Montessori Sun Times Newsletter Winter 2015 : Page 1

A newsletter for The Children’s House community in Traverse City · Winter 2015 www.traversechildrenshouse.org TCH Plans for the Future “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” -Peter Drucker Following the wise advice of Peter Drucker, The Children’s House commu-nity invested time, resources and effort in planning for Michele Shane a strong and Head of School secure future. In the fall of 2014, Rotary Chari-ties provided our school with a generous capacity grant, which afforded us financial and human resources to take on the work of capacity building and strategic planning. Last spring, a committee of board members and parent Freya Bradford of Northsky Nonprofit, interviewed several strategic planning consultants to determine who would be the best match for our unique school community. After the interview process, we unanimously agreed upon Triangle and Associates Senior Partner, Dr. Marc Frankel, who has had many years of experience working with inde-pendent Montessori schools. When he arrived in early De-cember 2014, Dr. Frankel spent a full day hosting focus groups that included 44 Children’s House staff and 34 parents, repre-senting a cross section of our school community. He was very pleased with the high level of engagement from all focus group participants. Over dinner that evening, Dr. Frankel shared one of the highlights from that day. “Before I came here to work with you, I was able to say that in my 25 years of hosting focus groups, no parent group has ever felt as though the school did a great job in communicating with parents. I can’t say that anymore because in both TCH parent groups, it was something that they believe your school does very well. I even texted my partner to tell her this and she thought I was joking with her.” In the two days that followed, our Board of Directors was guided through the strategic planning process. On day one, Dr. Frankel focused on principles of good practice in strategizing for a long and vibrant future at The Children’s House. “You want to plan a future that will allow the school to thrive to be a place for our children’s children” Frankel said. To that end, our goal in creating a plan was about 1) seizing opportunities for greater success, 2) mitigating existential threats, and 3) doing so within the context of the mission. On day two, Dr. Frankel shared his observations of our school community. They included: -We have a jewel of a school. -TCH has very positive parents and teachers. -Our campus is amazing and in need of expansion, especially in elementary. -TCH is one of the schools in the pantheon of great Montessori programs. -Review of our business model is an important element of long-term success of TCH. For the remainder of the day, the group delved deeply into the strategic conversations related to all of the information he gath-ered, both prior to and during his visit, in order to identify key strategic points to include in the plan. We are grateful to all of you for your input in this process and for making The Children’s House such a strong and vibrant community both now and for generations to come. Upcoming School Dates: Winter-Spring Calendar February 19 Parent Visiting Day March 5 & 6 Parent Teacher Conferences March 24 Upper Elem. Theatre Performance March 25-29 6th year students at Model UN, NYC March 27 Tuition Assistance Application Deadline March 30-April 3 Spring Break April 20 Parent Education Michael Sullivan, ACSW May 1 Annual Gala “Havanna Nights” May 6 Parent Coffee Club Summer Reading May 13 Elementary Research Fair May 22 Grandparent’s Day May 25 Memorial Day, Campus Closed June 5 Closing Ceremonies June 15 Summer Session Begins

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