BRYN MAWR SCHOOL
Within the context of the School’s Strategic Plan, Pappas Consulting
Group was engaged to undertake an evaluation of the visual and
performing arts programs of this independent day school for girls and
teens. The Evaluation Team conducted an assessment of the plans,
budget, structure, staffing levels, classroom/studio offerings,
productions and all related academic and curricular aspects of the
visual and performing arts programs. Striking the proper balance
of the visual and performing arts vis a vis the athletic program was
the driver for this study.
CHOATE ROSEMARY HALL
We worked with this New England preparatory school (both boarding and
day) to help develop a five year strategic plan. The strategic
plan includes all facets of the school and its programs, including
academic direction and curriculum, the residential life program,
financial equilibrium and capital needs, operational requirements, etc.
NATIONAL CATHEDRAL SCHOOL AND ST. ALBANS SCHOOL
As part of our engagement, we planned and facilitated two retreats with
the school’s Board of Trustees to introduce the strategic planning
process and ascertain Trustee priorities for a vision for the school.
Although the National Cathedral School provides education for girls and
teens, and St. Albans provides education for boys and teens and are
separately incorporated, they share several coordinate programs.
Within the context of the each of the schools’ Strategic Plans, these
two distinguished preparatory schools located on the grounds of the
National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., asked the Pappas Consulting
Group to assess the schools’ coordinate performing arts programs.
This comprehensive review included assessment of the plans, budgets,
structure, staffing levels, classroom offerings, productions, and all
related academic and curricular aspects of the programs. We
staffed and managed an evaluation team consisting of heads of other
preparatory schools, outside professionals, and performing arts faculty.
The results of this engagement included the identification of thirteen
issues requiring action/resolution on the part of the National
Cathedral and St. Albans Schools. For each of these thirteen
issues, we developed both short-term solutions for immediate action and
long-term solutions to ensure the viability and growth of this
important program. These solutions included both strategic and
detailed, program-based recommendations to ensure that a comprehensive
and feasible approach would be implemented.
We provided strategic planning facilitation to this burgeoning day
school. At the conclusion of our work, a new five year strategic
plan was in place and the School completed its new capital expansion
ROSS SCHOOL and INSTITUTE
Ross Institute provides a good case study of our work with a relatively
young organization engaged with school policy and practice. The
Ross Institute is an organization intent on scaling up the educational
impact of a proven global education approach first piloted at Ross
School in Long Island, New York. This methodology has been
successfully implemented in a school in Tensta, Sweden and is the
foundation for the establishment of a recently approved Charter School
in Brooklyn, New York. The Ross Institute also sponsors and facilitates
focused educational research through its Consortium of university
partners (New York University, University of Pennsylvania, the
University of Southern California, and the State University of New
York). Finally, it conducts seminars, workshops, and conferences for
teacher development and school leadership development. The Pappas
Consulting Group has provided guidance to the Ross Institute at
multiple levels over the past four years: strategic planning;
curriculum and staffing review; funding models; charter school
application; organizational structure; consortium agreements with
university partners; and overall governance.
Ross School/Institute, located in East Hampton, New York is an
innovator in learning for pre-K, elementary, middle and high school
students. Its integrated curriculum addresses the complexity of today’s
world and relies on the arts, technology and Eastern philosophy to
inculcate a sense of shared values among its students and faculty. The
Founder and Chair of the Board leads the School/Institute on a daily
basis and works with its constituencies to set the mission and vision.
As the School was to embark on its eleventh year of operation, the
Founder believed it an opportune time to assess every aspect of the
enterprise: academic; research; pedagogical; alliances with other
schools and with institutions of higher learning; wellness and food
programs and every aspect of day-to-day school operations. The
operations included financial management; fundraising and development;
marketing communications; enrollment management; human resources;
facilities management; the library; Child Study Center; and the Dean of
Highlights of some of the work we have completed are listed below.
Throughout this assignment, we facilitated a strategic planning process
and served as mentor to the Founder and senior staff concerning
strategic and management transition issues.
The Pappas Consulting Group:
Assessed the Finance Office staff and organization
in order to assist Ross School/Institute leadership to understand the
operation’s strengths and weaknesses.
Identified and documented financial policies and
procedures to ensure appropriate and consistent participation by School
and Institute personnel and to assist the Finance Office to carry out
its work in a uniform manner, regardless of changes in staffing and
Developed a historical financial baseline for both
the School and Institute to support fundraising initiatives.
