Strategic Plan

Brickton Montessori School Strategic Plan
2016-2021

Dear Brickton families and friends,

Brickton Montessori School is at an exciting juncture. While Montessori education has been in existence for more than 100 years, it is currently gaining mainstream recognition for its ability to develop in students the skills and mindsets needed for success in the 21st century. Brickton has also stabilized itself after the recession and is slowly starting to experience growth. This strategic plan is a critical next step in our continuous pursuit of excellence through improvement, innovation, and adaptation, while holding on to what has made Brickton the vibrant learning community it is today.

Brickton is dedicated to building a community of learners working together to provide a Montessori educational experience that engages and inspires students to become life-long learners and responsible participants in our diverse global community.

This mission and these beliefs guide us in everything that we do as they did in the process of developing this strategic plan. The strategic planning process we embarked on involved representation from our many constituents – our Board of Directors, faculty, staff, and parents. We looked internally and externally; evaluating our strengths and weaknesses, external trends, and our own performance trajectory. Additionally, we were guided in part by the findings of our recently completed re-accreditation process with both the American Montessori Society (AMS) and the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS). The result is this strategic plan, which sets the framework to guide the school in fulfilling its mission. With this strategic plan, Brickton strives to be the independent school of choice in our surrounding community by delivering the finest quality Montessori education through continued inspirational teaching, a focused curriculum and sustained operational excellence.

Our strategic plan revolves around five key areas that will help us reach this vision:

  1. Outstanding education
  2. Effective learning environments
  3. Nurturing community
  4. Building awareness of Brickton
  5. Financial discipline

Above all, this strategic plan makes intentional and visible our aim to strive for the highest quality in everything that we do. It is also both aspirational and practical, ensuring Brickton’s success for years to come. With these priorities and goals established, it is the work of the school’s leadership and staff to implement this plan, with oversight and support from the Board of Directors. We would like to thank the Board of Directors, faculty, staff, and parents who gave their time and talents to this effort, and we encourage anyone who is interested in learning more about this plan or volunteering to support Brickton to contact either of us. We look forward to working collaboratively with you as we build an exciting future for all of our children.

Sincerely,

David-Anthony-signature

David Anthony                                                                                    

President, Board of Directors

Cheryl-Signature

Cheryl LaCost

Head of School

Outstanding Education

GOAL 1: Provide a Montessori educational experience that inspires and engages students to become lifelong learners while providing a comprehensive academic curriculum that meets each child’s educational needs

We believe the core tenets of the Montessori pedagogy provide an excellent framework for academics as well as supporting the physical, social and emotional growth for each student to reach her or his maximum potential. As a scientist, Dr. Montessori believed in observation to determine student needs, and innovation and refinement to meet those needs. We live that belief every day at Brickton as we continue to scan the broader educational landscape to incorporate best practices that forward the mission of the school.

Objective 1.1: Continue to provide academic, social, and emotional education to prepare the whole child for life and the world

Objective 1.2: Ensure students are prepared to transition to the next level of education (internal and external)

Objective 1.3: Recruit, train, and retain a mission-driven and talented faculty and staff

Objective 1.4: Maintain accreditation through AMS and ISACS

Effective Learning Environments

GOAL 2: Ensure Brickton’s learning spaces provide a supportive Montessori educational environment and space for the community to come together

In order for Brickton to deliver a comprehensive Montessori education that inspires our students to become lifelong learners, our facility must offer an inviting and supportive learning environment. We have and will continue to work diligently to maximize the potential of our facility. In doing so, we must also ensure that our students have access to a blend of top quality traditional Montessori materials combined with the information technology that is critical to success in the 21st century. We recognize that our facility has several shortcomings, most notably that its size limits our potential for future growth. Therefore, Brickton will explore opportunities to relocate to a new facility over the time period of this strategic plan. While detailed analysis is needed, some of the important characteristics of a potential new space include remaining central to where current families reside, a larger common space for community gatherings, and improved outdoor play areas.

Objective 2.1: Ensure the proper educational material and technology is available to all programs and classrooms

Objective 2.2: Beautify and maintain the current facility

Objective 2.3: Conduct a facility search within the current geographic area and ensure that Brickton is ready and able to execute a move when an appropriate opportunity is identified

Nurturing Community

GOAL 3: Build and strengthen the connections between all school stakeholders to support a vibrant school community

As Brickton families come from numerous locations throughout the city and suburbs, creating a sense of community must be a deliberate consideration.   A strong sense of community and connection will not only support the social-emotional needs of the students, but has the potential to influence other strategic goals such as the retention of students and gifting. It will also create a vibrant climate with opportunities for students from diverse backgrounds to form relationships and work in an inclusive environment.

Objective 3.1: Strengthen the structures for parent organization and involvement

Objective 3.2: Increase opportunities for families to connect as a school community

Objective 3.3: Maintain a diverse student body that is inclusive to all

Building Awareness of Brickton

GOAL 4: Develop a strategic approach to marketing that leads to stable, full enrollment with a waitlist every year.

A growing and diverse enrollment is critical to Brickton’s ability to provide an outstanding Montessori education and social experience. Brickton will be known as the school of choice in our extended neighborhood. The strategic marketing plan will include both an external and internal approach.

Objective 4.1: Develop and implement a strategic marketing plan and brand identity that attracts new families to Brickton

Objective 4.2: Increase potential new family visits year over year throughout the implementation of the marketing plan

Objective 4.3: Increase rate of conversion to enrollment of prospective families

Objective 4.4: Increase retention rate of current students through development and implementation of a communication plan to build commitment, community, and awareness of the high-quality education provided at every level.

Financial Discipline

GOAL 5: Ensure Brickton’s long-term financial security

Brickton’s long-term financial security is critical to the continued success of the school. Brickton’s financial discipline allows us to invest in our own success while maintaining tuition at an affordable level that is inline with similar accredited independent Montessori schools. Our investments have been and will continue to be in areas such as: new program materials, information technology for our classrooms, professional development for our faculty, and facility improvements.

Objective 5.1: Maintain tuition at an affordable level through efficient operations

Objective 5.2: Build funds available for long-term initiatives and strategic investments

Objective 5.3: Provide an integrated governance and policy framework to effectively oversee operations and manage risk


If you would like additional information regarding Brickton or this strategic plan, please contact us at: Brickton Montessori School, 8622 West Catalpa, Chicago, IL 60656 (www.brickton.org) Phone: 773-714-0646; email: