STRATEGIC PLAN 2017–2022 CATHEDRAL SCHOOL FOR BOYS
LETTER from the Headmaster
Robotics Intersession class with Mr. Santosa.
OVER THE LAST YEAR, the Cathedral community has worked together to create a strategic plan that will guide us over the next five years. Whether you attended a brainstorming meeting, reviewed educational research, or gave feedback in a survey, we appreciate your help. We have heard much about why our school is such a unique place. From this position of strength, we are excited about our vision for the future, our three strategic goals, and the major supporting initiatives for each of these goals. We are very grateful for your commitment to Cathedral School for Boys today and for your continued support as we move forward.
All the best,
Burns Jones Canon Headmaster
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LETTER from the Board Chair
STRATEGIC PLANNING TEAM
OUR STRATEGIC PLANNING TEAM, co-chaired by Trustees Michael Dunn and Kath Tsakalakis, has spent the last year working with the Cathedral community to imagine how our school could evolve so that we remain a leader in boys’ education. In conducting research, we have listened to many voices, from our boys to our alumni to educational leaders. Our observations have reinforced those attributes of Cathedral that make our school so special and led us to envision exciting new possibilities. Parents, faculty, and staff have had the opportunity to participate in small working groups that helped inform our direction. I hope that you will be as energized by this strategic plan as those who worked on the team. All the best,
Carla Silver Co-founder of Leadership+Design,
Margaret O’Brien Second-grade teacher Rene Picazo Parent of second grader June Kitagawa Sakamoto Trustee, parent of second and sixth graders Jim Schmidt Director of Development
Greg Gretsch Vice-chair of Board, parent of kindergartner, first, fourth, and fifth graders Thayer Hopkins, Jr. Trustee, parent of alumnus Burns Jones Canon Headmaster, parent of kindergartner and fifth grader Chris Nooney Chair of Board, parent of fourth grader and alumnus
Amy Atkinson Parent of seventh grader Paul Bertrand Director of Curriculum Jon Burgstone Parent of first and
Planning Consultant Matthew Thier ’00
Trustee, alumus Kath Tsakalakis
Co-chair of Strategic Planning team, Trustee, parent of sixth and eighth graders David Williams Parent of third grader
second graders Michael Dunn Co-chair of Strategic Planning team, Trustee, parent of sixth grader
Chris Nooney Board Chair
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To provide an excellent education for boys at the elementary level.
To attract a diverse student body of strong academic potential.
To provide a school committed to intellectual inquiry and rigor, centered in the Episcopal tradition, respectful of and welcoming to people of all religious traditions and beliefs.
To develop social responsibility through exemplary programs of outreach and service.
To create a community bonded by open-heartedness, hope, compassion, and concern.
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Lower School boys listening to Paralympic Hall of Famer and skier Chris Waddel speak.
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PROCESS OVERVIEW Over the last year, we engaged the entire community, including boys, teachers, administrators, alumni, current and former parents, and the Board, to develop the strategic plan. More than 200 community members responded to surveys with thoughtful suggestions. The Strategic Planning team conducted research locally and globally. All parents were invited to participate in facilitated think tanks and to consider questions such as: What are the defining characteristics of a Cathedral education? What skills should Cathedral develop in boys today to ensure their future success? What might Cathedral look like in ten years? Our aim was to make the process as transparent as possible. Notes from all strategic planning and Board meetings are published as part of an online blog that is regularly updated and shared with the community. This blog includes key findings from an external factbase in addition to detailed survey feedback from parents and faculty/staff that will be particularly helpful as the strategy is implemented. We are grateful for your help in shaping the goals, initiatives, and metrics that are part of the Strategic Plan for the next five years. This plan will provide a road map for Cathedral, but it will also be flexible and adapt when necessary. We will review and report regularly on our priorities and progress as we move from research to implementation in the coming year.
