Strategic Plan


Right Onward


a Strategic Plan for

Dear Friends

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

guiding questions:

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

this Plan.


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

Right Onward!

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

academic success.

• Character. Doane Academy inspires integrity

and responsibility for improving the lives of


• Diversity. A diverse community sharing

different ideas, beliefs and cultures, strengthens

Doane Academy.

• 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

with God.

Our Vision:

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.

Our Mission:

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.


Right Onward



Priority One:


Transformative Learning

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

area continues.

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

the following:

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

programmatic needs.

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.

Right Onward!


350 Riverbank

Burlington, NJ 08016

Right Onward: A Strategic Plan for Doane Academy

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