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TVT Strategic Plan - Letter to Public and Initiatives-Updated 11.2.17

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Published by TVT communications, 2017-11-16 18:50:06

TVT Strategic Plan - Letter to Public and Initiatives-Updated 11.2.17

TVT Strategic Plan - Letter to Public and Initiatives-Updated 11.2.17


Dear TVT Community,

Our Strategic Plan provides structure and vision to TVT’s ongoing dedication to graduating young people of
exceptional character who are equipped to face the future and be a force for good in the world. It speaks to
TVT’s commitment to provide our students a distinctive education deeply rooted in Jewish values, which will
prepare them to meet the challenges of a complex, uncertain, and volatile world.

At TVT we won’t rest on our laurels. Rather, we continuously strive to improve what we do. Pedagogy changes
over time in response to the expansion of knowledge and learning and research development in all fields of
study. To maintain our excellence, we are dedicated to keep pace with these changes. Our Strategic Plan
provides us a four-year blueprint of initiatives to achieve our goals.

The TVT Strategic Plan is grounded in three goals.

• Attract, retain and develop exceptional faculty who create inspiring learning experiences in state of the
art facilities

• Balance a challenging, individualized academic program distinguished by choice, rigor, real world
problem solving, creativity and intellectual engagement with a robust TK-12 Jewish Studies program
that inspires present and future commitment to hessed (kindness), klal yisrael (community), tikkun olam
(repair the world) and spiritual growth.

• Achieve greater fulfillment of the TVT Mission through strategic growth.

TVT is making a historic, unprecedented investment in its people by recruiting exceptional educators
coordinated with a robust professional development program to ensure our faculty is engaged in forward-
thinking principles of 21st century pedagogy. The investment continues in our commitment to state-of-the-art

The students of TVT emerge as people of exceptional character accompanied with superb academic and
communication skills. Students understand and embrace their responsibility to family, community, country and
as a member of the global population.

TVT has embarked on a journey of tremendous growth to better fulfill our mission and provide our students
with enhanced opportunities. The Strategic Plan embodies the essence of TVT by mindfully integrating the
quintessence of our Mission, Vision, and Educational Philosophy into every goal and initiative. As we pursue
the next level of excellence, we will always hold fast to our core values.

After the 2015 CAIS and WASC accreditation visit, TVT’s efforts to achieve academic excellence were
validated when we received the maximum accreditation length of seven years. The concepts for the TVT
Strategic Plan came through a collaborative effort from the TVT faculty, administrators, parents and board
members in the months following the CAIS and WASC Accreditation. The TVT Board of Trustees provided
insightful ideas for the strategic plan and was a stimulating resource for the Head of School and the TVT team
of educators.

Thank you to everyone who participated in this collaborative effort. We are thrilled to launch this mission-
aligned and student-focused Strategic Plan to guide our shared work together.

I encourage you to review the attached strategic plan document carefully as it describes who we are and our
plan to achieve these goals. For your perusal we have also included the TVT Mission, Educational Philosophy,
and Pluralistic Statement and Values, for it is the integration of the essence of these documents that define
who we are and where we are going to meet the needs of our students.

B’ Shalom,

Steve Kaufman Jeffrey Davis
Chairperson Board of Trustees Head of School

Strategic Planning Task Force Members
Sue Littman, Chairperson
Gary Brahm
Michael Gillman
Fred Taylor
David Weinberg

Strategic Planning Committee
Jon Cassie
Jeff Davis

Bryonna Fisco
Tammi Jones
Rabbi Stuart Light

Jill Quigley




• Attract, retain and develop exceptional faculty who create inspiring learning experiences in
state of the art facilities

Our Commitment

In world-class state-of-the-art facilities, TVT is making an unprecedented investment in its people by recruiting
and retaining exceptional educators who are passionately committed to creating meaningful learning
experiences for each student. Simultaneously, TVT is providing an extraordinary professional development
program supporting progressive and passionate faculty with forward-thinking principles of 21st century


1. Professional qualities/performance evaluation: Review and redefine professional growth and
evaluation practices and establish a protocol for systematic evaluation and goal setting in
order to support reflective practices, professional growth, and to enhance innovation in
teaching and learning.

