Dear Members of the Archmere Community:
The current Strategic Plan, now in its fifth and final year, is being refreshed with discussions beginning at the level of the Board of Trustees and continuing with meetings of the administration and faculty and staff. The five focus areas of the current plan are being considered as organizing ideas around initiatives that are continuing in each of these areas to achieve new goals or to sustain desired outcomes already achieved.
In the area of school mission, a review of the articulation and promotion of the Academy’s mission has lead to a conversation around strategic marketing and public relations initiatives that might enhance the communication of Archmere’s successful execution of its mission.
Discussions with faculty and staff have generated positive feedback around the working environment. Support of professional development opportunities, the renovated spaces in Saint Norbert Hall, and the work on enhancing salary and benefits to benchmark more favorably against regional data have been cited by the faculty and staff and are all related to initiatives begun in the current strategic plan.
The enrollment management staff have put in place additional marketing strategies based on marketing research that seem to have enhanced the applicant pool. Strategies have also been discussed and put in place with the enrollment management staff and the counseling staff to enhance retention of students who may be experiencing challenges in the freshman and sophomore years, in particular.
Alumni support for Archmere is strong, and the challenge continues to be to find the best ways to keep alumni informed about Archmere. From print and traditional mail to social media platforms and email, there has been an increase in the volume of communications being sent; however, the challenge is to get people to read the material, trying to find individuals’ preferred method of communication. Experiments using Archmere’s Facebook page and social media fundraising techniques have had some initial success, and plans are to expand the use of these strategies to keep in touch with alumni.
The Comprehensive Campaign for Archmere that, for the first two years (2015 and 2016) included the Archmere Fund as part of the overall goal, is in the public phase, with a little more than $8.5 million raised against a $12.5 million goal. More specifically, of the $8.5 million, approximately $1.6 million was directed to the Archmere Fund over two years, surpassing the $1.5 million goal set. About $5.2 million of the $8.5 million raised has underwritten the renovation of Saint Norbert Hall, with the difference supporting the endowment for scholarships and financial assistance. The current plan is to conclude the public phase of the campaign on June 30, while continuing into the fall to approach foundations for funding of the capital improvements and individuals for funding of financial assistance.
The initial outline of the approach to the development of the Strategic Plan for 2017-2022 has been discussed by the Board of Trustees, and will be led by the Strategic Planning Committee of the Board in concert with the administration. Opportunities for members of the Archmere community to offer input and comment will be available and explained in the coming months. Archmere’s continued success is due to the collaborative work and shared talents of so many people. All of us associated with the Academy are grateful for the many blessings our school community has received over the years.