Resources

To sustain (verb):

to nourish

to support the weight of

to bear up under

to bolster, reinforce, support

to continue a defined behavior indefinitely

Realizing our bold vision for St. George’s will require that we steward and align our precious resources with our shared priorities around learning, culture, and space. Yes, this means we’ll need to raise significant capital to fund these initiatives. But money is just one of several critical school assets this plan addresses.

Click each area below to learn more.

Human resources

Our most valuable resource

 

The people here are just real. The students, the teachers, the parents—everyone—they’re real, they're 100% themselves, they're all completely different, and they're all awesome.
-St. George's parent

 

The essential St. George's experience is defined by the relationships between teachers and learners. This school will always prioritize investing in the people who create those human connections. Their incredible expertise, craft, preparation, collaboration, and leadership make those distinctly St. George's learning connections not only possible, but assured.

 

Through this strategic plan, we specifically intend to

  • deepen our commitment to recruiting, hiring, retaining, and further developing expert teachers

  • devise a leadership succession plan

  • maintain our faculty mentoring program and establish a formal support plan for new non-faculty members

  • foster internal partnerships through increasing collaboration and shared expertise between departments

  • foster external partnerships and apprenticeship opportunities

Physical resources

Stewarding our surroundings

 

In the modern school, fixed seats nailed to the floor, lock-step precision, rigidity, conformity are abandoned. In their places are the informal, intimate atmosphere—the air of happy, cheerful living. Light, movable tables and chairs that may be pushed aside at any time to make room for work or play.
-First St. George's prospectus, 1930

 

Nobody would ever describe St. George's School as a place where things matter more than people. That said, the constant assessment, maintenance, and further development of our physical resources is of paramount importance to our school and to this plan. Why? Our exceptional artisan-teachers require the most well researched, thoughtfully designed, and, frankly, best "learning tools" we can provide: Inspiring and engaging learning environments on both sides of our buildings' walls. Fixtures and furnishings that fit the way our young people learn and the way our teachers teach. Technology that supports learning so seamlessly that it almost disappears. Flexible spaces that can adapt to a variety of educational, relational, and operational needs.

 

St. George's School's founders knew that a school's physical environment and features have a profound effect on student learning. They committed to the ideals of "school" as an entirely student-centred endeavour, then, in 1930, set out to build and maintain the manifestation of those ideals. It's up to us to live up to and to perpetuate their legacy. Our students deserve nothing less.

 

In order to ensure our physical resources adequately support the St. George's mission, philosophy, and student learning goals, we will

  • create a vision of the school's physical space that reflects our identity and desired brand reputation

  • develop Elementary and High School master plans that better support current and future educational needs

  • use environmentally sustainable materials and natural resources whenever possible

  • ensure that creative use of technology and other instructional tools remains a priority, and that all faculty and staff are well-versed and well-trained in their educative use

Natural resources

A natural fit

 

Our school has a sustainability program anchored in our vision of making our school a place where we really take into consideration the health of the planet in all decisions that we make.
-Danielle Delhaes, Coordinator, Sustainability & Community Learning

 

St. George's stands firm in our commitment to preserving our natural environment because it's the right thing to do as members of the global community, as citizen leaders in Montreal, and as role models for our students.

 

Our sustainability mindset is supportive of our unique learning environment, philosophy, and approach. Consider:

 

"Health must come first."

 

Fewer harsh chemicals is better for the kids (and the adults!) in our care. That's why we've instituted a new "green clean" approach to our janitorial services.

 

"Learning comes from doing."

 

It's a fact: Students learn more when learning is hands-on, active, experiential, and project-based. They learn still more when lessons are personally meaningful and relevant to them as individuals. And still more when they can breathe fresh air, move their bodies, and connect with nature. The question isn't why is St. George's now weaving sustainability-themed practice, problem-solving, and understanding throughout the curriculum? The question should be why isn't every school?

 

"Group-consciousness and social-mindedness should be developed."

 

Teaching our students to value and conserve precious natural resources is a wonderful way to teach them both the importance and responsibility of being engaged, empathetic, and empowered world citizens. At St. George's, we want our students to graduate fully prepared not only to make significant, positive change in our world, but to inspire others to do the same.

