Back in early 2014, Ridley College launched a bold new strategic plan; the title, a shortened version of our new vision statement was “Inspiring Flourishing Lives – Transforming Our Globe.” The Ridley community needed an inclusive family conversation about our school’s purpose and future aspirations. A twelve-month process of stakeholder engagement concluded with the launch of a new vision, mission and set of aspirational ideas worth pursuing.
By 2019, the plan was in its fifth year and ready for the scrutiny of another community conversation. Alongside the insights and recommendations garnered from our most recent International Baccalaureate and Canadian Accredited Independent Schools and self-review process in 2018, now was the time to re-examine and refresh the roadmap. Although our mission, vision and motto remain constant, the strategic questions were open for reconsideration: What does it mean to flourish and how can we inspire it in our students and in our community? How has our landscape shifted and how should we respond? And finally, the terrifying existential question all organizations should consider every so often: Why does Ridley exist and why does it matter if we didn’t?
That autumn, key stakeholders engaged in a strategic design process to establish our core priorities for the years ahead. Asked to describe the school’s important comparative advantages, many involved cited Ridley’s strength as a learner-centered global community dedicated to human flourishing and the ideals of service. As a boarding school—a network of relationships created by the College’s people, place and opportunities—living in community remains our most effective means of providing a transformative experience, where students may grow and gain a greater understanding of themselves and their responsibilities to others.
Where to play? was the second point of consideration for our strategic thinkers—it’s the question that sits at the intersection of mission meeting market, and is about finding that sweet spot between where we can excel, what we can be known for, and what the world needs. Our simple answer to this challenging question is revealed in our promise. Ridley is uniquely qualified to provide a modern, liberal education, set in an idyllic communal living setting, dedicated to the development of human flourishing in our students and in the communities they will lead. This is the impact the world craves. Flourishing. Freedom. Service. Connection.
The following strategic priorities represent a combination of carefully considered opportunities that will extend Ridley’s legacy and help us build from strength to strength. This is intended as a living document that will guide our choices on the road ahead; we fully expect the details of the plan will continue to evolve and develop as ideas are prototyped and new opportunities emerge. The Board of Governors has made a commitment to regularly review this strategy and oversee its progress to ensure that our strategic priorities remain most relevant in fulfilling the mission of the College.
Our plan is structured around three defining themes which together capture the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead:
- Deepening our Purpose
- Deepening our Potential
- Deepening our Connections
Our new strategic plan intentionally uses the word “deepen” to conflate the legacy of our past with the exciting potential of our future. It will guide our school improvement initiatives and accelerate several bold and innovative opportunities that lie before us.
It is with deep gratitude that I recognize the many passionate Ridleians who contributed to this inspirational roadmap, who continue to believe in the promise of our vision and who give both time and treasure in support of our potential. Together, we are “leading with heart.”
Terar Dum Prosim,
J. Edward Kidd,