Strategic Plan 2017-2020

Message from Committee Chair - Strategic Plan 2017-2020

Dear Webb Community:

The Webb School's latest Strategic Plan for 2017-2020 was formally approved by the school’s Board of Trustees in November and will guide us over the next few years. The Plan is the result of a collaborative approach that included input from all Webb stakeholders and is the culmination of a year plus process. The Strategic Plan addresses six major focus areas including community and consistency of school values, enrollment management, alumni and development, building and grounds, academics and governance.

We made the development of our new strategic plan one in which all our stakeholders participated. We began in October of 2016 by sending the standardized SAIS survey to Trustees, Alumni, Faculty and Staff, Parents, and Students. This survey is norm-referenced against many other independent schools allowing better assessment of school strengths and weaknesses. The initial results were reviewed by the school’s Administrative Council and subsequently evaluated with additional input from Damian Kavanagh, SAIS Vice President of Accreditation.

In January 2017, the Head of School, Raymond Broadhead, presented a condensed version of the survey’s results and Damian’s presentation to the faculty and opened the topic for ongoing discussion. Later in January 2017, the school asked Kathy Hanson of Marts and Lundy consulting group to meet with focus groups composed of members from all our constituent groups.

The Board of Trustees met in early February 2017, and the Head of School formally presented the survey, Ms. Hanson’s findings, and a basic outline for the Strategic Plan. The Board accepted the outline after discussion and additional input. Subsequently, Mr. Broadhead presented this material to the faculty, who were invited to join groups designated to discuss the main goals of the Strategic Plan as refined by the Board. These faculty groups discussed ideas for school improvement and composed specific portions of the strategic plan for presentation to the Board of Trustees.

At the April 2017 Board of Trustees meeting, the Board made further comments and gave additional input to the plan. In May 2017, more refinements to the plan were made and reviewed the Board of Trustees’ Strategic Plan Committee in July 2017. The final plan was approved by the Board of Trustees at the November 2017 Board of Trustees meeting.

The planning process incorporated Webb's unique values and traditions. We believe the plan continues Webb values associated with the school’s academic standards as well as our honor, integrity and personal development traditions.

William Hardin
Strategic Plan Committee Chair

Vision 2022

Vision 2022

• Webb continues to uphold its history and traditions by maintaining a strong commitment to honor, integrity, and character.

• Webb is a premier independent day/boarding school. The boarding population is at least 150 students with 

about 200 day students, with the total enrollment not exceeding 350. 

• Webb has the resources and facilities to compete for top faculty and students. Through donations and investments, Webb’s endowment grows to $35M by 2022 (it is presently $30M).

• The school is composed of a diverse student body that is motivated to learn and values the Webb experience.

• The faculty members are engaging, cosmopolitan, 

intelligent, passionate, inspiring, and committed to their students.

• Webb educates the whole student (grades 6-12),

emphasizing critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, communication, and character. Webb cultivates students who compete for and win national scholarships and honors, including the school’s eleventh Rhodes Scholar.

• Webb engages all of its stakeholders in recognizing the school’s unique place in education and its powerful vision, and shares talents, connections, and passion as the school community unites and works to achieve VISION 2022.

Strategic Plan 2017-2020

Our Process

As a school community, Webb strove to make the development of our new strategic plan one in which all of our stakeholders participated. We began in October of 2016 by sending the SAIS survey to Trustees, Alumni, Faculty and Staff, Parents, and Students. In January 2017, the Head of School, Raymond Broadhead, presented a condensed version of the survey’s results and SAIS Vice President Damian Kavanaugh's presentation to the faculty and opened the topic for ongoing discussion. Later in January 2017, the school asked Kathy Hanson of Marts and Lundy consulting group to meet with focus groups composed of members from all of our constituent groups.

