The Head's Tales: Spring Forward

Welcome back! I hope everyone enjoyed a bit of a reprieve from school and work life, and found time to enjoy family and friends. 

Daylight savings is one of our strongest reminders that winter is coming to an end and spring is here again.  This last term is also a time to “spring forward” in anticipation of new things to come.  The value of hindsight, foresight, and insight are definitely in play at this time when we are winding down the school year and yet gearing up in preparation for September – this includes looking at students’ course selections, student enrolment, building our budget, reviewing our program offerings, and recommitting to the goals embedded in the Strategic Plan. 

The importance of hindsight is the ability to look backwards to understand where we are today and how we got here, whereas foresight involves a bigger-picture look at where we want to go and how we might get there. Insight is the convergence of what we are currently doing with new opportunities that will enhance our value proposition and better position us in the future. The ability to balance all three perspectives allows us to remain mindful of our guiding principles that have helped St. Margaret’s grow and remain relevant over the past 100 years. 

In order to move from strength to strength, and ensure what is good is great, requires community engagement and a growth mindset.  During the next couple of weeks, the school will be sending out a survey to families asking for feedback.  In addition, we will begin discussion about campus renewal and the need to ensure our program offerings, facilities, and focus are in alignment with where we want to see ourselves in the next three to ten years.  The completion of our internal assessment as part of the CAIS accreditation process will also provide us with critical information about our strengths and areas requiring further attention or exploration, as well as a road map to help us get to where we want to go. 

This is a very exciting time, when change needs to be embraced and seen as an opportunity to reflect, re-commit, and grow.  For the 2016/17 school year, some of the anticipated changes include:

  • Adding new classes in the Middle Years
  • Adding a new course in the Senior Years – AP Computer Science (note:  AP Human Geography was introduced last year with Programs of Distinction also being offered)
  • Hiring a Director of Residence who will reside full-time on campus
  • Enhancing the Middle Years courtyard and outdoor teaching space
  • Saying farewell to some of our colleagues while mentoring individuals in new roles with different portfolios
  • Welcoming new staff with new skill sets to enhance our current programming
  • Expanding our community partnerships to provide greater opportunities for our students and families
  • Beginning discussions about campus renewal and identifying priorities for enhancement/expansion of our facilities

There will be many opportunities for dialogue: at the Board table, PAC meetings, Steering Committee, focus groups… Part of this process is to find ideas, explore possibilities, and find inspiration as we strive to become an even better “school of one.” By building bonds between our youngest learners and our oldest students, between our boarding students and our day students, and by strengthening the home/school connection, we strive to create a learning community that draws from and celebrates the strengths of all of its stakeholders.  This is an exciting time to be at St. Margaret’s and we hope that you will continue to be part of our success now and in the future.  Let’s build together!


“In the best organizations, there is no such thing as them and us; there is only “we” – all of us working together.  In the big picture everyone has a unique role to fill… everyone has a piece of the puzzle… everyone makes a difference.”
- Dr. Denton Cooley


“There’s a basic pattern, a rhythm, to the creative  process, a backbeat driving the emergence of ideas:

Out. In.

Expand. Contract.

Diverge. Converge.

Create. Select.

You open up, expand possibilities and ideas (out, expand, diverge, create).  Then you narrow your focus, close down options, and make a choice (contract, converge, select).    AND repeat!”

- Michael Bungay Stanier

Do More Great Work by Michael Bungay Stanier (2010).


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