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
With the SWOT analysis, we
also identified five key external trends that will require our considered and
intentional response in the coming years:
- Information technology
(especially the ubiquity of mobile technology)
- Financial uncertainty
- Economic inequality and
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.