Our Strategic Plan

In April 2007, the Board of Trustees adopted Strategic Directions I, a five-year plan to build on Lawrenceville’s core strengths and ensure that we prepare students to become responsible leaders in the 21st century. Thanks to the support of trustees, the leadership of senior staff, the hard work of faculty and staff, and the generosity of alumni and parents, we completed that plan. In so doing, we solidified Lawrenceville’s reputation as a preeminent boarding school and developed a reputation for being a school that educates students well by balancing many dichotomies – most notably, we’re both large and small, both challenging and supportive, and both traditional and modern.

With the imminent completion of Strategic Directions I, during the winter and spring of 2012 we launched a new strategic planning process, an extension of Strategic Directions I that we appropriately called Strategic Directions II, since it is not a significant departure from our current priorities and goals. Indeed, the guiding question that governed Strategic Directions I also guided this strategic planning process: How do we continue to build on our core strengths and preserve our traditions while responding to emerging trends and new opportunities?

Our process began with a review and re-adoption of our Mission Statement and with a so-called SWOT analysis: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Strengths and weaknesses represent the internal features of Lawrenceville, those aspects of the School we can control and manage. Opportunities and threats are external trends that affect the School. We can’t control them, but we must decide how to respond to them in ways that make the most sense for Lawrenceville, given our past history and traditions, our current strengths, and our future aspirations.

Through the SWOT analysis, we reaffirmed the core strengths that we identified in Strategic Directions I. Those features include our unique House system, our collaborative Harkness approach to teaching and learning, our abundant co-curricular programs and many opportunities for student leadership, our multicultural community, ongoing faculty and staff professional development, strong financial discipline, and our educational and environmental leadership at the local and national level.

With the SWOT analysis, we also identified five key external trends that will require our considered and intentional response in the coming years:

  • Globalization
  • Specialization
  • Information technology (especially the ubiquity of mobile technology)
  • Financial uncertainty
  • Economic inequality and political polarization

Please click on the tab above, "Visions, Strategies, and Signature Features," for brief summaries of the overall approach trustees, faculty and other School constituents have advocated we take in responding to each trend. It is striking that the recommended responses balance key dichotomies, just as Strategic Directions I did. Given the uncertainty and rapid pace of change that characterizes modern life, we’re encouraged that Strategic Directions II, which was unanimously approved by the Board of Trustees in January 2014, represents a balanced approach to the future. It also reaffirms our commitment to attracting and supporting a first-rate faculty and staff.