a Strategic Plan for
of Doane Academy,
This Strategic Plan is the product of input
provided by the entire range of constituents that
make up the Doane family. The Plan answers two
1. What kind of school do we want Doane
Academy to be in five years, and
2. What should our priorities be as we work
to achieve our goals?
We are fortunate to have had the thoughtful
assistance of Doane families, students, graduates,
faculty, friends, and independent school experts as
we have worked to answer the questions that frame
Over the past three years, Doane Academy has
had the good fortune to complete many important
projects while reaffirming our deep commitment
to leadership and character development. In 2015,
we received a $17 million gift for our endowment,
welcomed George Sanderson as Headmaster,
and opened Rowan Hall. In 2017, we wrote a
lengthy and detailed self-study to identify the
school’s strengths and challenges. Included in this
document was the acknowledgment that Doane
Academy is in a much different place now than
it was only ten years ago. Over the past three
years, we have created a distinct Middle School,
implemented a Montessori-inspired Primary
Program for 3-6 year olds, overhauled the daily
school schedule, redesigned our marketing
materials, made significant progress on deferred
maintenance projects, committed more resources to
student health and wellness, completed important
renovations to several areas, upgraded the school’s
technology infrastructure and curriculum, and
improved faculty compensation to bring it more in
line with our peer schools. With a steadily growing
enrollment and a robust endowment, Doane is in a
financially healthy condition in 2018.
All of these improvements were recognized by
the New Jersey Association of Independent
Schools and the Middle States Association when
they reaffirmed our accreditation in the spring of
2018. In its report, the visiting team commended
Doane for, among other qualities, its “strong
sense of ‘School Family’ and community” and “a
dedicated and committed community of faculty,
staff, and students, who fully support the school’s
mission and who demonstrate the heart, goodwill,
entrepreneurial spirit, dedication, and desire to
leave their mark.”
While the school’s growth in recent years merits
reflection and pride, it also inspires us to consider
what essential improvements we need to make
next in order to continue to fulfill our mission.
Born of Bishop Doane’s progressive vision to
provide an outstanding education to young
Strategic Planning Committee
Kelly Dun, Committee Chair, trustee
Christina Cecchi ‘85, President, Board of Trustees
Mike Davis ‘71, trustee
Ted deVillafranca, trustee
Chris Harris, past parent and Dean of Lower School
George Holeman, parent and Head of Upper School
Adam Paglione ‘91, parent and trustee
George Sanderson, Headmaster
Richelle Sherwood, president of the Parents Association
women at a time when society placed different
expectations upon them, Doane Academy
has always embraced institutional innovation
and growth. This acceptance of change comes
from the understanding that we must evolve in
order to support our mission and values—those
deeply-rooted principles and ideas that are our
most enduring and important traditions—in a
changing world. The strategic priorities that follow
represent our effort to support this evolution while
remaining true to our identity.
The accreditation report included many
recommendations which, along with the self-study
prepared by the school, provided direction for
the creation of this Strategic Plan. The Strategic
Planning Committee dedicated nearly a year to
inquiry and discussion, and included the input,
opinions, and perspectives of the entire Doane
community in its deliberations. Upon completion
of this process, the Strategic Planning Committee
presented the Board of Trustees with four strategic
1. Supporting Transformative Learning
2. Integrating Technology
3. Enhancing Our Campus
4. Telling Our Story
These priorities and the recommended steps for their
implementation will serve as the road map for Doane
as we continue to strengthen the vision, mission,
and core values that are a vital part of Doane’s rich
tradition and by which our graduates and alumni live.
We are proud to share our Strategic Plan, as Doane
looks to build upon its cherished history and create
an optimistic, healthy, innovative future.
Our Core Values:
• Academic Excellence. Doane Academy
encourages development of the highest standards
of knowledge, inquiry, creative expression and
• Character. Doane Academy inspires integrity
and responsibility for improving the lives of
• Diversity. A diverse community sharing
different ideas, beliefs and cultures, strengthens
• Faith. Doane Academy is a multi-faith
community inspired by the Episcopal values
of love and service, providing members the
opportunity to reflect on their relationship
Doane Academy develops confident, ethical leaders
prepared to improve the world.
• Fellowship. Doane Academy is a family. Every
member of the community is nurtured and
supported with love, compassion, and respect.
• Leadership. Doane Academy believes that good
leaders are those who inspire and work with
others in achieving extraordinary goals.
• Social Responsibility. Doane Academy
encourages members of our community to
behave ethically and with sensitivity toward social,
cultural, economic and environmental issues.
Doane Academy, an independent Episcopal day school, age 3 through 12th grade, provides an exceptional
college preparatory program while cultivating character development and nurturing the emotional
maturity essential in preparing students for life.
We develop intelligent, capable individuals within a community where all are known, loved, and strongly
encouraged to discover their unique potential.
Throughout the strategic planning process, our
constituents have consistently expressed the
importance of a demonstrably strong academic
curriculum, one in which excellence and studentcentered
outcomes are clearly defined at all levels.