After input from the Administrative Council, the Head of School created headings of the key points of a draft Strategic Plan. The Board of Trustees met in early February 2017, and at the April 2017 Board of Trustees meeting, the Board made further comments and gave additional input to the plan. In May 2017, the faculty groups made more refinements to the plan and created another draft which was reviewed by the Board of Trustees Strategic Plan Committee in July 2017. Final editing was then completed by the Accreditation Leaders and submitted via the SAIS Accreditation Portal. We anticipate that the Strategic Plan as it is written below will be officially approved by the full Board of Trustees at the November 2017 Meeting.


  • October, 2016: SAIS surveys sent to all constituents
  • April 2017: Rough draft of strategic plan is sent to the Board of Trustees
  • May 2017: The faculty groups made more refinements to the plan
  • July 2017 Draft reviewed by the Board of Trustees Strategic Plan Committee
  • October 2017: SAIS came to campus for accreditation: and receive plan
  • November 2017: Strategic plan officially approved by the full Board of Trustees


The Webb School Strategic Plan 2017-2020

Goal 1: Enrollment Management

Develop an Enrollment Management system which attracts, enrolls and retains a diverse group of day and boarding students who will contribute to Webb in a variety of ways, and represent our mission well. Part of this goal is to enroll 150 boarding students by 2022.

Profile – Where is the school right now?

Founded in 1870, The Webb School is the oldest continuously operating boarding school in the South and has a history of excellence in shaping the minds and characters of students who go on to accomplished careers in a wide range of fields. In the Middle and Upper School years at Webb, we emphasize independent thinking, creative initiative, personal integrity, and civic responsibility. A challenging academic curriculum and full extracurricular program prepare graduates for college and for life. Our small private boarding school community comprised of 315 boarding and day students and our emphasis on honor truly creates The Character of Home®.

The Webb School is committed to shaping a campus that can best blend the beautiful natural environment with buildings that are well-designed and functional to educate and house our students. In 2016, Webb completed the Residential Village, Phase I project with two new 20-bed dorms, Meadows Hall and Wendel Haynes Hall, and the Dorothy Powell Elkins Student Center. Two additional dorms are also planned as part of the Residential Village to enroll a total 150 boarding students by 2022. Current boarding enrollment is 115.

Vision – Where does the school want to go?

Our main focus for the next four years will be implementing strategies to fill our boarding capacity with quality students. Our goal is to have a student body of 350 students, of whom 150 are boarders with at least a 50% boarding population in the Upper School. We will also focus on continuing to enroll mission-appropriate students who have the ability and ambition to maximize their college placement opportunities while being afforded academic and non-academic leadership roles at Webb.

Plan – What is the school’s plan to achieve the vision?

The Enrollment Management committee has created four strategies, including increasing the domestic boarding population, refresh external marketing, improve retention, and increase financial aid.

Goal 2: Alumni and Development

Celebrate recent campaign, execute the 150th anniversary celebration, and increase philanthropic programs.

Profile – Where is the school right now?

The Alumni and Development Office has successfully coordinated a multi-year campaign from 2010-2016. It set a goal of $10.0M and received more than $11.1M. About 50% of this comprehensive campaign is being used to enhance our academic and residential facilities. The support of the Webb community has been tremendous, and Webb is now well positioned as it approaches its 150th anniversary in 2020. Increasing the number of boarding school students is a priority from the 2012 strategic plan, and thanks to the campaign, the school has the facilities to meet these goals.

Vision – Where does the school want to go?

The Alumni and Development Office wants to celebrate and recognize the impact of the campaign and begin planning for the 150th celebration to be held in 2020. The mission of the school will be highlighted in this sesquicentennial, along with a fundraising campaign. Finally, the Alumni and Development Office wants to continue to grow its philanthropic programs in all areas---annual, major, and planned---to help ensure the financial well-being of the school.

Plan – What is the school’s plan to achieve the vision?

The following plan represents the our strategies: Demonstrate Impact of "Moving our Tradition Forward Campaign"; Plan and execute celebration for 2019-2020 Academic Year; Plan and execute fundraising campaign as part of 2020 anniversary; Increase philanthropic programs with individual goals for Webb Fund, major gifts, and planned giving; Improve analytics and data for use with donors and volunteers; Explore making facility improvements for the current Alumni Center.

