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Strategic Plan 2021-2025


In January 2021, the Board of Trustees initiated a strategic planning process. Since then, a 13-person team of students, alumni, faculty, administrators, parents and trustees worked toward the development of a new strategic plan. Their work has intentionally included hundreds of diverse voices from across our community.

We are thrilled to announce that this process culminated with unanimous Board approval on September 24, 2021. Now, the next phase of work begins. We look forward to sharing the next steps and progress as we bring the 2021-2025 Strategic Plan to life.

List of 5 items.

  • Make Our Strong Academic Program Stronger

    Annie Wright Schools' academic program has long proven effective at serving its students. Such strength is borne from an exceptional faculty, the International Baccalaureate program, and a deeply held institutional belief that all students are capable of achievement. To extend this excellence, the school will advance its commitment to the best practices in teaching and learning, impactful adult-student relationships, strategic academic partnerships, and purposeful travel-based experiences.

    For this strategic plan, Annie Wright Schools will:
    • Lead the formation of a multi-school, multi-continent “Global Alliance” of IB schools that strengthens the AWS program through the sharing of IB best practices and through travel opportunities between partner schools.
    • Mature the “coordinate” vision of the Upper Schools into an intentionally designed experience where Upper Schools students develop their voice in single-gender academic classrooms while also having the opportunity to experience the benefits of all-gender experiences.
    • Design a suite of metrics and reporting tools to more effectively and transparently demonstrate the academic growth and achievement of all students.
    • Develop and/or improve programs that retain, and allow for effective recruitment of, talented and diverse faculty and staff.  Such programs will focus on performance evaluations, community involvement, and professional and personal development.
    • Develop and articulate academic and extra-curricular pathways to ensure all students can achieve personal success within the PYP, MYP, and DP strands of the IB Programme
  • Build a Culture of Belonging Through Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

    As the school works to build a culture of belonging, it looks to its DEI Mission Statement. Part reality, part aspiration, this statement provides clarity around the culture Annie Wright wants to foster, a culture where members feel a sense of belonging, where their voices are heard, and where they feel valued for their individual and collective contributions. In so doing, every member of our community will have the ability to understand the perspectives of others through a culture of compassionate debate and open learning. To achieve this sense of belonging, the school must leverage the DEI Working Group to continually identify and address key areas of institutional need. 

    For this strategic plan, Annie Wright Schools will:
    • Design tools and metrics to gain insight into who we are as a community and who within our community does and does not feel a sense of belonging.
    • Build on the success of the DEI Working Group by...
      • improving representation across sub-committees.
      • enhancing communication of DEI initiatives and actions.
      • ensuring community voice in generating sub-committee topics.
      • selecting sub-committee topics that directly improve the experience of community members.
    • Work to enhance and expand the impact, support, and reach of Tacoma Scholars.
    • Formalize a relationship with at least one university to develop programs that improve the school’s ability to recruit excellent and diverse faculty and staff.
    • Establish a consistent schedule of DEI-based training that stems from, and works to make manifest, the DEI mission statement.
  • Foster a Culture of Wellness

    As a student-centered institution, Annie Wright Schools believes learning is best achieved by tending to the whole child. Wellness programming must be intentionally woven into all aspects of the student experience, ensuring AWS students come to school ready to play and explore, achieve and contribute. While student wellness is paramount, the school also recognizes the importance of its employees’ health. Adults cannot effectively tend to students when they themselves suffer from mental, physical, or emotional distress. A strong AWS community is a healthy AWS community.

    For this strategic plan, Annie Wright Schools will:
    • Establish a Health & Wellness Working Group that mirrors in form and function to the DEI Working Group.
    • Generate a Health & Wellness Mission Statement that guides and directs the school’s initiatives in this area.
    • Evaluate current staffing levels to ensure the school has the resources needed to meet the wellness needs of its students and, if not, address these shortcomings.
    • Develop tools and metrics to routinely assess the wellness of students, faculty, and staff.
    • Investigate the acquisition of a wilderness property that would be utilized for wellness activities (retreats, orientations, etc.) and eventually developed into an AWS Wellness Retreat Center.
  • Engage the Tacoma Community and Beyond

    The relationship between Annie Wright Schools and Tacoma began with the School’s founding in 1884. Over the last 140 years, our students have learned from, and alongside, the Tacoma community. It is our privilege and our responsibility to nurture community intersections and partnerships that serve our families, as well as those families with whom we share our city. Such connections serve to broaden horizons, develop appreciation for all communities, and help students see that addressing global challenges starts with taking local action. Whether venturing into the neighborhoods of Tacoma or the major cities of the world, the awareness gained at AWS equips students with empathy for the human experience and curiosity for the human story.

    For this strategic plan, Annie Wright Schools will:
    • Establish an internal “Community Team” of faculty and staff who are directly responsible for the growth and development of community-based engagement opportunities.
    • Identify a community partner (or partners) and co-develop a week-long summer residential program that helps Tacoma’s youth deepen their understanding of Tacoma’s challenges.
    • Identify and develop partnerships with Tacoma organizations that work to deepen our community’s expertise in arts and athletics.
    • Intentionally and strategically open the AWS campus to community groups.
  • Ensure the Thrivability of Annie Wright Schools

    Entering its 138th year of operation, Annie Wright finds itself in a position of strength, a strength that cannot be taken for granted. The school must remain committed to those practices that generated this strength: delivering an excellent education to students, hiring and retaining an exceptional faculty and staff, managing the school’s finances effectively and strategically, addressing physical plant and campus needs, and ensuring strong relationships with key constituencies, most particularly its alumni.

    For this strategic plan, Annie Wright Schools will: 
    • Identify institutional values that stem from and complement the school’s mission and vision statements.
    • Determine the school’s overall enrollment capacity and design admissions, physical plant, and (if needed) development plans that articulate how this target will be reached.
    • Formalize practices to ensure properly scheduled maintenance, modernization, and beautification of the physical plant and grounds.
    • Embark on a multi-year listening tour to better understand the interests, motivations, and hopes of its key constituencies, most notably, alumni and current parents.