The EMS Strategic Pathways

By Andrea Wenger , Director of Advancement

Each “pathway” has one to five goals with multiple strategies for momentum. Following are examples of implementations toward varied goals. (The full plan is available at: https://www.easternmennonite.org/strategic-plan

1. TO STRENGTHEN SCHOOL CULTURE

All faculty and staff were divided into one of three “Innovation Hubs” last year for out-of-the-box thinking: Faith Formation, School Culture and Scheduling. The hub work informed the strategic plan process and continues to shape implementation.

The Faith Formation Hub reviewed Mennonite World Conference core values and Mennonite Schools Council Encounter Curriculum to develop our school’s faith practices (see page 6). These practices are a foundation for everything we do.

We will continue to grow in our understanding and use of restorative practices. Teachers from each division and both of our principals will complete the Restorative Justice in Education certification at Eastern Mennonite University.

2. TO STRENGTHEN STUDENT LEARNING AND SUCCESS OPPORTUNITIES

Principals Maria Archer, K-8, and Justin King, 9-12, observe classrooms together at least once a week, providing feedback for teachers to continually grow as professionals and in support of diverse learners.
Seventh grade STEAM (STEM + Art) is an example of our goal to use experiential learning “every day, every class” where an engineering project starts by connecting it to art or music. More at easternmennonite.org/news

3. TO ACHIEVE ANNUAL FUNDING AND CAMPAIGN GOALS

Donor-supported initiatives keep our academics, arts and experiential learning strong. And there are many ways to give!

Nearly 40 people have joined the Virginia Education Scholarship Tax Credit Program this year so far; the program essentially triples your EMS gift by completing some simple paperwork with Paul Leaman, head of school. Funds provide need-based aid to eligible students.

Fall auction gifts funded Sphero-bolts in fourth grade. The small robots allow students to create games and codes and do robotic equations.

See easternmennonite.org/support

4. TO EXPAND ENROLLMENT INTEREST AND OPPORTUNITY

Attendance has been high at Open House events for our elementary program, and classes fill quickly.
We have room to welcome more middle and high school students, including children of alumni from nearby and out of the area.

Luka Sakai ’21, joined EMS this fall from Michigan. His father, Ken ’91 wanted him to experience the smaller school that he enjoyed as a dorm student. Luka lives with a host family and took part in this fall’s Chesapeake Bay trip for upper level science students (pictured above left) on Smith Island, Maryland.

Article appears in:

Posted in: