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Dear Parents,


We are pleased to announce that the Board and Head of School are coordinating the launch of a strategic planning process at Burke's this fall. Carla Silver, Executive Director of the Santa Fe Leadership Center, has been hired to help us orchestrate a wide range of interviews and meetings that will help us better understand how we can build upon the existing strengths of our historic institution and make it an even better place to educate, encourage and empower girls.


What will the planning process involve? Traditional strategic plans ten years ago were typically lengthy documents generated by a Board-driven committee process. They generally contained a multitude of directives that Heads of School were asked to implement within five to ten years. Our strategic planning process this year will attempt to break with this pattern in a number of different and very important ways.


First and foremost, we want the final contents of our new plan to reflect the values, ideas and dreams of as many constituencies at Burke's as it can. Starting on Thursday of this week, Carla will be on campus for two full days to gather the thoughts and opinions of a wide range of community members, from faculty and staff to key administrators and student leaders. In addition, three separate parent events in October will permit everyone who is interested to join Carla and Michele Williams for brainstorming sessions about the future of our school. Information gathered from this "Discovery" phase will be consolidated with valuable knowledge gleaned from recent parent and faculty surveys. As an aside, separate and apart from the planning process, key findings from last spring's parent survey will communicated to parents by the end of September.


This expansive and in-depth research into Burke's community beliefs and priorities will be used by Carla, Michele and the Board's Strategic Planning Committee to identify three to five key initiatives to undertake over the next three years. While long-term values and big-picture thinking will inform the changes that the plan recommends, its goals are intended to be tangible and readily feasible.


Lastly, we wish to point out that the final plan will be the product of close collaboration between Michele and the Board. It is intended to be a practical tool to promote improvements that harmonize with community values and her own vision of what Burke's can and ought to be.


We look forward to an exciting time ahead this fall during the initial "Discovery" phase of the planning process. Keep an eye out for forthcoming invitations to parent events and please participate if you can. We will continue to keep you posted about our progress in the months ahead and will relay the contents of the final plan in the spring.



Evan Marwell 
President of Board of Trustees

Gretchen Hansen

Strategic Initiatives Committee Chair 
Laura Brugger
Strategic Planning Chair
 Michele Sig

Michele Williams
Head of School