Baron Strong - Strategic Vision

{ BUILDING THE FUTURE OF BLUE RIDGE SCHOOL }

Ensuring that future generations of boys will benefit from the transformative experience of a Blue Ridge education.

Our Vision

Every day, Blue Ridge School works with young men to hone their strengths, realize their potential, and move confidently into the future. As a school, we expect no less of ourselves.

In 2014 and 2015, individuals from across the Blue Ridge community gathered to set a vision for the school’s future. Faculty, parents, alumni, students and school leaders considered an essential question: HOW WILL BLUE RIDGE SCHOOL THRIVE IN A COMPLEX AND EVER-CHANGING WORLD? THROUGHOUT OUR DISCUSSIONS, WE KEPT RETURNING TO AN INDISPUTABLE FACT: THE WORLD NEEDS CAPABLE YOUNG MEN OF CHARACTER AND INTEGRITY. Now more than ever, Barons have a vital role to play in their families, communities and society at large.

From this foundation we developed Baron Strong: Building the Future of Blue Ridge School. It details our plans for reaching prospective students and families, refining the school’s signature programs, investing in faculty and staff, and creating a self-sustaining future. In short, it is our blueprint for ensuring that generations of boys will continue to learn and grow within a community built around the way they learn best.

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Grounded in a deep understanding of how boys learn best, Blue Ridge School presents an experience that is unique among secondary schools. For this reason, we seek boys and families who understand our distinctive value and are willing to embrace the opportunities our school presents. This focus on “fit” not only enriches our community, but it also allows us to address the challenges presented by the shrinking market for boarding schools nationally. Our continued success is contingent upon maintaining a stable enrollment of 180 students annually. To achieve this goal in an increasingly competitive market, we must develop a brand that is as strong and distinctive as our programs, and we must continually work to connect with those families whose interests and values align with ours. Simply stated, we must tell our story to those who stand to gain the most from it.

2020 goals for attracting future barons

  • Maintain optimal enrollment of 180 boys with ideal enrollment at each grade level and low student-faculty ratio.
  • Maintain a broad diversity of students in recognition of the importance of cultural competency as a graduate outcome.
  • Sustain a balanced financial aid program in support of a strong, dynamic and diverse student body.
  • Establish a reputation as experts in boys' education through sustained marketing.
  • Expand network of educational consultants who understand today’s Blue Ridge School and who refer students regularly.
  • Enhance network of alumni and current/past parents in key markets to build connections with prospective candidates and families.
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Blue Ridge will continue to develop a fully immersive educational program that is focused on bringing out the very best in each boy. Drawing on our own experience in how boys learn, as well as the latest research, we will build on our strengths to establish Blue Ridge School as a national leader in the development of young men. We will continue to focus on the whole boy, emphasizing academic challenge as required for college alongside the personal development that provides each boy with the life skills needed to achieve his full potential. Our distinctive campus and community will be central to this effort, as they represent an increasingly unique and valuable environment in our rapidly changing world.  

2020 goals for enriching the blue ridge experience

  • Raise Blue Ridge School's visibility and reputation as a leader in boys' education by promoting the BRS Learning Model within educational circles.
  • Enhance signature programs in Character Education, Spiritual Life, Residential Life and Outdoor Education and produce data showing efficacy.
  • Expand scope of Fishburne Learning Center as a learning/teaching laboratory for boys' education.
  • Continue to offer strong athletics and arts programs.
  • Develop and execute comprehensive Technology Plan to prepare students for college and enhance our teaching methodologies for boys.
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As relational learners, young men are profoundly shaped by the adults in their lives. This fact takes on heightened importance in a boarding environment like ours. Developing and retaining exceptional faculty members is an essential part of the Blue Ridge mission and here again, we are committed to building on our strengths. As a residential community, we must make sure that Blue Ridge School is a place where teachers can thrive professionally and personally. We must invest in professional development, encourage innovative instruction, and seek out teachers who represent diverse backgrounds and perspectives. We must provide a stimulating, supportive and rewarding environment for our faculty and their families. And we must offer competitive compensation and benefits. These and other investments not only enrich the lives of our boys, but they also establish Blue Ridge School as a top-choice for the most promising and talented teachers.

2020 goals for building blue ridge teachers

  • Define traits of the ideal BRS Educator with an emphasis on relational learning in support of the ways boys learn in all areas of life.
  • Build a robust professional development program for faculty with a focus on teaching boys.
  • Support diversity in recruitment of faculty, Leader Team, and Board of Trustees.
  • Support faculty research, speaking and publishing on best practices in boys’ education.
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Our school is fundamentally sound thanks to responsible stewardship of our financial resources. However real challenges exist as the market for secondary education evolves. Historically, the school has relied on tuition as the primary source of revenue – an approach that is increasingly risky given rising costs and market fluctuations. Looking to the future, Blue Ridge School must move aggressively towards financial self-sufficiency by diversifying our revenue sources, controlling costs, and developing a robust culture of philanthropy among those who value what we do.

2020 goals for embracing sustainability

  • Strengthen fundraising as a source of income by expanding our community’s culture of contribution.
  • Develop Endowment Growth Plan and increase value of overall endowment, Performance Based Salary Structure Endowment Fund, and Technology Endowment.
  • Increase summer camp revenue with a focus on outdoor programs and academics with character development as a feature.
  • Improve facilities to include investments in faculty housing, Jessup Auditorium, DeAngelis Stage, and Loving Dining Hall.
  • Manage operational costs by investing in campus energy efficiency.

Blue Ridge School. Baron Strong.

Strategic Vision