • Build a top quality professional development program that gives our faculty and staff the knowledge and tools they need to fulfill the School’s mission and achieve its curricular goals.
     
  • IMAGE

    GOAL:
     
    Establish Norwood School as a nationally recognized leader among K-8 independent schools, with a coherent and distinctive brand known for best practices in child-centered education, the value of a K-8 model, and exceptional student outcomes.
     
    STRATEGIES:
     
    • Articulate the deeper meaning and practical implications of Norwood’s innovative child-centered approach to elementary and middle school education.
    • Invest in a comprehensive communications plan that highlights the value proposition of Norwood’s K-8 structure, its best-in-class educational programs, and the signature strengths of the School.
    • Continue to cultivate and promote a school community that is diverse, welcoming, and inclusive.
    • Prioritize collecting and communicating student outcomes to both internal and external audiences.
    • Deepen connections with alumni and their families to strengthen affinity and further develop them as ambassadors for the School.  
  • CAMPUS

    GOAL:

    Ensure that the School’s campus and facilities reflect the high quality of the program and enhance Norwood’s child-centered educational mission within creative, collaborative, and flexible learning spaces.
     
    STRATEGIES:
     
    • Increase and renovate curricular spaces to meet the goals of our program and to enhance faculty collaboration.
    • Leverage our outdoor spaces and 38-acre campus to enrich our child-centered program.
    • Identify and implement a comprehensive strategy and fundraising plan to support new spaces and facility initiatives.
  • ENSURING OUR FUTURE

    GOAL:
     
    Build and sustain a financially secure future through managing enrollment, supporting a culture of philanthropy, and practicing disciplined financial management that accounts for both internal and external economic drivers.
     
    STRATEGIES:
     
    • Determine, achieve, and retain ideal full enrollment comprised of a student body that reflects our mission and core beliefs.
     
    • Cultivate a strong community that understands the importance of philanthropy to yield increased support for the mission of the School.
     
    • Structure a competitive compensation and benefits program to attract and retain exceptional faculty and staff who bring to the community rich and diverse perspectives.
    • Develop a disciplined five-year financial plan that results in steady-state tuition with modest increases.
    • Support a healthy financial aid program that reflects the School’s commitment to socio-economic diversity.

STRATEGIC PLANNING COMMITTEE

Clarke Camper, Chair
Michele Claeys
Craig Hollander
Maria Lostoski
Jennifer Lustbader
Amanda Moon
Tara Primis
Krista Ross
Del Renigar
Cathy Voeks
Leslie Wallace
Lewis Wiener
Barbara Bowie Wiesel ’57
Chatice Yarborough
Ex-Officio
Kathy Hanson, Marts & Lundy
Matthew Gould
Calvin C. LaRoche
 

STRATEGIC PLANNING WORKING GROUPS

MISSION
Tara Primis, Co-Chair
Mike Risen, Co-Chair
Jennifer Lustbader
Imalka Senadhira
Frazier Schulman
Lewis Wiener
Fielding Winters
Terri Woodard
 
PROGRAM
Craig Hollander, Chair
Stephanie Johnston
Maria Lostoski
Amanda Moon
Lulito Newsome
Karen O’Neill
Mike Risen
Barbara Vaughan
Chatice Yarborough
 
IMAGE
Jennifer Lustbader, Chair
Debra Barrett
Aaron Groban
Mimi Mulligan
Dinga Ogada
Del Renigar
Krista Ross
Fielding Winters
 
CAMPUS
Cathy Voeks, Chair
Caroline Boiardi
Michele Claeys
Cliff Elmore
Adam Goozh
Tara Primis
Frazier Schulman
 
ENSURING OUR FUTURE
Leslie Wallace, Chair
Steve Bauer
Elizabeth Dupree
Simon Johnson
Stan Smith
Bill Teachum
Lewis Wiener
Barbara Bowie Wiesel ‘57

BOARD OF TRUSTEES

Clarke Dryden Camper, Chair
Matthew Gould, Head of School
Lewis Wiener, Vice Chair
Leslie Wallace, Treasurer
Jennifer Lustbader, Secretary
Debra Barrett
Stephen Bauer
Andre Bhatia
Elizabeth Dupree
Cliff Elmore
Aranthan Steve Jones II
Susanna Jones
Andrew Kay
Calvin C. LaRoche
Cheng Hoon Lim
Del Renigar
Krista Ross
Frazier Schulman
Betsy Turley ‘71
Barbara Bowie Wiesel ‘57
Chatice Yarborough
Located in Bethesda, MD, Norwood School develops students in grades PK-8 into confident lifelong learners who have the academic, character, and leadership skills to succeed in high school and beyond. Recognizing that children are multi-faceted, Norwood provides many opportunities for safe risk-taking, exploration, discovery, and growth in a nurturing, supportive, and inclusive school community.