Goal 3: Communication and Consistency of School Values

Educate our constituent groups regarding the Webb Mission, Enduring Understandings, and the ideals associated with The Character of Home®. Ensure that new faculty orientation, faculty meetings and Professional Learning Communities are driven by our core values. Have staff, administrators and faculty provide consistent messages to our families. Study our advisory, residential life, and athletic programs to confirm that they are unified with our principles and make adjustment when required.

Profile – Where is the school right now?

Our latest constituent survey revealed some dissatisfaction with communications. This dissatisfaction comes from both internal and external constituencies. Though we believe that most problems and issues are well-handled by those directly involved, preservation of student privacy has limited transparency even as we seek to maintain an appropriate level of faculty awareness. The survey also revealed that our interpretations of these central tenets (Mission and Enduring Understandings) are localized. To ensure a consistent, positive experience for as many of our constituents as possible, we need to provide sufficient information to inform our constituency groups and be as transparent as possible.

Vision – Where does the school want to go?

Through consistent interpretation and application of our central principles across disciplines, we will make sure that all of Webb’s constituents have a better understanding of who we are as a school and how we do what we say we do. Internally, this will require a strong new faculty hiring and orientation process whereby our values are well communicated, as well as more standardized policies and procedures that are open to change as needed, but focused on a common understanding of our mission which all faculty and staff clearly understand and regularly follow. From this, appropriate, consistent communication to our external constituents will ensure that students, parents, and alumni feel that their Webb experience, while unique, has fundamental commonalities.

Plan – What is the school’s plan to achieve the vision? Improve Internal Communication; Strengthen Mission-Focus of Programming and Written Materials; Improve External Communication

Goal 4: Building and Grounds

Create a plan for facilities that meets or exceeds facilities of comparable schools. This plan is prioritized for the next five years and supports The Webb School’s conventional and unique programs.

Profile - Where is the School right now?

In December 2016, The Webb School successfully completed a $10M Capital Campaign. During this campaign, we were able to make significant improvements in faculty housing, science labs and classrooms, dormitory space, and student social space. The Board of Trustees, with input from the community stakeholders, identified the projects to address. With the new facilities, we are able to improve the STEM program, the strength of the boarding program, and boarding enrollment.

Vision – Where does the School want to go?

As the school has just completed an $11.1 million capital campaign, which included five major building projects, our vision for the future is “on hold.” In 2017, the Board Retreat was used to gather input from the Board of Trustees to help identify our future Building and Grounds needs. This input was then put before a committee of faculty and staff. This resulted in a prioritized list of projects for consideration. Recognizing that there are limited resources available at this time, the Committee further organized the lists by the cost of each project.

Plan – What is the School’s plan to achieve this vision?

The committee understood that by working closely with the Board of Trustees through the Building and Grounds Committee, some of the projects could be completed in the very near future. The Building and Grounds Committee has money available each year for capital improvements and small projects. By working closely with the Building and Grounds Committee, the committee was able to schedule some projects on the Lower Cost list and the Medium Cost list for the summer of 2017. The group believes that within 2-5 years it can complete many of the projects on these two lists. In addition, the committee realizes that the projects on the High Cost list will require more detailed study and will have to wait until the next capital campaign. With careful coordination with the Development Committee and other Board committees, we feel that there can be great success in identifying the right High Cost projects that can also be successfully funded during the next campaign.

Goal 5 – Academics

Examine the curriculum of The Webb School as an “Independent School.” Celebrate the freedom and opportunity that comes with the ability to design and carry out a robust, rich, “independent” curriculum. Embrace student diversity and educate children to be global citizens aware of the mission and enduring understandings of The Webb School. Look not only to rigor but also to the care of the whole child, knowing the stress placed on adolescents in the digital/smartphone age. Finally, prepare students for their future - for college, career, and life beyond Webb.