Taking a closer look in science class
Images/Graphics: Same background color
as page 10? Fun graphic
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STRATEGIC PLANNING GUIDING PRINCIPLES
There are many hallmarks of a Cathedral education that distinguish us from other schools. Our strategic plan preserves Cathedral’s enduring qualities. We are a boys’ school; we focus on boys and the benefits of an all-boy education. We are a small school; this enables us to know each boy well. We are an Episcopal school;
“From our position of strength, Cathedral School for Boys will prepare boys to live their lives with purpose and consequence, and to thrive within our ever-changing world.”
we nurture spirituality. We are a diverse school; our community is inclusive. We are committed to the whole boy; we attend to mind, body, character, and spirit. We are dedicated to high standards; we challenge each boy to be his very best.
BURNS JONES, CANON HEADMASTER
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STRATEGIC GOALS Three goals are centered on the boys. They provide direction for the next five years. Each goal has top-priority initiatives with metrics to assess progress. During implementation, continued involvement from the Cathedral community is imperative with regular updates and opportunities for feedback. The goals and initiatives form a plan that will guide us as we move forward. PROGRAM Maintain our leadership in boys’ PEOPLE Foster a community that
PLACE I mprove use of learning space, both on campus and off, to support new educational approaches and better meet the needs of boys and teachers.
education so that we prepare boys for success at high school and beyond in an increasingly complicated world.
attracts and supports talented educators and remains accessible
to all qualified students regardless of background.
Reading is fun with the Director of Lower School, Kate Juergens
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PROGRAM Maintain our leadership in boys’ education so that we prepare boys for success at high school and beyond in an increasingly complicated world. Our Program goal is supported by four initiatives.
CAPITALIZE ON THE EDUCATIONAL ADVANTAGES of Cathedral’s size by reducing class sizes in every grade, in both Lower School and Upper School, to help teachers better know each boy and help him become his very best self. Educational research shows that small class sizes for earlier grades produce better, lasting academic outcomes. At Cathedral, we will continue with one section per grade in Lower School, something that makes the Cathedral experience unique compared with our peer schools in the Bay Area. However, we will group students flexibly within each grade to reduce class size. Over time, Lower School classes will be taught by co-lead teachers, as opposed to the current lead/assistant model. Among many benefits, this model will allow us to teach groups of 12, rather than 24, simultaneously. Similarly, we will look for ways to change the Upper School class schedule to improve student-teacher ratios.
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DEVELOP AN EXCELLENT CURRICULUM that is global in scope and provides students with the information, awareness, and skills that they need to be successful in an increasingly complex world. We will use best practices so that teachers and boys are clear on what needs to be accomplished and what is expected, and achievements are measurable and allow us to gauge the learning of each student through objective and mission-appropriate metrics. We will continue celebrating boys for their creativity, outside-the-box thinking, and energy. Our curriculum will be boy-friendly and help boys succeed academically.
CREATE EXEMPLARY SERVICE PROGRAMS that help our students gain awareness and understanding and foster a life-long commitment to serving others. We will build on the current service programs for the boys that include: working with local schools to help younger kids learn how to read, and working with charities or institutions that help communities, for example, with Grace Cathedral and the Bayview Mission.
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EXPLORE A MODERN SCHOOL CALENDAR that is supported by the community and improves learning. Most American schools have a traditional agricultural calendar with very long summer vacations (historically for kids to harvest crops). Almost all of our peer countries and 10% of American schools now have “year-round” school during which the same number of school days is restructured to include more frequent, longer breaks, and shorter summer vacations. Benefits of a year-round schedule include: less summer learning loss and fall review (where teachers remind kids what they’ve forgotten); more frequent breaks to avoid burnout (of kids and teachers); better support for lower-income families (summer camps or travel may be unaffordable). An initial step could be to expand our summer program or use technology to address summer learning loss.
Sketching dissections in science class.
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PEOPLE Foster a community that attracts and supports talented educators and remains accessible to all qualified students regardless of background. Our People goal is supported by three initiatives.
