The Wellan Board of Trustees has adopted the Strategic Priorities planning model as an alternative to writing a traditional multi-year Strategic Plan. This decision was influenced by a recommendation to all independent schools by Pat Basset, the former head of the National Association of Independent Schools.
The traditional strategic planning process typically involves periodically investing lots of time and energy in making decisions about future timelines, action steps, and resource allocations. These formal multi-year plans can easily become outdated as the context changes. Basset argued that school leaders and trustees are better positioned to help their schools thrive using a more flexible process in which goal-setting and decision-making are focused on priorities and vision—both annually and on an ad hoc basis whenever the school is faced with a particular threat or opportunity.
In the Strategic Priorities planning model, school leaders and trustees identify specific projects to work on that are tied to enduring priorities (which might vary due to each school’s mission or history) and to an institutional vision statement. These priority projects may be attainable in a single year (e.g., a capital improvement project) or over several years (e.g., curriculum review and development).
Maintaining a list of potential priority projects allows the school to annually select as goals those that are most urgent, those that are most do-able in the current context, and/or those that lay the foundation for or tie off a multi-year project. As the context changes, it is likely some projects will drop off the list as no longer aligned with priorities. Similarly, new ones will be added as perceived threats or opportunities arise.
The Strategic Priorities and Vision Statement come into play annually during the process of establishing strategic outcome goals for the Head of School for the upcoming school year, as well as goals for the Board itself. Aspects of strategic planning that would normally show up in a multi-year plan, such as a timeline and the allocation of resources to support the priority-based projects embedded in goals, can be thus addressed within the current context of that particular year’s operational challenges and finances. The Head of School uses the Strategic Priorities and Vision Statement to establish operational outcome goals and assigns related projects or tasks to administrative direct reports.
The Strategic Priorities and Vision Statement also come into play when the Head of School and/or Board are making decisions about major initiatives. Essential questions that are asked before investing time, talent, and money include: Is this aligned with one or more of our Strategic Priorities? Will this bring us closer to our Vision for the school?
Wellan Vision Statement
The Wellan Board and leadership team (then Newton Montessori School) generated this vision for the school’s future state:
Founded in 2006, Wellan Montessori School (formerly Newton Montessori School) is currently thriving and actively planning for the future. Strategic priorities for the next few years aim to strengthen the school‘s reputation as:
A premier Boston-area independent school offering educational excellence.
A diverse, inclusive school community of engaged families.
A well-run school that is innovative and responsive to changing student and family needs.
An inspiring, rewarding place to work.
Step 1: Online InquiryFill out an inquiry form here. The completion of an inquiry form registers you in our system so that we can communicate with you throughout the Admissions process and share important upcoming dates. This important step will also prompt our database to have you sign up for a school tour.
Step 2: Campus Tour and InterviewWe are thrilled to welcome visitors to the Wellan campus! You will be prompted to sign up for a campus tour when filling our the Online Inquiry.
Step 3: ApplyPlease complete items on your Application Checklist in the Admissions Portal.
Step 4: Classroom ObservationsParent-only classroom observations will be hosted in the winter months following the submission of an application. This opportunity to visit a classroom will happen between 8:30 – 9:30am. When your Application Checklist is complete, we will be in touch to schedule an observation. Often, prospective parents find it helpful to have a sense of structure while observing. Please click here to download our Classroom Observation Guide so you can see how the visit is set up.
Step 5: Student ScreeningStudent visits will be scheduled following the submission of an application and all other necessary paperwork. During this visit, you and your child will meet with Division Leader, Becky Alukonis, to enjoy an opportunity to get to know one another more and explore a Montessori environment. Admissions decisions will be offered to applicants via email on January 29, 2024 (early decision) or March 8, 2024 (regular decision).