Profile – Where is the school right now?

The Webb School offers a strong curriculum but still has different avenues for all learners. A majority of our higher-level curriculum revolves around the AP program. We have had a great success with this program, considering pass rates; however, we feel it has taken away a certain amount of independence in The Webb School curriculum. The committee would like to find a good balance in our curriculum that still has AP options but places more of the emphasis on a “Whole Child” experience. We also would like to analyze our signature programs and look for ways to enhance them.

Vision – Where does the school want to go?

Though our students are leaving with a strong academic experience, we feel the school could do a better job of enriching students in other aspects of their lives. The school envisions producing graduates who are not only academically prepared, but are well-prepared to live a healthy and productive life. We also would like to ensure that for all of our students a Webb education is a unique and fulfilling experience based on our mission and values, not driven by test results.

Plan – What is the school’s plan to achieve the vision?

Foster an Independent Curriculum; Educate and Care for the Whole Child; Improve our Processes; Expand our Global Education; Ensure Appropriate Education for All Students

Goal 6: Governance

Continue to develop an active Board of Trustees who represent a variety of constituents, and to oversee short-term and long-term strategies in order to ensure the future viability of The Webb School.

Profile – Where is the school right now?

The Board of Trustees has been in a transition for the past ten years when term limits were implemented. Many veteran trustees are now emeriti, still involved in the school, but not in a committee or voting capacity. The Board is slowly becoming more diverse. Most of the members of the Board are alumni, and the majority are now those who experienced coeducation at Webb, and had a boarding experience at Webb. The school’s present draw on the endowment is 5%.

Vision – Where does the school want to go?

The school wants to make continuous efforts to ensure stable finances for the future years. Managing the budget and endowment, growing the endowment through philanthropy, and continuing to create an effective board are all paramount to building for the future.

Plan – What is the school’s plan to achieve the vision? Ensure a stable Financial Future;

Continue recruiting strong leaders to build an effective board.

Chinese and Korean Translations

Strategic Plan 2012-2017

Message from 2012-2017 Committee Chair

Dear Webb Community:

We are pleased to provide you with Webb School’s Strategic Plan 2012-2017.

We undertook the planning process with a deep appreciation for Webb’s special values and traditions. Webb is a close-knit community where academic rigor, civility, honor and integrity are critically important. These values and traditions are enduring and will not change. Our strategic plan seeks to build on our strengths.

The board of trustees appointed a strategic planning committee last fall. This committee included trustees, parents, members of the faculty, administration representatives and an alumni board representative. Kathy Hanson of Marts & Lundy served as an advisor to our group.

We first sought input from our stakeholders through an electronic survey. The thoughtful responses from this survey formed the framework for our planning process. As themes emerged, we began to develop preliminary goals. Focus groups involving alumni, faculty and parents met to discuss the emerging themes more fully. Goals were refined and strategies for implementing those goals were developed. Six broad goals, with specific strategies for each, were identified for the next five years. In spring of 2012, subcommittees developed detailed tactical plans for implementing each goal.

Strategic Plan 2012-2017 was approved in late summer, and those charged with implementation are making tremendous strides in meeting our timeline for achieving specific aspects of each goal. We look forward to working with each of Webb’s constituent groups to implement the plan and to assure our ability to deliver a premium education, consistent with our values, to future generations of students.

Vance Berry

Strategic Plan Committee

Trustees, Charles Alexander ‘68, Vance Berry ‘72, Ann Short ‘74, Paul Jennings ‘88, David LaRouche ‘98, Walter Manley ‘64, David McElroy ‘86, George Pine ‘68, and John Sawyer ‘88
Alumni Board Member, Wilson Sims ‘72
Parents, Natalie Townes and David Hutchens
Faculty/Staff, Ray Broadhead, Claudia Hazelwood, Ralph Jones and Kelly Northrup

Strategic planning adviser, Kathy Hanson of Marts & Lundy, assisted with the planning process.

Chinese and Korean Translations