1. Mission The Strategic Plan“The Principia shall seek to serve the Cause of —Rising Higher, Reaching FurtherChristian Science through appropriate channelsopen to it as an educational institution.” During Principia’s first decade, Mary Kimball Morgan wrote: “The problem(Education at The Principia, Policy 1) of education is ever before our thought, demanding successful solution. It is a demand we shall continue to have with us as human thought andVision for 2020 experience unfold. To be progressive, education must constantly adjust itself to meet these changing conditions.”In 2020, Principia is widely recognized for educational In 2010, “changing conditions” are continuing to demand successfulexcellence, service to the Cause of Christian solutions. Worldwide growth in the Christian Science movement,Science, and leadership in spiritually based character established and emerging technologies, an increased desire for Principiaeducation. At our U.S.-based campuses, worldwide to meet the educational needs of an ever-more-diverse pool of potentialsatellite locations, and online, we engage and educate students, and progressive ideas in education offer opportunities for5,000 Christian Scientists each year in handwrought, Principia to grow. To address these opportunities, Principia has launched aexperience-based programs that span from pre- 10-year strategic plan.kindergarten through bachelor’s, master’s, and lifelong Every facet of this plan springs from and aligns with Principia’s mission.learning programs. Principia is a nimble organization: While, at the same time, the strategic plan pursues new channels and freshtechnology-enhanced, sustainable, with an up-to-date ways to enhance learning, deepen understanding, and expand communityglobal presence. by developing a global institution where education, connections, and inspiration are shared on-campus, online, and throughout the world. Your participation—your prayer, your perspective, and your support—is essential to Principia’s progress in the plan’s three areas of focus: Academic Excellence, Spiritually Based Character Education, and Expansive Global Learning.
2. Academic Excellence Principia’s strategic plan has consistent academic excellence as its first focus—but not because scholarly attainments are an end in themselves. Increased academic excellence at Principia is for the purpose of leading thought higher—leading ultimately to Principle. Academics enlightened in this way serve Principia’s purpose. Handwrought educational experiences are, and will remain, a hallmark for Principia as we reach for higher academic achievement. The plan builds on this strength with measures such as differentiated instruction, experiential learning, and Understanding by Design (UbD); and the plan is based on the premise that a Principia education can challenge all students to reach their full potential, despite varying stages of academic readiness. In order to advance consistent, enlightened academic excellence, Principia will focus on improving and expanding in the following areas: • Curriculum • Recruiting, developing, and retaining outstanding educators • Supporting diverse learning needs • Technology integration • New and reconfigured learning spacesTIMELINE: School College A sampling of notable milestones 2010–2011 Middle School Study of satellite Online course Teachers trained Full-time director for Implement educational New Director of Freshman Year Experience Reading instructor Additional overnight Additional abroad History of Christian building locations and master’s development under in differentiated Teaching Excellence trips for Middle School, Teaching and (FYE) Program in the added to Student educational field trips experiences (Brazil, Science Movement improvements degree offerings way—first course instruction Center Project Adventure in LS/MS Learning position Upper School Learning Center (experiential learning) Iceland, Guatemala, course added under way ready for students filled Vietnam)ALL-PRINCIPIA INCREASE IN PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS IN Increase in prospective students, applicants, and enrollment Increasing engagement and donor support from the field INCREASE PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS
3. Academic Excellence—School Improvements Academic Excellence—College Improvements1. Curriculum: 4. Technology integration: 1. Curriculum: New general education 4. Recruiting, developing, and retain- Understanding by Design Computers for all students, requirements, learning themes, and ing outstanding educators: Academic Beginning with “big ideas” and “essential grades 1–12 outcomes credentials and faculty scholarship questions,” teachers will identify what Every Principia 6th–12th grade student has a Implementing improved general education We expect that 75% of faculty will have students should understand, know, and be tablet computer to use throughout the school requirements and the recently established their terminal degree by 2012. In addition, able to do as a result of their academic work. year. Lower School students have computers learning themes is vital to ensuring that increased support for faculty attendance Working “backwards” from there, every in their classrooms—one for every two Principia graduates are equipped for effective at conferences, presentations, scholarly element of the School’s curriculum is being students. Training and support programs for service in today’s world. Moving to an research, and publishing will build faculty examined and revised to ensure that it serves teachers and students will help ensure that outcome-focused curriculum and advancing scholarship. these learning goals as part of a connected the computers are used to further our efforts our assessment practices will help ensure sequence of interdisciplinary learning to differentiate instruction, and for training success in this effort. 