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Board Update

June 5, 2013
Dear WMS Community Members,

Thank you for a wonderful year! Our families brought so much joy to WMS this year with skating parties, a cultural potluck, the Delaware Marathon Relay, a beautiful teacher appreciation week and the list goes on. The Board too has been busy, and we wanted you to know what we have been doing since our last update in January. 

Strategic Planning
The biggest Board news is our 2013-16 Strategic Plan. We have crafted this plan with the help and participation of our teachers, staff and parents through surveys and a focus on Montessori excellence. The process began with Israel Floyd, former chair of the WMS Board, who led the planning committee. Independent School Management (ISM) offered guidance starting in February, as we surveyed parents, faculty, key administrators and the Board of Directors. View the survey results here. One message came through loud and clear: our parents appreciate our teachers. 

In mid-March, ISM's strategic planning expert Terry Moore led a group including the Board and our education directors Liz Madden and Lisa Lalama through a visioning process based on financial realities that identified 20 actionable items that will provide a strong foundation for WMS as we move into our 50th year. 

The entire strategic plan will be published in the next weeks. Highlights include a focus on STEM (cross-disciplinary, integrated science, technology, engineering and math), technology and arts, finance (balanced budget and staff compensation) and marketing. While the Strategic Plan has pinpointed areas for WMS to focus on in the next three years, the specifics will be developed with the help of our faculty, staff and parents. The STEM initiative is already well underway, and you will hear more about other initiatives in the coming months.

Governance
We successfully revised our WMS Bylaws, re-establishing elections for Board members. We were thrilled to bring Meredith Amado and Drew Matalonis onto the Board in March. The online elections process seemed to go well, although we will make improvements next year. We also thank retired Board members Paul Szkotak, Susan Thomas, Jackie Ivy and Nimrit Kang for their service to WMS in 2012-13.

Facilities Committee
The Facilities Committee is working on a full facility five-year assessment, planning for maintenance and improvements. We look forward to benefitting from their focus on our building and grounds.

Re-enrollment
We are all contributors to the enrollment picture at WMS, through re-enrolling our own children and encouraging our friends to come and stay at WMS. Thanks to everyone in this community, particularly Theresa Conaty, our admissions officer, the WMS re-enrollment picture is much stronger this year than last year at the same time. 

Marketing
The new WMS website will be unveiled this summer, thanks to the hard work of Noel Dietrich, our communications officer. Marketing will be an increasing focus as the strategic plan progresses.

Search for a New Head of School
News coming soon! 

Fundraising
The Development Committee has matched the $500,000 2012-13 challenge for a total of $1 million raised, thanks to the generosity of Judy and Bill Scheide and the Longwood Foundation. Judy and Bill specified that they would like to help our teachers through their gift, and WMS was able to offer a bonus to all staff this year.

Work has begun on a larger fundraising initiative for WMS's 50th Anniversary. We plan to exceed the second $500,000 match for 2013-14, aiming to fund strategic plan initiatives and build a healthy endowment. The silent phase of the comprehensive capital campaign is in the planning stage.

In partnership,
The WMS Board of Directors

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