Highlights from the TAS Strategic Plan Year 1

By Dr. Grace Cheng Dodge, Head of School

Excellence is defined by how well we are achieving our mission, and our strategic plan is meant to support our fulfilling of the mission. Every school’s mission statement is aspirational, and the strategic planning process allows us to prioritize focal points for excellence and resource management, and to focus our work in five-year increments.

So where are we one year into the strategic plan?

 

A Focus on Learning:

We continue to always place emphasis on whole-child development, focusing on a growth mindset and balancing academics with skills that prepare each student for life beyond TAS as a good, purposeful, and global citizen. This year has given us another opportunity to ensure students are capable of learning outside of the traditional classroom, with tools that continue to challenge their informational literacy, technology, and critical thinking skills. We have also seen more cross-divisional curricular alignment, professional development opportunities for faculty, and pilot programs involving faculty teaching and learning each other. We want to continue to find more ways for students to be involved in project-based learning and service learning, problem-solving across an interdisciplinary curriculum and for the real-world. This is the key to fostering a sense of a love of learning for life.  

 

Supporting Student Life:

We recognize that students need to be healthy and well before they can thrive academically. We continue to create an environment in which academic, social, and emotional growth can thrive, and have invited many virtual consultants to help TAS implement programs this year to support this growth. RULER, Responsive Classroom, MS homerooms, and US advisories have been enhanced to support increased social-emotional learning in order to build resilience. We continue to provide parent education to ensure family understanding of TAS values and the importance of the school-family partnership. We also want to help students live with resilience and confidence and are committed to a life understanding issues of justice, equity, diversity, inclusion, and service to others.

 

Investing in the Highest-Quality Personnel:

We have been in a favorable position to recruit and retain diverse, exemplary faculty who share our commitment to the TAS mission. We hold the highest standards of employment and background checking when it concerns school safety and child protection. With a low faculty turnover rate this year, we recognize that new recruiting tools and platforms will need to be used in the future to ensure we have access to a highly qualified and diverse candidate pool year in and year out. We continue to strengthen trust with employees with effective and timely communication and foster a culture that supports professional goals that align with the school’s mission. We recognize that professional development is now available on-demand worldwide, and TAS faculty continue to share and teach other faculty around the world in this manner.

  

Providing a Strong Foundation:

The Board of Directors continues to provide responsible financial oversight and stewardship, along with supportive governance that meets the needs of the school. The School’s facilities continue to provide safe, healthy, and sustainable high-quality learning environments for our students. The campus security project is ongoing with the enhancement of the fire and internal door safety systems.

 

Strengthening the TAS Community:

TAS continues to meaningfully engage members of the community, including increased outreach to alumni, past parents, and seniors who will join the extended TAS community. We have evaluated our communication channels and instituted best practices to promote engagement with parents, both in-person and online. We appreciate the community’s participation in focus groups, surveys, and feedback exercises and hope that the new Parent Zone website and weekly Parent Post emails will streamline, focus, and make parent-school communications more efficient and effective.