Part 5 of a five-part series about the Academy’s strategic plan

When preparing this last blog regarding our primary strategic initiatives, it reminded me of the title of a favorite Beatles song, “Here, There, and Everywhere.”  The title of that song typifies the last of our primary strategic intents.  We plan to communicate the success of our students here inside our Academy community, outside to the greater Harrisburg region, and everywhere our alumni and friends reside.

We may not be songwriters like the Beatles, but we are a community of storytellers.  During the next three years, you will continue to hear from our teachers and coaches, as well as our official storytellers, about the learning experiences your children share and the outcomes they achieve.  I’m sure you’ve noticed the advantages that our new website and expanded use of social media have produced.

Certainly, our goal is to improve our marketing.  By the same token, our goal is to continue to develop strong relationships.  Strong working relationships among students, parents, alumni, staff members, trustees, and the greater Harrisburg community are vitally important to achieving our mission and success of our “village.”

We challenge and nurture our students.  This requires a lot of conversation, continuous partnering, and relationship-building.  We know your students as well as we know our curriculum.  When teachers and parents speak candidly about their students, the beneficiaries of that conversation are successful learning and healthy development of students.  Therefore, we’ll take every opportunity to create connections with and among our families to enrich the learning experiences for your students.

Successful external connections will continue to maximize advantages for your students and our school:  engaging speakers will continue to visit our classrooms; external internships for Upper School students will continue to be developed by way of our Centers for Experiential Learning & Innovation; local businesses will continue to seek ways to be a part of amplifying the value-add of Harrisburg Academy in the region at large; and Academy alumni will continue to offer advice and make lasting connections to students before and after their Academy graduation.

Our “village” must not be an isolated one.  Schools are transformative institutions that measure their success, in large part, by the extent to which their graduates contribute positively to the world.  Independent schools that act with a public purpose give students confidence and direction to engage.  Students learn from putting their ideas into action and becoming involved as local and global citizens.  Along the way, they witness positive character traits and emulate them.

In the end, our school’s Growing the Academy Advantage strategic plan brings us full circle to accomplishing the school’s mission, the unique and most distinctive part of Harrisburg Academy.

Harrisburg Academy offers an academically challenging and globally minded interdisciplinary education.  In our commitment to excellence, we provide tools, develop character, and teach skills that prepare students to thrive in college and beyond, thereby contributing to the betterment of our global and local communities.

Our goal for the next three years is to continue to engage children in the joy of learning and be successful not only in the next stages of their study, but as individuals with integrity who contribute as global citizens to here, there, and everywhere.

What John Harris, Jr. began in 1784 was unique for a new nation struggling to exist.  Harrisburg Academy remains quite unique in a 21st century that wants to shape education into a series of tests that leaves students devoid of knowing how to learn at deep, conceptual levels.  The remarkable opportunities that our frontier founder wanted to provide for students 230 years ago continue to grow today.  I hope as parents, you will take advantage of all that we offer.

Be sure to read the full series on our new three-year strategic plan, Growing the Academy Advantage.