Keys School Strategic Plan 2008
Keys School Mission: Keys School is an independent K–8 school that offers a broad hands-on curriculum. It fosters high academic achievement and emphasizes balanced growth—intellectual, physical, emotional and social—for every student. Within a diverse and supportive community, Keys provides a caring and creative environment that encourages children to love learning, to take intellectual risks, to act as global citizens and to treat others with respect and empathy.
Context for the Strategic Plan
Keys School (Keys) achieved institutional growth over the past six years through the planning and implementation of the Strategic Plan of 2002. The plan created a detailed vision for the future of Keys and has been implemented in its entirety through the dedication of many individuals. Among the school's accomplishments were new initiatives in external and internal marketing. The creation of a comprehensive development plan provided a guide for successful annual fund campaigns, the initiation of an endowment, as well as the school's first capital campaign. Through fundraising efforts, strong fiscal management and long-term financial planning Keys enhanced its financial strength.
Keys values its staff and mission-based program. Goals related to staff benefits, salaries and professional development kept the focus on precious assets, the educational skills of the teachers and the school's curriculum. The program taught by the teachers was improved through more integrated curricula, curricular reviews and learning style training.
The long-term health of Keys was addressed through the signing of an extended lease with the First Christian Church. However, Keys wanted to create even more permanence through land ownership and an improvement of the program by the expansion of the campus to accommodate a student body with two sections per grade. After an extended search for property, Keys purchased a site to accommodate the middle school students while retaining its present campus for Lower School students. By doing so, Keys will be able to expand its student enrollment and grow its program.
The strategic plan of 2008 addresses the challenges that Keys now faces. Among the topics of the strategic plan are upholding the school's culture and core values during its expansion, teaching a 21st century curriculum with a global emphasis and attracting, retaining and developing top-flight staff. The financial health of Keys is also addressed through an endowment and the balancing of compensation and financial aid with tuition and fundraising. Finally, Keys wants to reach out to the community by promoting its unique mission and program to all constituencies.
Strategic Initiative #1: As Keys grows, preserve and promote the school's distinctive core values in support of our mission and an evolving global community.
Context: Keys and its core values promote a culture that inspires our students, faculty, staff and parents to act as a community in supporting our children, our school and its future. We value opportunities to be involved actively in local, national and global issues. As Keys grows, we want to ensure that the increased enrollment builds on our sense of community and unique values. In addition Keys requires facilities that adequately and appropriately support the school's current and future programs, including operating with environmentally sound principles.
Goal 1.1 Sustain and enhance our culture across the two campuses. Keep the community connected by emphasizing student, faculty and parent interactions.
Goal 1.2 Build on the Keys culture of service by offering service-learning programs for our community.
Goal 1.3 Promote our budding culture of school support and giving, creating lasting relationships with current and past Keys community members.
Goal 1.4 Broaden our values to incorporate environmental sustainability and include the environmental focus in our programs, operations and facilities.
Strategic Initiative #2: Maintain and enhance the school's whole-child focused, hands-on curriculum to develop globally aware, 21st century learners and leaders.
Context: The Keys curriculum fosters balanced whole-child growth, experiential learning and high academic achievement. As we look forward to the school's expansion we will continue to adapt appropriate program elements both to take advantage of our new resources and to incorporate new future-oriented competencies, such as global awareness and sustainability education.
Goal 2.1 Assess and prioritize the components of our program to reflect the attainment of 21st century skills, including global awareness, sustainability education and technology.
Goal 2.2 Enhance curriculum to further incorporate differentiated instruction.
Goal 2.3 Expand programs to take advantage of double sections and the new facilities.
Goal 2.4 Assess the allocation of time for curricular areas and also for school and faculty schedules to ensure alignment with the Keys mission and goals for professional and instructional growth.
Faculty and Staff
Strategic Initiative #3: Provide a teaching and professional development environment that attracts and retains faculty and staff of the highest caliber. Establish Keys as a leading choice among Bay Area independent schools for current and prospective employees who share the values of the Keys mission.
Context: Keys seeks, retains and supports a highly dedicated, talented and diverse faculty of lifelong learners. Our teachers and staff form the basis of our reputation. They guide the students in their overall progress and deliver a true whole-child educational experience. Keys provides a collaborative, collegial environment with numerous opportunities for faculty to grow in their professional lives. In order to attract and retain faculty, we must explore innovative solutions to the Bay Area's unique cost of living challenges.
Goal 3.1 Develop a comprehensive program of teacher recruitment that attracts teachers who are committed to the mission and reflect the diversity of the Bay Area.
Goal 3.2 Continue to expand the professional development programs and support a collaborative environment that promotes faculty and staff retention and excellence.
Goal 3.3 Maintain faculty and staff salaries above median levels of other peer institutions in the Bay Area.
Goal 3.4 Provide appropriate benefits and incentives to retain and attract faculty and staff.
Strategic Initiative #4: Continue to build financial strength to provide the basis for permanence and program excellence. Expand the school's capacity to attract and retain qualified students regardless of families' financial ability.
Context: Keys must continue to strengthen its financial health, fulfill the school's mission and secure future permanence and sustainability. Success in meeting our strategic plan goals depends upon the school's fiscal health.
Goal 4.1 Allocate school resources in support of the mission and this strategic plan balancing the needs of compensation and financial aid with tuition and fundraising.
Goal 4.2 Continue to grow the Keys endowment toward a long-term target that ensures the school's permanence and affordability.
Goal 4.3 Expand financial aid programs to enhance the school's capacity to attract and retain a diverse base of qualified students regardless of family economic means.
Strategic Initiative #5: Identify and promote the unique qualities of Keys to all relevant constituencies (donors, prospective families and high school admissions offices) in order to advance development, student recruitment and high school placement.
Context: Keys must foster meaningful relationships within our core and extended community, including parents, alumni, prospective families, employees and local high schools. Keys must expand its brand and reputation to a wider community. We also need to more regularly involve our alumni and other community members to support this initiative. Currently, Keys derives most of its income from tuition. If the school is to sustain its educational vision and program, attract and retain an excellent faculty, and guarantee the integrity of the facilities today and into the future, Keys must become less dependent on tuition revenue by maximizing its fundraising and other non-tuition revenue sources.
Goal 5.1 Promote the school's whole-child, hands-on approach, which fosters Keys high academic achievement.
Goal 5.2 Articulate the Keys brand for all of our communities and communicate it appropriately to prospective applicants, employees and high school admissions.
Goal 5.3 Develop expanded outreach programs to attract and retain a diverse base of qualified students.
Goal 5.4 Promote and emphasize the development effort to appeal to donors inside of and beyond the current Keys community.
Goal 5.5 Extend the donor base at Keys to include alumni, alumni parents, grandparents and planned giving/major gift programs.