During the August 25th strategic planning status report meeting, Dr. Jones shared an update with parents regarding progress for “Vision 2020”, the strategic plan for SCCS. This vital plan will detail clear vision and tactics to achieve that vision for the next three to five years.
“When we started this process a year ago, the goal was to roll out a well-articulated, long-range strategic plan in January 2020,” shared Dr. Jones. “I am grateful to say we are on target to do that. Ultimately, our goal is to provide a better future for our children. As we build this plan, we must not only think about us but also those who come after us as we build a plan, an actionable dream.”
During the end of the 2018-19 school year, work was accomplished to finish up the environmental scan to further understand the landscape and gauge perceptions. Several focus groups were conducted including parents, students, staff and faculty. Questions such as, ‘What are your big dreams for SCCS?’, ‘What are the challenges you see for the school?’, ‘What do you love most about the school?’ and more were considered.
“The mission of SCCS is ‘Teaching minds and training hearts for God' – but what does that mean and how do we define that into an actionable sentence or two that everyone here knows?” continued Dr. Jones. “When we have these actionable statements that clearly communicate our mission, we can look through this lens for each decision we make as a school.”
Considerations included spiritual formation and questions such as, ‘How does the school partner with families beyond chapel, Bible class and service projects?’ Regarding the academic program, Dr. Jones discussed the importance of tailoring the academic experience and ensuring there is an emphasis on academic rigor and college readiness.
“Another element we are working on is a strong security plan,” shared Dr. Jones. “I know we often think we don’t want to live in a world where security needs to be such a focus, but this is the world in which God has placed us. When finished, the security plan will not be widely communicated so we aren’t handing over our security playbook.”
Dr. Jones spoke about the importance of early college opportunities and dual-credit classes with academic support so students can master this learning. Research shows that completion of one college class before high school graduation dramatically increases chances that they will graduate from college in four years. He spoke of an emphasis on training digital citizenship and teaching students how to live and thrive in this blended environment of technology and traditional methods. Other topics included extracurriculars, professional staff and compassion.
“As school leadership we are considering our ministry context of Southern California and what a Christian school looks like here,” continued Dr. Jones. “Especially in upper high school, there is a competitive landscape and we are thinking through our place in the market. We must ask ourselves, ‘what are the critical experiences students at SCCS should have before they graduate, and what are the changing learning styles and methods?’”
Dr. Jones wrapped up the evening sharing about the process to complete the draft of the strategic plan. The following are upcoming key dates of the plan to be aware of with the goal of having a working draft of the entire Vision 2020 plan in December. This process allows delivery of the final plan in January 2020.
- September 2019: Spiritual Formation and Academic plan
- October 2019: Facilities, Security and Advancement plan
- November 2019: Arts, Athletics and Extracurricular plan
“Academics matter but there are other things that matter just as much,” continued Dr. Jones. “This plan and our focus must be about eternity and about clearly showing Jesus.”
As Dr. Jones prayed to close out the evening, he thanked the Lord for the vision and for children to care for. He shared, “Help us to never forget this is all about families, children and You. Please give us wisdom far beyond anything we would have done on our own.”