Strength to Strength Plan 2014-15
Dear Community Members,
Our goal at Wooster School is to produce graduates who are kind, effective, independent, and thoughtful people. We have done this by immersing our students in a learning community that builds skills, shapes dispositions, and prepares students to lead purposeful lives. Our students are also asked gradually to take more responsibility for themselves, others, and the community at large. It is also essential that while engaging in these formative experiences our students are happy, having fun, and learning to value the kinds of relationships which will help define their own identity.
Another goal is to challenge ourselves as a community to get better at what we do every day. We are a community of learners. We are committed to heeding the call of our founder, Aaron Coburn to always move from “strength to strength,” and to maintaining what noted educational expert Richard Dufour calls “a persistent disquiet with the status quo.” We will always be examining our current systems and practices with a critical, reflective eye.
In the spirit of these goals, we present the Wooster Strength to Strength Plan for 2014-15. The plan is designed to give community members an overview of the work that is underway at our school, and preview the steps that we are taking to ensure that Wooster maintains the student-centered, forward-thinking perspective that has served its students so well throughout the years. This plan is a framework designed so that community members can better understand the school’s goals, and planned progress toward achieving them. Because we are a community of thinkers and learners, we also know that the best thinking and most elegant solutions often emerge in process, so as we work to improve our school we know that flexibility and responsiveness are necessary elements of becoming stronger as well.
Ultimately, we strive to be an institution that models the skills, dispositions and actions that we value and nurture in our amazing students – think deeply, imagine possibilities, design, solve, reflect, improve. Thank you for entrusting your precious children to us. The Wooster Strength to Strength Plan is but one manifestation of our commitment to honor that trust.
Head of School
P '17, '19, '22, '24
Our plans to move from strength to strength come from our core beliefs as an institution. What follows are broad reflections on the thinking which has helped us to frame our plan.
Programs are the threads that make the Wooster tapestry so intricate and strong. When we engaged in our Making Thinking Visible work this year, we began to strengthen our teachers understanding of how students learn, and how best to work with each other. Because of the positive returns on this work in our learning environments, this work will continue into the future.
Improving our physical spaces goes hand in hand with creating learning environments which help us to maximize student learning. Improvement can mean a simple upgrade to an existing space, or an innovative redesign that creates a space that allows us to take better advantage of research and thinking about teaching, learning and how the brain works. We have a number of exciting projects on tap for 2014-15.
Wooster’s organizational structure should be designed to help us create and deliver excellent learning experiences for students that unfold on a continuum which spans grades Pre-K – 12. The “form” of how we manage of our people, resources, and curriculum should follow our commitment to this “function.” Creating continuity requires systems that support information sharing, informed decision making, and decisive implementation of those decisions. Sound organizational structures also support effective, consistent communication with stakeholders and financial responsibility and efficiency. The reorganization that we outline in this section are designed to move us closer to these goals.
For 2014-15 we’ve assembled a group of compassionate, forward-thinking, leader/collaborators who love what they do and are committed to making the Wooster experience challenging, fun, and transformative for our students. This team is also eminently qualified to help Wooster continue to challenge itself to do more for its students.