ATTRACT AND RETAIN INSPIRING TEACHERS by enhancing salaries and benefits provided to Cathedral staff. Overwhelming educational research demonstrates that teacher quality influences learning more than any other factor. Unfortunately, living costs in San Francisco continue to soar, making our city one of the most expensive in America. As a result, it is not always easy to attract talented educators to San Francisco, some Cathedral teachers live outside of the city, and others are beginning to leave the Bay Area. As part of our strategy, we will improve how we attract, retain, and reward talented educators by increasing salaries, enhancing current benefits including medical and 401K, and exploring new benefits, such as housing support and parking.
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STRENGTHEN OUR PROFESSIONAL GROWTH PROGRAM
IMPROVE ACCESS FOR SOCIO-ECONOMICALLY DIVERSE STUDENTS of high academic potential. Research shows that when students learn cooperatively alongside children of different backgrounds, there are many benefits including increased creativity, motivation, critical thinking, and problem-solving. These skills are increasingly important for high school and beyond, where leaders are working in ever more collaborative, global environments. Options to improve access to Cathedral include committing more resources to identify qualified students from underrepresented areas of the City, increasing endowment or financial support, providing transportation to students from different neighborhoods, and enhancing social and emotional support provided at Cathedral.
for teachers that includes training, evaluation, and observation. The Strategic Planning team researched schools across America that are outperforming in terms of student outcomes and teacher satisfaction. One important driver of success that directly enhances teacher quality and student learning is teacher professional development and growth. Thus, we will consider how to improve our approach to professional growth so that we set the standard for other schools.
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PLACE Improve use of learning space, both on campus and off, to support new educational approaches and better meet the needs of boys and teachers. Our Place goal is supported by three initiatives.
REDESIGN OUR CAMPUS to support both current and emerging educational approaches and the learning needs of boys. Many American classrooms haven’t evolved much in the last one hundred years. Kids enter a classroom with desks and tables in rows. They know that they will be on the receiving end of instruction and that “their job” is to consume content. The Strategic Planning team’s research and field trips found a range of classroom environments that are structured more like modern workplaces. Current practices include: mobile furniture to meet multiple classroom needs; whiteboards throughout the classroom, and multiple classroom sizes and configurations for large and small group work. An initial step for Cathedral will be to work with architects focused on classroom environments, to decide the scope and phases of a campus master plan that will best support Cathedral’s program and people.
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EXPLORE OFF-SITE OPPORTUNITIES within San Francisco and beyond that allow us to enhance our educational program, for example, by taking the boys on more field trips, and having more dedicated space for athletics and team sports. Benefits of field trips include developing stronger critical-thinking skills and a deeper understanding of the subject studied. Providing more field trips may require practical solutions for teachers to take the boys off campus—buses for locations that are not within walking distance, or longer blocks of time added to the schedule. Having more dedicated space for athletics and team sports may require augmenting the Cathedral gym, leasing a new gym space or athletic fields, and/or creating partnerships with other local schools.
DESIGN SPACE FOR TEACHERS that enhances both professional and personal lives, encourages collaboration, and offers high priority basic improvements such as a better lounge, parking, etc. Campus amenities will be an explicit part of the master plan.
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STRATEGIC PLAN CONTRIBUTORS COVER PHOTO John Stuart Riddle CREATIVE DIRECTION Katie Rice Jones PHOTOGRAPHY Chloe Banks John Stuart Riddle
2016-2017 BOARD OF TRUSTEES
David Chung Jane Dann Michael Dunn Christina Dunning Setareh Farsio Byron Gill Jennifer Hocking Thayer Hopkins, Jr. David Hopkins ‘98
Richard Jacobsen The Ven. Malcolm H. Manson Linda Mathews Laura Morris
Kath Tsakalakis David Walker The Very Rev. Dr. Malcolm Clemens Young HONORARY LIFETIME TRUSTEES The Rev. Canon David R. Forbes Mrs. Mimi Lowrey † M. David Thier
Christina Nooney Chair Greg Gretsch Vice Chair Jay Thomson Treasurer Kate Hanson Secretary Burns Jones Canon Headmaster
June Sakamoto Matthew Steere Julie Terraciano Matthew Thier ‘00 Trevor Traina ‘82
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Cathedral School for Boys 1275 Sacramento Street San Francisco, CA 94108 (415) 771-6600 cathedralschool.net
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