Eton School was founded in 1978, and—like other independent schools—we are proud of our history and what we have accomplished. It is true, however, that great schools should spend more time looking forward than reflecting on the past. When I arrived at Eton School in 2012, we had a newly-approved Strategic Plan that laid out goals for the school through 2017. We made great progress on that plan and completed most of the goals included in it. Recently, the school administration and the Board of Trustees began to consider the next five years and what priorities should drive decision making to best serve the school into the future.
While we are unable to control all the external factors that influence our community, we strove to create a plan that would create the best conditions for Eton to thrive and deliver our mission as effectively as possible. We also considered the topics that most directly affect the sustainability of Eton School and how best to ensure that sustainability.
We are excited about the prospects for Eton School’s future and eager to move farther along our path of continual improvement. Over the course of the 2018-19 school year—and at the Board’s Summer Retreat—we identified four Strategic Priorities to provide direction for the work of the school staff and the Board. Those Strategic Priorities are:
Fortify Eton School's financial state to ensure a strong and stable foundation for the future and alignment with best practices
While we are eager to undertake and complete capital improvement projects (acquiring property and renovating buildings), we are also dedicated to increasing and maintaining our financial reserves to ensure we can meet future needs. We are also committed to recruiting and retaining the best possible faculty, and compensation (salary and benefits)—our single greatest area of expense. Eton School is currently in good financial health, and further strengthening a stable financial foundation will be essential for our future.
Commit to the expansion and development of the Eton School campus without putting all our eggs in one basket
Currently, Eton School owns only the Casa Building, and we lease the Main Building, the Mezzo Building, and the Veladare space. We would, naturally, like to be in the position of owning 100% of our campus. We would also like to further renovate the Casa Building and maximize its potential as a learning space. This Strategic Priority calls for a detailed plan to renovate Casa and the development of action plans based on scenarios involving the availability of different properties within and adjacent to the current Eton School campus.
Capitalize on the current diversity of our population to create an authentically equitable and inclusive community
While the Eton School community is currently very diverse, there are opportunities for us to strengthen programs, structures, and support that embrace the diverse perspectives, cultures, backgrounds, and identities that are represented on campus. This Strategic Priority calls for the creation of a Committee on Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion. The work of the committee will be to develop an intentional, mission-driven diversity, equity, and inclusivity program that includes clear goals, strategies, and criteria for evaluating success.
Determine and implement the most appropriate fund-raising model for Eton School
Eton School was a for-profit school for the majority of its existence. The transition to a non-profit has led to an increased need for fundraising and an opportunity to grow a culture of philanthropy. Since 2012, we have increased parent participation in the Annual Fund from 27% to over 70%. This Strategic Priority calls for us to explore ways to continue increasing our parent participation and increase the revenue generated through fundraising.