 

To accelerate our progress toward the St. George's Sustainability Vision, we will

  • educate our entire community in all dimensions of environmental sustainability

  • integrate environmental literacy throughout the curriculum

  • model sustainable practice in campus operations

  • explore new possibilities for outdoor learning programs and sites

  • explore relevant partnerships with and within our city

Financial resources

Sustaining St. George's

 

The school landscape in this city is fraught with peril! Demographics are shifting. Government interactions are shifting ... and not in the school's favour. So I just hope our school is being really forward-looking to ensure its financial viability long into the future.
-St. George's parent

 

It's an unfortunate fact of life that providing a top-notch educational experience for our students is an expensive endeavour ... and one that grows increasingly expensive within a context of mounting market pressure, regulatory uncertainty, and economic volatility.

 

In many respects, St. George's School is stronger than ever today. Our current financial resources, however, need to be strategically monitored and developed to ensure that we can sustain and grow the quality of our educational experience for future generations.

 

While St. George's School has never been a place that pays much attention to the competition, a relative strength matters because it's the best indicator we have for our ability to withstand and even thrive amidst increasingly unpredictable market fluctuations. St. George's School will strengthen our financial resources by

  • developing and executing a Strategic Comprehensive Advancement Plan, including a coordinated whole-school fund-raising approach

  • investing in the development of a strong philanthropic culture

  • engaging in strategic capital campaigns based on pedagogy and urgent needs

  • reducing dependence upon tuition revenue through growing the endowment fund, increased annual giving and graduation gifts, and creative development of ancillary revenue streams

  • exploring foundational and government grant opportunities, broadening school store offerings, and freeing internal resources through consolidation of advancement and communications efforts

  • maintaining enrolment levels consistent with financial and strategic plans

  • ensuring effective communications about financial matters to all stakeholder groups

  • performing resource gap and scenario analyses, devising a long-term capital expenditure plan and annual review process, and implementing a three-to-five-year rolling, forward-focused plan and budget

  • insisting on sound operational financial management and effective operational financial planning

  • investing in making a singular, compelling case for St. George's School to support admissions, retention, participation, annual giving, and capital investments

  • developing new strategies to improve admission and retention of new students, both local and international

Brand Equity

Ensuring our values are valued

 

Since its founding, St. George's has always been the outlier among Montreal schools. But being a school that's, by design, different from the average and constantly on the vanguard of educational practice can make our school difficult to explain for insiders. And even more difficult to understand for outsiders.

 

As a tuition-driven institution, it's obviously essential that St. George's possess a strong reputation in the marketplace if we are to ensure our financial viability. A solid brand is equally important to achieving other strategic aims, such as building strong school spirit and pride throughout our community, sustaining our ability to recruit stellar teachers and staff, and growing our reputation as thought leaders so that we may positively influence schools and student experiences far beyond The Boulevard.

 

Good teachers have proven that authentic, meaningful connections come from authentic, meaningful communications. That wisdom holds as true in the marketplace as it does in the classroom, which is why this strategic plan commits our school to bring the same level of discernment, intention, clarity, professionalism, and best practice to the ways we communicate and market our one-of-a-kind educational experience as we do to delivering it.

 
Through intensive self-study, reflection, and partnership with outside experts in school brand expression, we've already done much of the foundational work necessary to better clarify, articulate, and communicate St. George's School's singular ethos and compelling value proposition. Our work has just begun, however. In order to protect and further grow our reputation, we will

 

  • commit to putting forth only clear, unapologetic, and consistent messages, so that internal and external messages are mutually reinforcing as well as reinforcing our desired brand identity

  • ensure that St. George's is well-understood by all current constituencies

  • develop and adhere to a multi-year, focused brand strategy

  • create a bold External Marketing and Communications Plan that promotes the multifaceted St. George's people, experience, and outcome

  • create an Internal Marketing and Communications Plan that prioritizes clarified internal messaging and the community-wide adoption of shared language

  • develop enhanced communications vehicles which improve internal communication to faculty, staff, students, and parents