5. Curriculum: Increase experiential experiences. in the wise use of technology. coursework 2. Recruiting, developing, and retain-2. Supporting diverse learning needs: 5. Curriculum: Increase cross-curricular ing outstanding educators: Teaching Strengthening the academic experience Differentiated Instruction collaboration through hands-on, immersive experiences Excellence Center has proven successful with the woolly Students start at different points and take In place of disconnected lessons on disparate Expanding the recently established Teaching mammoth project, Sugarbush Management, different paths towards demonstrated subjects, our goal is to integrate instruction Excellence Center (TEC) means that all Education Department blocks, and the solar understanding. Recognizing this, teachers and the learning experience across academic faculty will receive support in course design car. The College will add programs such as must differentiate their instruction so that disciplines—engaging subject matter from and training in instructional strategies. in-country intensive language training and all students are engaged, challenged, and multiple perspectives and fostering a deeper, This will also support the growth of faculty field research projects in the sciences. advancing efficiently towards mastery. broader understanding. Initial examples learning communities—faculty groups Supporting ongoing training for teachers include multi-discipline teaching teams in learning collaboratively to advance their 6. New and reconfigured learning spaces: is a priority—this allows for strengthening, the Middle School and an Upper School knowledge and teaching skills. Master planning developing, and assessing our teachers’ Freshman Year Experience. abilities and skills in differentiated 3. Supporting diverse learning needs: The College is in the process of developing a instruction. 6. Curriculum: Hands-on master plan that will define the configuration Student Learning Center of the campus and its buildings. Due to experiences for all grades3. New and reconfigured learning spaces: Evolving the College’s Writing Center into imminent maintenance needs, replacement Revise the Middle School program Understanding increases as students learn a Student Learning Center will support or renovation of the library will likely be the and facility experientially, as they make real-world students as they develop their reading, math, first focus in the master plan, followed by observations and apply what they’re learning public speaking, and research skills. This updating or replacing the School of Nations The first phase of the Middle School in hands-on exercises. Lesson plans will will help the College continue to meet the and Government buildings. The long-term renovation—to be completed in 2010— be reviewed and revised with the goal of academic needs of a wide variety of incoming plan will identify a sequence for all buildings establishes new space for the Lower going beyond the classroom walls in ways students while increasing overall scholarship needing attention in the next ten years. and Middle School library and lays the that engage students at the practical level and academic achievement. groundwork for improvements to support and require their active participation in the instructional, social, and administrative learning process. Multiday educational trips activities and establish a more cohesive, planned for several grades and a high ropes energizing identity for the Middle School. course for P.E. are two initial examples.
4. Academic Excellence—Expansions SCHOOL COLLEGE 1. Curriculum: Director of Teaching 1. Curriculum: Graduate programs and Learning In order to offer master’s degrees, the College The Director of Teaching and Learning will will explore partnerships with accredited support and mentor faculty members as institutions while taking the early steps in they progress in curricular initiatives such as developing a Principia-based sustainability, Understanding by Design and differentiated education, or religion master’s program. instruction. 2. Technology Integration: 2. Curriculum: Increased away-from- Distance learning campus learning As a starting point, the College will offer Develop additional multiday educational already-developed online courses taught trips for grades 5–12, including plans for a by current or former Principia faculty. 5th-grade trip to Williamsburg and an Upper Later phases for online courses will support School trip to New England to visit Mrs. Principia students studying at satellite Eddy’s homes. locations, and finally the College will evaluate the possibility of offering online degrees (these would include one or more segments of on-campus study). 3. Curriculum: Signature courses and programs The College plan includes offering a History of the Christian Science Movement course, developing a Sustainability Center, establishing a Leadership Institute to offer students training and experience in leadership situations, and partnering with the Euphrates Institute—an opportunity for students to grow in their understanding of international politics, social entrepreneurship, and Mideast issues.TIMELINE: School College A sampling of notable milestones 2011–2012 2012–2013 Training for All teachers involved Expanded Qualified Upper School Community service Expanded Moral courage Hands-on learning Required character Course designs Cohort master’s Training for all Character Additional 75% of all faculty in in interdisciplinary Education at students enroll in activities designed for character seminar for experiences education orientation integrate learning degree program teachers in best education online professors experiential discussions, teamwork The Principia Principia College courses each grade level education community incorporated for students, teachers, themes, revised under way practices for camp for course(s) have terminal pedagogy workshops (differentiation) workshops at all levels parents assessment assessment freshmen available degrees methodsALL-PRINCIPIA INCREASE IN PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS IN Increase in prospective students, applicants, enrollment Increasing engagement and donor support from the field INCREASE PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS
5. Spiritually Based Character Education Principia will continue to approach character education—or, as Mrs. Morgan noted, “the spiritualization of thought”—as a process of unfoldment of the true, divine nature within. Building on Principia’s strengths, the strategic plan outlines that we’ll improve and expand our character education efforts through these means: • Spiritual emphasis • Consistent expectations • Training • Character engagement • Sharing results Full page photo of Spiritually-BasedCharacter Education
