Dear NPS Community,
One of the most important efforts an organization undertakes is a review of its mission and the development of a strategic plan. As we ended the 2019-2020 school year last June, the NPS Board of Trustees approved a new five-year strategic plan, the culmination of an 18-month process. Before the pandemic, we intended to launch the plan with a community-wide announcement in the early summer. However, the focus on school operations during the pandemic resulted in holding off until now.
Today, I am pleased to share the NPS Strategic Plan with you. It embodies both what NPS is today and, moreover, where it is going. A centerpiece of the plan is a new mission statement for the school; the new mission replaces a much longer statement and was the subject of significant work, which included a discussion with the full faculty and staff to get the wording just right. Many of us were taught that it is possible to say more with fewer words, and that is the case with the new mission statement:
At National Presbyterian School, we focus on the foundational decade of childhood to launch lives of purpose and compassion
These nineteen words are the essence of our school, and it is worth deconstructing and explaining the mission statement to appreciate its centrality to the Strategic Plan.
- The words “We focus” speak to the intentionality of every aspect of school life, including NPS’s approach to teaching and learning, social and emotional development, community building, and physical space.
- “The foundational decade of childhood” is at the core of NPS – that special period of life that no person can get back. At NPS, we do not shy away from childhood. We honor it and preserve it. We strive to allow children to stay young, while carefully enabling their growth in ability and character.
- “To launch lives of purpose and compassion” speaks to the role that NPS plays as a launching pad for your children to have lives of purpose – seriousness, preparation and meaning – as part of a community with a spiritual foundation where everyone belongs.
Our mission statement reflects the child-centered approach to planning, learning, and governing at NPS, and every other part of the Strategic Plan is an off-shoot of these nineteen words.
Within the NPS Strategic Plan you will find imperatives and goals that will guide how the school educates its students and supports its faculty and staff, fosters diversity and inclusion, grounds itself in a Christian environment, ensures financial strength and a sustainable future, enhances its physical setting, and creates awareness of the distinctive qualities that define the NPS experience.
We are grateful for the leadership and participation of NPS faculty and staff, trustees, parents, and National Presbyterian Church members who comprised the Steering Committee and developed this plan. Their knowledge, dedication and effort made it possible to evolve and complete our work, even in the throes of the health crisis and many adjustments to school and personal life. We appreciate the strong leadership of the Steering Committee, which was led by Trustees and Co-Chairs Molly Evans and Matt McDonald, who guided this process with organization and intelligence. In addition, we thank Head of School Malcolm Lester, and fellow Steering Committee members Manuelle Duvall, Megan Finnerty, Katy Harvey, Wray Muoio, Bear Paul, Jeni Reklis, Tisha Schestopol, Brooke Thomas, Michael Toner, Lora Tredway, Robin Westerberg, and James Woodward for their efforts and insights.
We also appreciate the contributions that numerous individuals representing all NPS constituencies made as part of focus groups, listening sessions, and working groups, all of which aided and enhanced the formation of the Strategic Plan.
After an historic and successful half century, NPS is poised to advance its critical mission with fidelity to its Core Values, continued commitment to the communities and world around us, and a desire to improve our ability to lead and learn with campus enhancements and consistently strong academics.
I hope you will take time to review this road map for the next five years, and I am grateful for the privilege of being connected to a school which so expertly prepares students for lives of purpose and compassion during the foundational decade of childhood.
Kevin Fromer, Alumni Parent ’20 and Current Parent ‘22
Chair, Board of Trustees