GA is a PreK-12, coed, nonsectarian day school in Fort Washington, PA

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Strategic Vision

Germantown Academy will distinguish itself as a leader in student engagement.

  • We will connect purpose and passion in learning within an educational model that blends innovative and traditional practices for our students.
  • We will commit to expanding learning experiences and opportunities to inspire students to explore, to discover, to design, and to apply their knowledge in meaningful ways.
  • We will prepare students for future success in college and life through the development of essential personal and intellectual skills.
  • We will recognize and honor the diverse contributions of each individual in our community as the foundation of collaborative learning.
  • We will pursue this strategy with cohesive, visionary leadership in a flexible operating model that allows us to collaborate closely with students, trustees, faculty, parents, alumni, and community partners.

Established 2015

Strategic Vision Update 2016

Why Engagement?

While Germantown Academy teachers have engaged our students for over 255 years, our motivations and methods for seeking engagement have evolved dramatically since our founding. Teachers and students now have equal, instant access to facts and content. While faculty are no longer in sole possession of the keys necessary to unlock the world of knowledge, gifted ones are still indispensable in drawing our children toward that world. The faculty demonstrate a genuine love of learning with and from their charges. This is 21st century engagement.

In a century that clearly prizes innovation, an entrepreneurial spirit, creativity, and invention, engaging students is undoubtedly urgent work not just as a means to a future, successful end; in fact, it creates instant advantages in the lives of our students. The data at GA and across an impressive range of American schools reveals that genuinely engaged students are also healthier, happier human beings.

GA is not on the engagement bandwagon; our teachers are leading the way. We are engagement trailblazers. By encouraging our students to pursue their passions and to express their voices in what they want - or better yet need - to learn, we seek to create a generation of learners who will strive to do what they love because they love what they do.

Together, our students and faculty actively defined the critical components of engagement which appear to the right. Inspiring this thriving community of engaged learners is how we will best fulfill our lofty mission. We will prepare our students to engage in the world around them, and, best of all, to lead happy, healthy lives where they are the authors of their own, genuine, self-determined success.

READ the full Strategic Vision in booklet form.

Engaged Students

  • Work Hard and Embrace Challenge
  • Demonstrate Resilience and Perserverance
  • Listen Well and Communicate Thoughtfully
  • Develop Critical Thinking Skills
  • Seek and Share Their Passions
  • Create and Innovate
  • Learn Actively and Collaboratively
  • Express Curiosity and Ask Questions
  • Take Academic Risks
  • Connect to the World Beyond GA

Engaged and Engaging Teachers

  • Inspire Interest in and Passion for their Subjects
  • Offer Varied Multi-Sensory Learning Experiences and Assessments
  • Teach Critical Thinking Skills
  • Stimulate Intellect, Curiosity, and Academic Risk Taking
  • Challenge and Support Appropriately
  • Strive for Growth and Improvement
  • Draw Connections to the World
  • Cultivate Problem Solving and Resilience
  • Promote a Creative, Innovative Spirit
  • Know Students as Learners and as Individuals

Goals of the Strategic Vision

Exceptional Learning Through Engagement

Germantown Academy will offer learning experiences that are personalized, innovative, relevant, and meaningful. GA will also ensure that current and new academic programs align with our mission and 21st century skills. Because learning happens in and out of the classroom, we will focus on building student leadership, collaboration, and opportunities for creative learning, service, and social impact in our co- and extra-curricular programs.

Students

  • We will continue to develop the essential skills for every student that will guide learning, teaching, curriculum, and assessment for the future.
  • We will build on previous programs to promote student engagement, collaboration, critical thinking, problem solving, and innovation inside and outside of the classroom.
  • We will make student engagement the first priority in all extra- and co-curricular activities—athletics, arts, and clubs—developing competitive and recreational programs in alignment with students’ abilities and interests.

Faculty & Staff

  • We will embed professional development in the culture of the school by creating the conditions and setting clear expectations for collaboration, learning, research, and development for all faculty and staff.
  • We will foster a culture of professionalism by continually developing standards for the best teaching, mentoring, and instructional practices in partnership with our faculty.

Parents & Alumni

  • We will engage parents and alumni in the learning and growth at school and communicate in meaningful ways to keep them connected to the community.
  • We will partner with parents around the developmental needs of their children—how they learn best and what they need to be healthy and successful.
  • We will strive to understand the needs and backgrounds of our community, foster mutual understanding and respect, and create a community which reflects the world around us in order to truly engage each individual.

Community

  • We will strive to understand the needs and backgrounds of our community, foster mutual understanding and respect, and create a community which reflects the world around us in order to truly engage each individual.

Commitment to Early Childhood Education as the Foundation for Lifelong Learning

Germantown Academy will emphasize and strengthen our commitment to early childhood education (ages four through eight), recognizing that these years are the building blocks for the development of engaged, curious learners and healthy, purposeful lives.

Engaging learning experiences and environments

  • We will build upon an engaging curriculum that encourages students to be curious and take initiative in their education.
  • We will create indoor and outdoor learning environments that reflect best practices around young children’s need to engage in multisensory and nature-based experiences.
  • We will create intentional and authentic learning experiences that harness the growth that comes from a healthy challenge.

Developmentally Appropriate

  • We will offer an education that emphasizes the development of the whole child, providing for each child’s social, emotional, physical, and intellectual needs.
  • We will base our learning experiences on the understanding of general patterns of growth in the early years as well as children’s individual development.

Academic Foundation

  • We will create a rigorous academic foundation that meets each student’s individual trajectory and reflects the GA mission and prepares students for life.

Visionary Leadership Across GA

Germantown Academy will enhance its culture of engaged leadership between and across the divisions to position the school for long-term success.

Leadership Development

  • We will be intentional about developing leaders and aligning these efforts with ongoing strategies and the school’s human resource needs.

Governance

  • Our Trustees will embrace the critical role of oversight for the school and its strategic vision and priorities. The Board will ensure stewardship and philanthropic support of GA.
  • Our Trustees will continue to partner with the Head of School and leadership to ensure continuity of vision, values, and strategic focus.
  • Our Trustees will commit actively to examine policies and practices in order to ensure the highest level of governance.

Organizational Dynamics

  • We will examine organizational design to foster a culture of active, collaborative leadership throughout and across all aspects of school life as part of continuous succession planning.

Master Planning Aligned with Our Strategic Plan

Germantown Academy will continually adapt the Campus Master Plan and align priorities and phases with the objectives and goals of our student engagement-centered vision for the future.

Campus Plan Leadership

  • The Board of Trustees will work with school leadership to adapt the Campus Plan and recommend prioritization of timing and resources to support engagement.

Key Needs

  • We will analyze existing needs in campus planning and follow the Strategic Vision for the school when making key decisions around academic and extra- and co-curricular space.

Financial Sustainability

  • We will examine the Campus Planning process in conjunction with the financial and environmental sustainability goals for the school.
  • We will coordinate the necessary resources with the Campus Master Plan, determining where to invest strategically and why.

Institutional Sustainability Through New Approaches to Growth

Germantown Academy will build and develop a flexible and innovative model for the future in order to best support the needs of our students.

Innovation and Collaboration

  • We will create new opportunities, partnerships, and capabilities that strengthen learning experiences and expand our impact in the region without burdening the cost structure.

Non-tuition Sources of Revenue

  • We will pursue additional sources of revenue to become less tuition dependent, to support the great programmatic work already happening at the school, and to open our vast resources to the larger community.

GA Community Engagement

  • We will strengthen our culture of philanthropy and stewardship by engaging our community in the promise of GA’s present and its future as a leading learning institution.