Dear Members of the Archmere Community:
The first three months of 2016 have been a busy third quarter in the Academy’s fiscal year. Several action plans continue to move forward with completion dates in June, while a few stretch to the end of the current Strategic Plan’s conclusion in 2017.
Within the last few weeks, details have been finalized for the 2016 Norbertine Heritage trip. Twenty-three people will be traveling to three Norbertine Abbeys in the Czech Republic, Austria, and Germany, and then to the Norbertine Generalate in Rome, Italy. Directed by Father John Zagarella, O.Praem., the trip will include visits with the Norbertine communities at each of the abbeys.
The Saint Norbert Leadership Corps program for the summer of 2016 has been planned with the faculty and staff of Saint Norbert College. Thirteen students will be attending this program in June.
We have developed a program to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the construction of the Patio, which will begin in the fall of 2016. The program will be a combination of projects and events, integrated throughout the school calendar. The celebration is designed to be informational, inspiring, and fun for not only the members of the Archmere community, but also the larger Claymont and regional communities that are interested in history, politics, philanthropy, innovations, inventions, art, music, and architecture.
We continue our diversity discussion, and have consulted with colleagues in other independent schools in the region. As a result, we have expanded our advertising for staff openings with professional service organizations that focus on identifying candidates from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.
The Middle States Reaccreditation Team Visit was conducted from March 15 through the 18. The five-member team of educators from other schools in the region reviewed the 158-page document prepared by the Academy’s faculty and staff, with input from all of the Archmere stakeholders over a two-year period of self-study.
We have developed three specific objectives to be accomplished over the next seven years, related to enhanced student learning and teaching. The objectives are as follows:
- Archmere Academy students will demonstrate improved ability to utilize and apply critical thinking skills including scientific and quantitative reasoning, critical reading and evaluation, and critiquing an argument as measured by range of percentage increase. This will be determined from base-line data being collected of the average growth rate for students over four years, as measured by the CWRA+ (College and Work Readiness Assessment).
- Archmere Academy students will promote behavior that demonstrates an increased health and awareness in four areas: social media/bullying, alcohol use/abuse, mental health issues, and teenage sexual activity. Specific metrics are being established to measure the changed behaviors.
- The faculty will engage in a curriculum mapping project, reviewing curriculum alignment both horizontally and vertically, fostering more interdepartmental collaborations and interdisciplinary course work.
We have begun discussions in the context of our Middle States Reaccreditation process of reviewing our professional development programs for faculty and staff, assuring that we have appropriate resources to execute the objectives established through the self-study process. Our professional development program includes support to faculty and staff for graduate and post-graduate degree programs, certification programs, workshops, seminars, and conferences. In addition, scheduling time for professional development throughout the school year is considered an equally important resource.
A number of alumni initiatives have been accomplished in the last three months:
- Alumni pages have been enhanced on the Archmere website, and a school instagram account is enhancing connections with geographically distant alumni.
- An alumni gathering has been planned on April 15 in Los Angeles, CA; another gathering is scheduled in New York City for May 17, and a third gathering is being planned in Washington, D.C.
- Of the 1,000 alumni from the Classes of 1990 through 2009 who shared their mailing address with their parents, we have identified 331 new mailing addresses to be able to be in direct contact with these alumni. This project is part of a larger initiative to maintain and improve our records on alumni.
- We have begun working on a program that connects alumni with other alumni, as well as upperclassmen to support an information network around college choices, internship opportunities, and career decisions.
The Comprehensive Campaign for Archmere has reached $7.8 million against a total goal of $12.5 million. Of the total goal, $8.5 million is designated for renovations to Saint Norbert Hall, of which $4.7 million has been raised. Another $2.5 million is the goal for endowment, of which $1.5 has been raised. The remaining $1.5 is composed of two years of Archmere fund contributions, and we have raised $1.3 million to date.
We are anticipating 120 students in the Class of 2020. We also have students interested in joining the Classes of 2019 and 2018.
We are interviewing candidates for the position of Director of Enrollment Management, formerly titled, “Director of Admissions.” We have modified the title to enhance the scope of the position and the office, which includes a focus on admissions, retention, marketing research, and marketing. This broader and more integrated view will help Archmere to plan more strategically for potential shifts in enrollment trends in the geographical area.