Created a budget process that enabled the Head of
School, financial management and domain heads to monitor budgets on a
monthly basis so that they may be held accountable for their
Developed financial management reporting mechanisms
to ensure financial reporting is timely and accurate and that the
general ledger is ready for audit at fiscal year-end.
Worked with the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to
assess current operations compared to the approved budget in order to
determine the financial status of Ross School/Institute compared to
Reconciled contributions from the Founder and the
Family Foundation to the general ledger in order to determine the total
amount that has been contributed to the Ross School and Ross Institute.
The Pappas Consulting Group assisted the Ross School/Institute in
developing policies and procedures for the emerging development
function. Working with the staff on the Raiser’s Edge implementation
team, we developed two manuals, one containing Development Office
Policies, the second containing Development Office business procedures.
The new procedures have improved the efficiency and effectiveness of
the Development Office and have kept the Office’s impact on the cost
side of the operating budget to a minimum. The policies and procedures
submitted were based on a paperless model.
Human Resource Management
The Pappas Consulting Group provided a full-time Human Resource
Management consultant for four months to develop a professional
function and office that had here-to-fore not existed. During
that time, a Human Resources policy and procedure manual was developed.
Issues related to: contract management; compensation, classification,
training and staff development; benefits and benefits administration
were addressed, paving the way for the hiring of the School/Institute’s
first full-time professional Human Resources Officer.
ST. PAUL’S SCHOOL
The St. Paul’s School, located in New England, is one of the nation’s
foremost and co-ed boarding schools. The Board of Trustees
engaged the Pappas Consulting Group to craft a five year strategic plan
and review the entire administrative and organizational structure of
The School (excluding teaching and curriculum) for the purposes of:
streamlining the organizational structure;
ensuring that best practices are built into the
fabric of the administrative, financial, and student services structure
that is created; and
identifying accountability measures for the executive leadership of The School and its Trustees.
The specific areas reviewed included student and enrollment services,
financial accounting and reporting, advancement, human resources,
procurement, physical plant and public safety, auxiliary services, and
other/Rector’s Office functions.
It quickly became apparent that several functional areas were in need
of immediate and intensive transformation. Our scope of work was
enlarged to include daily, on-site management or oversight of public
relations and marketing; technology and systems procurement,
implementation, and maintenance; and student counseling services.
We continued to fulfill consulting obligations with regard to the
diagnosis and development of recommendations for the functional areas
Our consulting team worked closely with the Rector, the Vice Rector,
and the Board, as well as faculty and staff. We reached out to a
broad section of the community through individual interviews, focus
groups, and community sessions to understand the organizational climate
and culture of The School.
The results of this extensive effort included:
service as Interim Director of Communications at the School, including supervision of staff;
strategic marketing/communications recommendations;
negotiation of a technology contract with an
outside firm; oversight of that firm’s technology consultants, as well
as monitoring of systems and technology staff for The School;
business process redesign of the administrative
structure, including human resources, business/finance,
development/alumni, admissions, student services, and faculty
revision of The School’s human resources manual and
correction of policies to bring The School into conformance with
federal and state laws and regulations.
During an ensuing cycle of work, we facilitated the updating of the
strategic plan for the School and developed an information technology
plan that included the fine-tuning of processes and procedures to
realize the potential of software applications available for
Westminster Schools (Westminster), a Christian, co-educational,
independent day school for K-12 students, is committed to offering the
highest quality, college preparatory education through its faculty and
curriculum and a full range of extra-curricular offerings.
Westminster’s mission is centered on “cultivating within each student
the knowledge and skills necessary for successful continuing education,
sound personal values, and a commitment to service.”
We conducted a strategic
planning process to focus the school's resources on core, mission-based goals
and secure an even stronger future. The objectives of this
strategic planning project were to: develop a baseline profile of
Westminster Schools and assess resources, strengths, weaknesses, and
culture (internal scan); review existing information and conduct
selected, focused research to provide an analysis of the external
environment (external scan); document strengths, weaknesses,
opportunities, and threats (“SWOT”), as well as attendant
recommendations; and elicit input from key stakeholders for goals and
priorities to produce a final strategic plan document.
The Pappas Group validated the current mission of the Schools and
developed a philosophy/vision statement relevant to the fiftieth
anniversary of the Schools. Subsequently, we facilitated: the
development of a list of goals to be achieved and an action plan to
serve as a road map to reach those goals; the identification and
quantification of the resources required and possible sources of those
resources; the delineation of the milestones and timeframe(s) to
implement actions and achieve goals and; the creation of measures to
monitor and evaluate the progress and results of core programs. A
strategic plan was subsequently crafted and produced by the client.