2. Rational compensation and benefit plan: Develop a rational compensation plan that is keeping with
best practices across high performing independent schools, with a focus on sufficient compensation
and competitive benefits for our market to enhance our ability to attract and
retain faculty.

3. Attract and Recruit: This committee will investigate alternative ways of recruiting faculty and making
relationships that enhance our ability to find the best candidates in the market.


• Balance a challenging, individualized academic program distinguished by choice, rigor, real
world problem solving, creativity and intellectual engagement with a robust TK-12 Jewish
Studies program that inspires present and future commitment to hessed (kindness), klal yisrael
(community), tikkun olam (repair the world) and spiritual growth.

• Our Commitment

Students emerge from TVT as people of exceptional character, with the knowledge, skills and social

awareness necessary to play a leadership role in their established or emerging communities. Superb

academic and communication skills are the intentional product of a rigorous academic and extracurricular

program in all domains. We hone the development of critical thinking, resilience and problem-solving so that

students can engage thoughtfully and articulately in the great issues of our day. Our Jewish Studies

curriculum aims to sensitize the heart and soul, to equip students with Jewish know-how, to develop the ability

to view interpersonal relationships and ideas through a Jewish lens, and to cultivate the Jewish imperative to

fix a broken world. Graduates leave TVT focused, nimble and prepared to creatively and purposefully tackle

the needs of their ever-changing community and world. 4


1. Developing curriculum leadership capacity and tracking curriculum as it is now taught. A
committee of faculty and administration met to develop a clear understanding of the school’s mission
and educational philosophy and how this manifests in our curriculum and the things we do. This
prepared the team to provide teacher leadership on developing a vision of the graduate, which will
allow us to make decisions about our spiral curriculum, K-12 based on our strategic values. We will use
iMindmap 10 software to sustain our work in curriculum tracking. Because iMindmap 10 allows tagging,
we will be able to study student learning experiences in terms of mission alignment as well as academic

2. STEAM Thinking helps inform a 21st century curriculum. Anticipating the ever changing needs of
Millennial learners and the arrival of tens of thousands of square feet of new learning spaces, our
curriculum in math and science is rapidly evolving. In the Lower School, after a successful pilot of Beast
Academy math, mathematics education will be converted to fully Singapore Math from grades 1-5.
Beast Academy will still be offered, and it will expand to the MS where grade 6 students will be offered
Art of Problem Solving Pre-Algebra. Lower School science adopts the UC-Berkeley developed Amplify
Science curriculum for the 2017-2018 school year. Faculty is being trained to use makerspaces in
Lower School and Middle/Upper School. We have introduced a new course for 6th graders to teach
them design thinking and maker-informed problem solving. We will have an elective in Pre-Engineering
for grades 7 and 8. Our engineering program in the Upper School will be completely changed to serve
the KIDMA fellowship program for high-level student scientists and engineers.

3. A Jewish studies program that promotes social/emotional fluency is essential to the K-12
experience. Educational research points to a strong correlation between academic success and high
social and emotional competency. Therefore, TVT will use the study of all things Jewish as a lens for
building character from TK to graduation. Guided by foundational Jewish maxims “…because you were
slaves in Egypt,” “If I am only for myself, what am I,” and “What you hate, do not do to others,” students
will grow their “muscle for empathy,” and embed the “Jewish Way” into their ethical GPS. Through an
inspiring Jewish Studies program, informed by the values and ideas embedded in our evolving sacred
literature, students will learn that inclusivity, kindness, forgiveness, generosity of spirit, and an
appreciation of diverse and multiple perspectives are required ingredients for building a life of meaning
and purpose.

4. Developing students into aware, articulate and experienced change makers. From service
learning immersion programs to TVT Cares food packing events, social action is never outside of a TVT
student’s field of vision. This strategic initiative focuses on three heretofore underemphasized aspects
of service learning that will equip our students with the tools to initiate, advocate and sustain change as
future leaders of their community.

a) A nuanced, multiple-perspective awareness of real-time social issues facing our community and our

b) The experience of an in-depth, long-term relationship with a social change organization.

c) The systematic development of various skills (such as public speaking) necessary to convey a
message, win others over to a cause, and sustain the efforts necessary to effect change.


• Achieve greater fulfillment of the TVT Mission through strategic growth.

