Stanley Clark School Selects ISA

Stanley Clark School in South Bend, Indiana has selected Ian Symmonds & Associates for strategic consulting services. Our work will commence this month.  Consulting associate Kelly Laboe will be the project leader with the school.

The mission of The Stanley Clark School is to inspire and challenge students to achieve excellence in academics, the arts, athletics, and character in a nurturing environment that fosters critical thinking, creativity, accountability to self and others, and the discovery of each student’s strengths and passions.


Amazing Evening at The Holy Cow!

Over 50 friends, colleagues, and family members came together Saturday night to enjoy holiday cheer and change the world simultaneously.  Collectively, we raised $1500 and tons of awareness for Heifer International.  And, our good friends at KUZA joined in on the fun and showcased their organization by displaying and selling beads.  If you could not make it to the party, there is still plenty of time to donate to Heifer by following this link.  Visit the Holy Cow website to view some pics of our great evening together.

Saint Louis School Selects ISA

Saint Louis School of Honolulu, Hawaii has selected Ian Symmonds & Accociates to develop their strategic plan. Our work will commence in January 2015.

A Catholic Marianist school for men, the mission of Saint Louis School is to educate and challenge students of various religious, ethnic, and economic backgrounds that they may achieve a quality education and become gentlemen of character, reaching individual potential through the Catholic Marianist tradition of spiritual, academic, physical and emotional maturity.

We are excited to extend our knowledge and experience in the deep educational environment of Oahu to serve Saint Louis School. Other Oahu-based clients and project collaborations include The Saint Andrews Schools, Academy of the Pacific, and Hawaii Association of Independent Schools. 

Schools of Consequence - Characteristic #1

Just before Thanksgiving, we launched the Schools of Consequence series on this blog site.  As a refresher, a School of Consequence is a school or college that has a transformational quality on the context of their environment. From our experience, they are a small segment of independent schools and colleges that seem to thrive in doing meaningful work within the context of their environment.  Over the next several weeks, we will be outlining the core characteristics of Schools of Consequence. Today, we identify the first characteristic of these schools.

Characteristic One - Externally Oriented
Simply stated, Schools of Consequence are externally oriented. While they offer great programs and services to their students and parents and are focused on the consumer, they are equally as adept at understanding the issues that are relevant to their community.  They are consistent demographers and trend watchers, reading the tea leaves of the external environment to identify shifts, inflection points, and opportunities to collaborate on solutions.

In our experience with independent schools and colleges, most organizations tend to be isolationists in their position within their community.  They tend to withdraw and provide a buffered culture from the balance of their marketplace.  Some of this is for obvious reasons, such as safety or security issues for their students.  However, one drawback of this position is that it creates a internal culture of organizational self-absorption, leading to disconnect from the external community.  Schools of Consequence are non-stop environmental scanners, looking out on the horizon and watching for trends and opportunities to contribute or collaborate.  They are always seeking ways in which they can draw real challenges and issues from the external environment into their classrooms, moving from theory to practice.  And, they are strong collaborators, always seeking to engage leaders from the community into the work of their organization.

Why is an external orientation important?  It is from this orientation that these schools and colleges create real relevance to their environment.  They insert themselves into the issues that surround their culture and community, creating a position of strength from their relevance and engagement.  And, the end result is often that they are seen as an indispensable contributor and player in their marketplace.  Interestingly, this relevance tends to drive demand, and our experience tells us that there is a direct relationship between cultural relevance and enrollment sustainability.

There are no "Ivory Towers" among Schools of Consequence. They are dialed into the culture around them and understand the unique opportunities and challenges of their marketplace.  And, they are collaborators on the solutions, bringing theory and practice to bear as a resource to the community.  They believe their human capital as something from which the entire community will benefit.

The first emerging characteristic of a School of Consequence is an external orientation.  It is among five core characteristics that we believe set these schools apart from all of the others.  We will outline the balance of these characteristics over the next several weeks during the holiday season.

Barnhart School Selects ISA

Barnhart School in Arcadia, California has selected ISA for research and strategic marketing planning. Our project will commence in January 2015.

Barnhart School offers a private elementary and middle school education for children in Kindergarten through eighth grade from the Arcadia, CA, Pasadena, CA, Sierra Madre, CA and other local San Gabriel Valley communities.

Distinguishing programs of Barnhart School are the Writers' Workshop, the 7th grade Biotech project sponsored by Amgen, Spanish at all grade levels with a conversation club at 8th grade, early literacy emphasis, the Virtues character development program, and continued integration of technology, arts, and physical education.

Woodland Presbyterian School Selects ISA

Woodland Presbyterian School in Memphis, Tennessee has selected ISA for strategic planning efforts. Woodland joins Hutchison School and New Hope Christian as ISA clients in the Memphis area.  Our work will begin in January 2015.

Woodland Presbyterian School is an independent, co-educational day school serving pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. The school is fully accredited by AdvancED/Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), and is a member of that organization as well as the Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS), the Tennessee Association of Independent Schools and the Memphis Association of Independent Schools.

Woodland began operation on its present site as a kindergarten in 1956. The school expanded through the elementary grades in 1973, adding seventh and eighth grades in 1974. In response to growing enrollment and increasing demand for space, the 1990’s marked a period of building and renovation for the school, including new facilities for elementary classrooms, science, and administration. Playing fields and playgrounds were constructed along the way. The summer of 2006 marked a complete interior redesign and refurbishing of Woodland’s classrooms and corridors, most notably the addition of interior windows to create a physical sense of openness, community, and pride in sharing what goes on in our rooms. In the fall of 2013, Woodland began construction on a new middle school building and an overhaul and modernization of the Early Childhood classrooms to meet the needs of the twenty-first century student.

Duke School Selects ISA

Duke School in Durham, North Carolina has selected Ian Symmonds & Associates to provide research and strategy counsel. We will partner with the school during the next several months.

Duke School was established in 1947 as a lab school for the benefit of students in the departments of psychology and education at Duke University.  Duke School became independent of Duke in 1984 when a group of parents made it a nonprofit organization with the support and assistance of Terry Sanford, then president of Duke and the previous governor of North Carolina.

Duke is an existing ISA client, as our firm collaborated with the school a few years ago on a strategic marketing project. We are looking forward to getting back on campus and seeing the progress, which included the completion of several capital master planning projects.