6. Spiritually Based Character Education Spiritually Based Character Education —Improvements —Expansion SCHOOL COLLEGE SCHOOL COLLEGE 1. Consistent Expectations: 1. Training: Character education training 1. Character Engagement: Community 1. Character Engagement: Character education framework for all faculty and staff service projects Character education camps School faculty and community members Structured workshops, seminars, informal Community service projects will be designed The College intends to design and offer a (students, parents, staff) will establish a talks, and individual training are all part of and carried out for each grade level of the one-week character education camp intended character education framework using the the College’s strategy to provide character School. to help incoming students understand Understanding by Design model. Through education training for faculty and staff. Principia’s purpose and expectations, this process, the School will develop 2. Character Engagement: Programs for particularly those related to the unfoldment progressive character expectations—what 2. Spiritual Emphasis: struggling students of character and Christian Science. students should understand and standards Sharing Christian Science The School will design and implement 2. Consistent Expectations and for behavior—at each grade level. Training The College will provide more structured and programs to provide specific training and Training: Online character educators for community members and character unstructured opportunities for students to support to students who are struggling to education curricula will all be organized share their experience with and application of meet Principia’s community standards. The College will establish expectations, according to this framework. Christian Science, including ways that their methods, and training for Principia 2. Training: Orientation Christian Science practice has supported the educators, enabling them to engage online unfoldment of character. students in the knowledge of character (moral The School will develop and require reasoning, theory of leadership, historical/ orientation and training for all community 3. Character Engagement: Expanded curricular ties to topics of character) and members—faculty, staff, students, and moral reasoning, Education at The character expectations (demands placed on parents—to help them further develop their Principia, and policy workshops online students). skills in fostering, from a spiritual standpoint, the unfoldment of character. Orientation The College’s Moral Reasoning program 3. Character Engagement: Leadership for students will be expanded, and new (presently for freshmen) will be expanded Institute orientation programs will be developed for to a four-year program, and workshops on parents so that all community members can Principia’s 23 policies and Education at The The Leadership Institute will mentor work together more effectively. Principia will be required for all students. and guide students as they develop their understanding of leadership and will offer opportunities for them to put that understanding into practice.TIMELINE: School College A sampling of notable milestones 2013–2014 2014–JUNE 2015 Curriculum revised Comprehensive Improved support for Marked increase Marked increase in the Elsah students register Middle School program First satellite New report card Learning Excellence Center Marked increase in papers based on UbD/ moral reasoning students struggling in experiential number of international for courses taught revisions and building location structure reflects updated supports writing, reading, published and presented by interdisciplinary work program for all to meet community coursework faculty on campus remotely (int’l faculty) improvements complete operational assessment approach math, speech, research faculty and students students standardsALL-PRINCIPIA INCREASE IN PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS IN Increase in prospective students, applicants, enrollment Increasing engagement and donor support from the field INCREASE PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS
7. Expansive Global Learning Expansive Global Learning—Expansions Principia’s strategic plan enlarges its boundaries and embraces a worldwide community. By 1. Connecting through Technology: International faculty expanding global learning through more diverse abroad programs and online education, Principia will serve a larger segment of the Christian Science community and enrich the educational Some courses for on-campus students will be taught online by faculty who are unable to relocate experience of all students. to Elsah. This will not only add to the list of highly qualified scholars teaching at Principia, but also provide an additional avenue for students to hear world perspectives on a daily basis. In order to serve a greater segment of the Christian Science movement, Principia will focus on improving and expanding the following areas: 2. Connecting through Technology: Online courses • Embracing diversity Principia will offer, initially, discrete for-credit courses to remote students who, although otherwise qualified, are not enrolled at Principia. This will later expand to online coursework that • Expanded abroads will comprise a part of a Principia degree and be offered to students who eventually spend some of • Connecting through technology their time on campus and to students at Principia satellite locations. • Satellite locations 3. Satellite Locations: Africa, South America . . .Expansive Global Learning—IMPROVEMENTS Principia will establish one or more satellite locations, based on student demand and overall feasibility. Each location will offer classes taught by a core of local, Principia-trained educators, as1. Embracing Diversity: Support international students on campus well as Principia’s online courses. The School and College student bodies include many international students. On both campuses, international students contribute significantly to the learning experience of their fellow students—in structured and unstructured ways. Principia will build on these successes by increasing the number of opportunities offered for international students to share their perspectives and culture, and by more actively helping international students thrive at Principia.2. Expanded Abroads: Increased offerings The College’s very successful abroad program will continue, with the addition of in-country, immersive language experiences, field research internships in the sciences, and summer abroads.
8. Development of the Plan Frequently Asked QuestionsPrincipia’s Board of Trustees launched our strategic planning process in 2008 How does the plan align with the mission of Principia?and commissioned a Strategic Planning Steering Committee to oversee it. The Principia’s founder, Mary Kimball Morgan, wisely counseled in a 1910 edition of Thesteering committee included members of the Board and executive team and was Principia Alumnus, “It must be possible to establish some basis of operation that will offercharged with the following responsibilities: an unchanging foundation upon which may be erected a perfect educational structure . . .” (Education at The Principia, p. 5). Mrs. Morgan and her colleagues established this unchanging foundation for Principia through the purpose and 23 policies, which • Overseeing the creation of the strategic plan undergird all of our strategic initiatives. We also have regularly referred to the “Intended • Ensuring that all constituencies were actively engaged in creating the plan Outcome of a Principia Education,” which was written to assist Principia’s strategic planning efforts in 2001. During the past year, these documents helped the School • Ensuring that the plan held true to Principia’s purpose and policies faculty and staff develop specific learning lrinciples and the College faculty and staff design learning themes and outcomes to help guide our curriculum development on each campus.The development of our strategic plan began with a focus on Principia’s mis-sion, values, and vision, along with an assessment of strengths, weaknesses, Is the strategic plan flexible?opportunities, and threats (SWOT). With these in hand, work turned to the The success of the strategic plan will be highly influenced by our ability to adjust anddevelopment of strategies, objectives, and assessments designed to advance Prin- correct as needed. For this reason, each of the objectives detailed within the plan includescipia toward our vision while addressing critical weaknesses and threats. Faculty, accompanying assessments. We will measure results at regular intervals and makestudents, staff, parents, alumni, friends, and community members have shaped adjustments as our progress unfolds. New and ongoing initiatives will be consistentlyand reshaped each segment of the plan through open forums, presentations, evaluated in terms of their place in the evolving strategic plan.surveys, and focus groups. Does the strategic plan include all of Principia? As one institution, the strategic plan addresses the needs of all of Principia, including academics, athletics, character education, facilities, financial resources, marketing, advancement, technology, and organizational processes.
9. Summer/Fall 2010 UpdatesCollege Your interest in and support of Principia’s strategic plan will help us move • The Teaching Excellence Center assisted 80% of faculty in 2009–10, a full-time TEC Director has been hired. forward. Here are some of the ways you can demonstrate your support: • The Student Learning Center expands this fall with the addition of a reading instructor. • Ten faculty members are completing their terminal degrees; 75% of faculty will have • Prayerfully supporting Principia’s planning efforts their terminal degree by 2012. • Understanding and helping others understand our plan • Discussions with potential master’s degree partners are under way. • A faculty member has been hired to teach the History of the Christian Science • Helping ensure that our plan stays true to the Principia idea Movement this fall. • Donate and continue to support Principia financially • Workshops for exploring character education, Principia’s policies, and Mrs. Morgan’s writings have been added. • Sharing your thoughts and ideas to help revise and refine the plan as it evolves in the coming years: email@example.com • An interim director of online education has been hired. • The Leadership Institute was launched in the spring of 2010 and will offer students opportunities to develop their leadership skills. • On-site interviews and discussions with potential educational partners took place as part of this spring’s investigation into the establishment of a satellite campus in Africa. • Experiences in Brazil, Iceland, Guatemala, and Vietnam have been added to our already-strong array of abroad programs. • This spring, a partnership with the Euphrates Institute was established for students wishing to expand their perspective on international issues.School • Revisions to the academic and character education curricula are under way. • The Director of Teaching and Learning position has been filled (beginning in January). • The Middle School building revision project is under way. • An interdisciplinary Freshman Year Experience program will be in place this fall. • Incorporating the “Project Adventure” program into the School’s PE classes is under way, including a new ropes course under construction now. • Several new long-distance educational trips have been planned for 2010–11, including a trip to Mrs. Eddy’s homes in New England for Upper School juniors. • The first phase of redesigning the character education curriculum was completed this past year. • Improved support for students struggling to meet Principia’s community standards was implemented during the 2009–10 school year.