Sep 20


Focus Groups For Strategic Planning

Dear Roeper Community,
When I arrived at Roeper six years ago, the community had just completed its newest strategic plan.  Led by the Board of Trustees, we articulated the goals and priorities we would undertake in the five years that followed.  As the new Head of School, this document provided me with insight into the thinking of the community, and guidance into what our collective constituencies believed were the School’s priorities.

Over the last six years, I have worked with the community to bring that document to life. Together, we have articulated our Core Tenets, published our Educational Statement of Purpose, revised our Mission Statement, and expanded our instruction on the Roeper history, philosophy, and what it means to be gifted.  We have worked diligently to strengthen our financial model by creating and regularly updating a 5 year financial plan, we have benchmarked faculty salaries and benefits, strengthened our growth and review process, mapped our curriculum, and engaged in new forms of electronic communication. We made strategic decisions around our master campus plan and invested in the infrastructure of our Birmingham Campus, culminating with the construction of the new Naas Learning Commons.  At the same time, we developed a new partnership with Ultimate Soccer to support our athletic program, and strengthened our technological infrastructure on both campuses.

Our strategic plan led to partnerships with the EE Ford Foundation, the Malone Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, and Students Shoulder-to-Shoulder.  We celebrated our 75thAnniversary with new and expanded outreach to our alumni community, and we re-invigorated the Roeper Institute by hosting a symposium with the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights at Wayne State University on the topic of high achieving underserved children in the Detroit Schools.

Now it is time to take the information we have gathered through our Self-Study, our ISACS Visiting Team Report, and our work together these past six years and construct our next plan.  It is time to write our goals, to prioritize our needs, and to make the commitment to achieve the tasks we set for ourselves to complete.

The Board of Trustees has hired Marc Frankel and Judy Schectman of Triangle Associates from St. Louis to facilitate our work on the next Strategic Plan.  Marc and Judy are veteran consultants in the independent school world, and have worked for decades with schools like ours to help make sure constituent voices are heard, and the board is able to construct a document that reflects the needs of the school.  I am pleased to share that we will be guided through this process by a planning committee led by Board of Trustees Chair-Designate Ashley Lowe.

We need your voice in this information gathering phase of the process.  Marc and Judy have already completed focus groups with the board and the administrative team; they now need to hear from faculty, staff, students, parents, alums, alum parents, alum faculty, and all community members interested in sharing their perspective.

Focus groups will take place on both campuses on October 2-4, 2017.  The full community will also receive a written survey containing the same questions asked at the focus group meetings.  You will have these two opportunities to share your insight and to help us inform our consultants about the priorities we should consider for the next strategic plan.

To participate in a focus group on either campus, please sign up through Roepertunities. You may participate on the campus that is most convenient for you. 
Please join me in this critical act of stewardship as we honor our past, and set our direction toward the nest 75 years – into RoeperNext!

David H. Feldman
Head of School

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