MID-YEAR UPDATE FROM HEAD OF SCHOOL TOM MAIN
Dear Ridgefield Academy and Landmark Preschool Community:

I hope this letter finds you well. As we transition from January to February, it is an appropriate time for me to send out a mid-year update. Our school is working on so many different and interesting initiatives, and I want to keep you informed of our progress. I believe a great school will always focus on working to improve and develop, and that is precisely what we are doing. So, if you’ll excuse the formal nature of this communication, I will address each major category separately.

The Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning (the Center): The Center, established 4 years ago, is really hitting stride this year. There is an enhanced focus on professional growth and development for teaching faculty, the Center’s staff is expanding to work regularly with each campus, and the School’s curriculum is thoughtfully growing and developing in all areas, from our approach to literacy with our youngest students to the range of course offerings that our oldest students enjoy. Basil Kolani, Director of the Center, is at the hub of this dynamic approach to broadening and deepening the academic student experience here, and we are committed to continuing to move ahead.

Mission Review and Strategic Planning: Trustee Lynne Geaney is chairing the Strategic Planning Committee. This committee, consisting of Trustees and Administrators, is currently reviewing and updating the Mission Statement. You’ll remember receiving a survey asking for your thoughts. Thank you so much for participating. We had a great response rate and the feedback has informed the process substantively. We are closing in on a final draft of the RA/Landmark Mission Statement and will share that with the community in the coming months. The Committee has now begun the process of strategic planning in earnest, and over the coming months we will be contemplating and prioritizing key educational initiatives, community programs, and points of focus for institutional advancement. I’ll keep you informed as these efforts progress. Great schools are rooted in clear mission statements and guided by thoughtful and ambitious strategic thinking. We are committed to these processes.

Marketing and Communication (MarCom): Trustee Erin Schiller, Chair of the MarCom Committee, is working with Kara Morgan, Director of MarCom, and the rest of the MarCom Committee on a thorough and comprehensive marketing effort. We brought a professional marketing firm on board (Overabove.com), and we are beginning the process of conducting comprehensive market research and developing a consistent and effective messaging plan. There are so many wonderful educational programs here at RA and Landmark, it’s time we start shouting from the rooftops, with pride, what a wonderful community we are a part of, and how genuinely effective and meaningful our educational programs are. You may well be contacted for input during this next period of research, and I will keep you updated as this process progresses.

Four Campus Coordination (4CC): Dave Suter, Associate Head of School, is leading the 4CC Committee. The team, with members from each campus, is looking carefully at ways to coordinate and thus benefit from the wisdom and resources that we share. This includes everything from calendar to curriculum, maintenance to Mathematics, professional growth and development to parent’s associations. The more we all understand ourselves as one school and work together, the stronger the educational experience will be for all of our students.

Evaluation Systems: One of the best ways to keep a school moving forward is to make sure that the evaluation systems for educators are designed to support, develop, and promote the professional growth of our community of educators. Carol Forth, our Director of Human Resources, is overseeing a process that will update these systems, ensuring that we are doing all we can to support the intentional development of our teachers.

Thank you for reading all the way to the end! There is so much more I could write, but I wanted to try and limit myself to five major points. Please do not hesitate to be in touch if you have questions or are interested in getting involved. One of the things that has struck me in my short time here is just what a positive, involved, and caring parent community we have. You make us a better school. Thank you.

Sincerely,
 

Tom Main
Head of School

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