It is clear that such excellence is facilitated not
only by innovation and academic rigor, but also by
learning outcomes that can only be reached in a
diverse, healthy community. In consideration of the
above, Doane Academy will:
1. Review the scope and sequence of the
curriculum of our 3-year-old through 12th
grade program and set benchmarks and goals
that clearly articulate what it means for each
child to meet his or her full potential. This
exploration of our curriculum will include:
• a review of how we incorporate diversity,
in all of its forms, into our program
• a determination of how we identify
students who will thrive at Doane
• the identification and development of life
skills, leadership, and character
• an emphasis on the academic rigor
necessary for success in college and beyond
2. Create and implement a Health and Wellness Program to provide all of our students with the tools
needed to be their best selves in the ever-changing world. This program’s curriculum (modified so
as to be appropriate for different student ages) will address core topics in the areas of mental, social,
emotional, and physical health.
3. Create a learning environment for faculty in which we support, expect, and recognize ongoing
professional development. We will empower and invest in our faculty by providing them with the
resources they need to help each child meet their unique potential. Through these efforts, we will
prioritize attracting and retaining talented, passionate, innovative educators.
Right Onward | Strategic Priorities
Priority Two: Integrating Technology
Since 2015, Doane has made a great deal of progress in the area of technology integration. In addition, we
have made important strides in creating a curriculum that includes technology benchmarks designed to
ensure that Doane students graduate with the skills they will need in college and beyond.
With that said, we recognize the imperative, as identified in our accreditation process, to implement a
technology plan that meets the growing needs of the school in the areas of instruction, administration, and
communication. In addition, time and training is needed for faculty to implement the use of technology in
their classes and curriculum. Our students must graduate with a firm grasp of current technological tools
and the ability to teach themselves how to maximize the functionality of new tools as innovation in this
In order to achieve our goal of educating the whole and healthy child, this priority includes a commitment
to helping our students to make ethical decisions as digital citizens. This aspect of our commitment to
technology integration overlaps with our dedication to Health and Wellness, as described in Priority One.
In consideration of the above, Doane Academy
will complete and implement a comprehensive
plan for integrating technology, which will include
1. Enhance the Curriculum, including the
integration of technology across all grades as
well as the addition of technology-specific
courses in computer science and coding.
2. Maintain Infrastructure, including a repair
and replacement schedule, and the addition
of devices as needed. We will also regularly
evaluate the relative merits and appropriateness
to Doane of various strategies for providing
devices to our students. In addition, we will
assess and implement the technology needed to
best support our administrative functions and
communication with our community.
3. Support faculty and staff in the development
of their technology skills. This will require the
devotion of resources, both in terms of time
and money, to make sure that all faculty are
prepared to make the best use of technology in
their teaching, communication, and classroom
Right Onward | Strategic Priorities
Priority Three: Enhancing Our Campus
With the completion of Rowan Hall (2015), the addition of Winzinger Field (2016), the renovation of
the Scarborough Theater and the Greene Room (2017), the creation of a new ceramics studio and the
renovation of the athletic locker rooms (2018), our facilities now serve our student programs better than
at any time in recent memory. However, we still have some programs that are underserved by our facilities.
Moreover, we want our campus to inspire our entire community to develop new and innovative programs
for our students. In other words, our current facilities and footprint should not limit the innovative work
and enhancements that will come from this Strategic Plan. In consideration of the above, we will:
1. Plan for the necessary renovation and upgrade of our current spaces and physical plant.
2. Determine what additional facilities will be required to meet our current and future enrollment and
3. Secure funding associated with fulfilling such needs so we can take advantage of opportunities,
should they arise, to acquire land or buildings adjacent to campus.
Right Onward | Strategic Priorities
Priority Four: Telling Our Story
Doane’s community, traditions, and student outcomes deserve to be shared with a broader constituency.
While interest and enrollment at Doane is on the rise, acting to further spread the message about Doane’s
value will increase the number of applicants who will thrive academically, socially, and emotionally here.
This growth of our reach ensures that future generations will benefit from the Doane Academy experience.
In addition, by telling the story of our exceptional school more boldly, we will continue to attract
outstanding faculty members and increase the engagement of alumni and friends of Doane. This priority
is one that will support the financial sustainability of Doane and allow for the continued growth of the
programs and innovative teaching we provide to our students. To meet the needs of this priority, we will:
1. Invest in developing more technologically-advanced methods of telling our school’s story and using
these tools to enhance our market presence.
2. Focus attention and resources on explaining the benefits of a high-quality early education
program—with specific reference to what Doane offers in this area—as a way to increase enrollment
in the lower school.
3. Create opportunities and programs that increase Doane’s visibility and reputation.
Throughout our discussions with members of the community and others with whom we consulted, one
theme resonated with all: Doane cares not only about the academic growth and potential of each student,
but also about each child’s social and emotional health. With this theme in mind, you will see overlap in
our first two priorities—supporting transformative learning and integrating technology—both of which
focus not only on student learning, but also on student wellness, safety, and social responsibility. Our
third priority—enhancing our campus—is a pragmatic prerogative that will enable us to properly execute
priorities one and two. Our final priority—telling our story—will support the future of Doane, at once
allowing us to attract new families, future faculty members, and friends who believe in our mission and to
keep our alumni engaged in the life of the school.
Each of these priorities will require resources—energy, time, money, further research—and we look
forward to your support as we implement this Strategic Plan over the coming five years.
Burlington, NJ 08016
Right Onward: A Strategic Plan for Doane Academy