Our Commitment
The heart of any school’s long-term sustainability rests on its ability to attract students and grow enrollment.
Based on extensive research from more than 100,000 independent school families, the key to enrollment
growth is the ability of schools to offer and communicate a superior educational value proposition.
Underlying that ability are some fundamentals including attracting and retaining the best faculty, investing in
cutting-edge curricula and technology, and maintaining an attractive physical environment. TVT is on a journey
to achieve the next level of excellence establishing TVT as one of America’s finest independent schools. Our
enrollment growth and relationship building will promote greater fulfillment of our mission, ensure financial
sustainability, embrace diversity, and provide our students with enhanced academic and social opportunities.

1. Strategic Financial Plan: Develop a 7 year TVT Strategic Financial Plan that engages the key
fundamentals and best practices regarding curriculum, enrollment management, marketing, fundraising,
business practices, staffing, utilizing a tuition assistance program utilized to help families in financial
need and to strategically to grow enrollment.

2. Marketing and Communications: Strengthen our communications strategy for all TVT constituents
and connect regularly with organizations and people in the Jewish and broader communities to
reinforce TVT's branding and value proposition.

3. Enrollment Management: Increase campus-wide awareness of and involvement in the principles of
strategic enrollment management (SEM) through continued development of a systematic and effective
SEM process focused on the goal of increasing enrollment and retention.

4. Community Engagement/Relationships: Create school wide structure to enhance school community
with increased engagement across all constituency groups to expand, retain and strengthen TVT's
giving community ensuring our financial stability.


We are a nurturing, caring community that embraces pluralism, cultivates Jewish identity and inspires students
to lead meaningful Jewish lives.
We provide an individualized college preparatory environment that challenges students to think critically, work
collaboratively, and explore creatively in order to realize their fullest potential.
We prepare students to be inquisitive learners, compassionate citizens and courageous leaders in their
community and in the world.

At TVT, we provide a college preparatory education rooted in our Jewish values of caring for the community,
justice, kindness, respect, truth, and repairing the world (tikkun olam). We know that joyful learning today leads
to meaningful achievements tomorrow, so to spark and kindle this joy, we are guided by our beliefs that:

• Positive student-teacher relationships are a source from which learning begins, and they provide
models for healthy relationships going forward;

• Good character is as important as strong intellect, so we interweave both, cultivating students' ethical
values in concert with our academic program;

• Educating students according to their individual needs and abilities allows them to flourish

• Setbacks, especially those born of educational risk-taking, are opportunities for growth;
• Hands-on learning bridges the gap between theory and practice, motivating students to see the

practical applications of their education and to become more self-directed learners;
• When students enter the decision-making process, they become more engaged and responsible

• Service to others enhances our lives, engendering compassion and meaning, so our curriculum is

imbued with service-learning opportunities;
• Our community is strengthened when we partner with families who share our philosophy and who are

committed to supporting their children's growth.
• Judaism means many things to our students and families, so we proudly celebrate it as a source of

identity, values, spiritual meaning, intellectual discipline, tradition, and community.


TVT is devoted to building a pluralistic, educational community where mutual respect is essential, as is the
dedication to Klal Yisrael (unity of all Jewish people). Students are taught about the spectrum of Jewish
practice, values and beliefs in an environment that supports their own journey of exploration.
TVT recognizes that there is a variety of Jewish religious beliefs and perspectives that result in different forms
of religious practice. As a pluralistic school, TVT believes that it is important to appreciate and honor these
different approaches, to be respectful of them, and to educate our students as to their existence, origins and
place within the Jewish community and our heritage.

We do not present any one philosophy, belief or perspective as being the “correct” one or the “authentic”
one. Students learn that there are different approaches and answers to the question,
“What does Judaism say about …?”
We strive to create an environment where students are all welcomed and included in the greater
We encourage critical thinking, questioning and careful analysis of the broad variety of options while
students each choose their own Jewish path.

As remarkable as the academics are at TVT, we understand the importance of educating the whole child.
Character is paramount and equally important are the values that are being taught, the sense of pride that is
instilled and the community culture that is nurtured. Integrated into every aspect of the TVT experience, are
core values:

• Truth (Emmet)
• Respect (Kavod)
• Kindness (Hessed)
• Repair the World (Tikkun Olam)
• Justice (Tzedek)
• Community (Klal Yisrael)


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