Countdown to the Planning Retreat – please contribute

Countdown to the Planning Retreat – please contribute

TUESDAY 16th August 2011

On Friday – Sunday 26th – 28th August 2011 the Strategic Planning Coordination Committee meets to finalise the school’s strategic plan for 2012-2020. Within a very short timescale (April – August) we have tried to make this a participatory process, using surveys, workshops,focus groups outside the school,  this planning blog and meetings of the school Planning Forum. In these last two weeks, we want to make sure that as many other constituents as possible are aware of our progress and our thinking, and have an opportunity to make final comments and contributions.

So, watch out for a daily entry inviting your feedback on a specific theme, and please take five minutes to tell us what you think by using the comment facility below.

Pete Wildman, Amy Seefeldt, Kirsten Bradby, Eleanor Nicholson, Jonathan Long, Dave Schoonmaker (Board member), Rev. TZ Kundan (Board member).


Our objectives and plans are developed on the basis of our belief about what is most important – educationally, socially, emotionally, spiritually, for the individual, the community and the world.

Over the next year we will be spending time debating and writing a set of “guiding principles” for Woodstock. These will be central to our decision-making at the school. But we need to test whether right from the beginning of this process we have a sense of what our community believes is important, our shared values and beliefs about Woodstock.

Please comment on this post and write below three (or more) values which should guide our planning. Thank you.

  • Margaret Kurian
    Posted at 11:28h, 16 August Reply

    1. Reverence to God – fear of the Lord2. Respect to all – as we are all made in the image of God3. Integrity4. Equality5. Sincerity6. Pursuit of excellence

  • Lois Deckert
    Posted at 13:48h, 16 August Reply

    Building confidence in ALL segments of Woodstock people helps in the tasks that must be undertaken together. Is it possible to include employees in this list as well?High caliber staff must be a priority. Even volunteers need jobs at which they show some competency.Number three might be one of the hardest of objectives to fulfill but is necessary to keep the school from becoming stagnate.Number four is obvious.Number five also seems to me a proper way to go.The idea of learning from other schools has some merit.For me, Woodstock has been a true learning community from which I learned more than academics. Interpersonal relationships taught me the sort of tolerance that does not have to relinquish one’s own beliefs but makes one sympathetic to the beliefs and cultures of others.Number seven certainly has importance for me, however, I have no idea how to instill any of my rootedness and care about the school in my classmates (1950). The three points following number 7 give substance to that Objective.

  • Sajni Khanna
    Posted at 14:23h, 16 August Reply

    1. Excellence in Deed through commitment, tolerance and perseverance2. Equality and charity ( charity in sharing thoughts, emotions, materials , ideas)3. Freedom of expression. Freedom to explore, learn, grow etc with no bias4. Respectfulness/ Compassion5.

  • Helen Dobson Arnott
    Posted at 18:07h, 16 August Reply

    Four of my suggested values are courage, commitment, creativity, and caring. From these four, one can embrace integrity, community involvement, encouraging followership as well as leadership, excellence, innovation, and a host of other desirable characteristics to be caught and taught at Woodstock. Helen Dobson Arnott (Class of ’60)

  • Rodney Jones
    Posted at 20:39h, 16 August Reply

    A few thoughts: (1) I like Helen Arnott’s "four C’s" and she is right that they embrace a fairly comprehensive set of positive values. I wish there were "four A’s" that would work just as well, but I couldn’t come up with them. Still, Helen’s 4 C’s provides food for thought about an umbrella statement. (2) The Mission Statement’s "teaching and learning" presupposes "knowledge" — a body of known things to impart, a place to start, and things to cultivate, and more than methodologies. In our world of accelerating global change, there is, of course, no single canonical or authoritative body of knowledge, but there is genuine knowledge and there is lots of chaff too (e.g., outright ignorance parading as "knowledge", and widespread perversion of "given" knowledge for achievement of power). I recognize and respect what I see here in drafted statements on "Student Outcomes" about "learning" as an adaptive and life-long process. No dispute with that. But is there any way to touch on what an "international Christian school" should aspire for in dealing with thirst for real knowledge (many elements), along with openness to discovery and innovation, tolerance of points of view, and freedom of thought?

  • T. Z. Chu ('52)
    Posted at 20:52h, 16 August Reply

    1) Under "Vision and Leadership" you left out perhaps the most relevant and influential body within the Woodstock community, namely the board of directors. What the board does and speaks or don’t say or do, will have the great impact on the institution’s ability to meet it’s Strategic Objectives.2) Speaking generally, the Plan as it stands now has far too many words in every section. If you expect the community to remember the Plan and act upon it, you have to keep it terse and to the point, akin to the US Declaration of Independence or its Constitution and Amendments. It is then up to the Board and the Principal to explain what the words mean in actual or everyday applications and keep us focused on the long-term objectives. This has the great side benefit of encouraging and facilitating communication with the community by the leadership of the institution. In reality, no matter how many words you use to define the Plan, it would still be subject to interpretation; so why not keep it simple and give us a chance to remember what it says.and be able to cite it.

  • T. Z.
    Posted at 20:54h, 16 August Reply

    I apologize for the grammatical errors. I should have reviewed it before hitting the submission key.

  • Verda Hostetler Bialac
    Posted at 21:19h, 16 August Reply

    1. Ethical integrity2. Hope for the future3. Consideration of others.

  • Lindsay Hofman
    Posted at 03:57h, 17 August Reply

    Values for Woodstock Commitment to tolerance and diversityAcademic excellenceInclusive education (music, sports, art, environmental studies, debate, service as well as more traditional fields)

  • Dr. Shobha Arole
    Posted at 04:52h, 17 August Reply

    It is good that Woodstock is planning a strategic plan with a solid vision in mind.The three most important values to incorporate are compassion/love, respect for self and others and a creative christian spirit with integrity.Dr. Shobha Arole

  • Prince David
    Posted at 05:35h, 17 August Reply

    1. Honesty & Integrity 2. Diligence ??? careful and persevering in all tasks and duties 3. Inclusive ??? respectfully providing space and open to receive ideas, opinions of others4. Excellence ??? pursuit of the best in all aspects 5. Humility ??? giving credit to where/who it belongs, courage to admit when things go wrong 6. Stewardship ??? as in resources children, finances, environment, skills, people, etc

  • Diana Singh Roy
    Posted at 07:33h, 18 August Reply

    Lindsay Hofman has said it all.I would just like to add that I felt we were taught to leave the planet a better then the way we found it. Thus always cleaning up, digging up, reaching out and generally getting involved.

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