- We Are Spirit:
s the true spirit of a place, seen, heard, or felt? I think it is all of the above; but, more importantly, that true spirit is seen in the attitudes of those who inhabit a place.
Our place is Harrisburg Academy.
You can see our spirit in our "circle H" magnets on the cars we drive, the Spartans on our spirit wear, and in our fondness for the colors blue and gold; but mostly, you can see our spirit in how we interact.
You can hear our spirit in the daily rhythms and habits here at school, our hellos in the halls (or high fives with the little ones who are supposed to keep quiet while the big kids are learning), our spirited but respectful discourse in the classroom, and in our cheering for one another at games, matches, and performances. It is the pride heard in our students’ voices when they say with a smile, "I’m a survivor" (having been here since Junior Kindergarten), or "I’m new and I love it here, everyone is so nice to me".
Our spirit is also formally heard in the heartfelt advice offered to classmates in their 8th and 12th grade speeches, where personal triumph and lessons learned are shared, where encouragement is given to cherish the experiences and the friendships they are afforded here, and where challenges are made to take advantage of the education, opportunities, and fun.
But mostly you can hear it in the pride and ownership they claim when speaking of their school, of their beloved teachers, and of their classmates – friends on whom they so strongly depend.
- A Blueprint for the Academy's Future:
In creating the model for our strategic planning, the administration made a few key decisions. First, we endeavored to engage our entire school community in the process. This approach allows all Academy community stakeholders, as well as friends of the Academy, to provide feedback. We also decided to shorten the strategic planning timeline from five years to just three. This allows the Academy to more quickly adapt and react to the rapidly changing educational world in which we function.
At the core of the strategic planning process is our Planning Committee, made up of trustees, parents, faculty, and administrators. This group attends each of the strategic planning meetings and engages in the many group conversations that generate a whole host of innovative ideas and suggestions.
Our first few strategic planning meetings have resulted in thought-provoking conversations and creative ideas. Each week the dynamics are different, as new parents and community members join the discussion. By using one broad question each week, the meetings become our own Academy "think tank," as multiple groups wrestle with the same question but come up with radically different feedback. The five guiding questions used in our strategic planning model are as follows:
How do we achieve the long term enrollment goals at the Academy?
What internal improvements and partnerships with other organizations (including global ones) can be made to the academic, extracurricular, and co-curricular programs to provide an experience of excellence for our students? (April 24)
How does the Academy best demonstrate its value to parents, alumni, and the greater Harrisburg community? (April 30)
How does the Academy achieve the goals of our new Comprehensive Campaign and continue to build a culture of philanthropy? (May 15)
How does the Academy attract, cultivate, and retain its most talented faculty to achieve the mission of Harrisburg Academy and provide our students with the 21st century skills they need? (May 22)
Please join us for our two final conversations. Don't miss your chance to have your fingerprint on the blueprint for the Academy's future.
For more information, please visit our website.