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About ACS >> Strategic Plan

The Avery Coonley School Board of Trustees and Head of School are thrilled to announce that we are embarking on an in-depth strategic planning initiative. Consistent with the best practices of great independent schools to periodically conduct broad, deep, community-wide analyses, this strategic planning effort will create a renewed road map for the future of our beloved school, ensuring that all facets of ACS are poised to meet the needs of our gifted students. The process will run through the end of the 2017-2018 academic year, and the final result will serve as the primary driver of our efforts as a school community for the next five to seven years.


To assist us in this process, ACS has secured Ian Symmonds & Associates (ISA), one of the premier school consultants in the country. The voices of our stakeholders will play a significant role in producing the best possible result, and we will be asking for input, help, and support from all constituencies – parents, teachers, administration, staff, alumni, students, Trustees and friends of ACS.

To that end, as an initial step toward gathering input from our community, ISA will conduct a survey of our constituents in April; look for more details soon. Because your opinions are crucial to our process, we hope you will find the time to respond candidly and thoughtfully. The survey will also ask if you are willing to be randomly selected to conduct a short phone interview with the consultants, and we would strongly encourage you to participate in that opportunity if selected.

We are fortunate to have two parent Trustees, Archana Chawla, and Joshua Friess, serve as the Co-Chairs of the Strategic Planning Steering Committee. Archana has three children at ACS, in Groups 1,3, and 5. Archana previously served on the Board of Namaste Charter School, and currently serves as secretary of Intrinsic Schools, a charter school in Chicago. In addition to serving as an ACS Trustee, Archana has been an ACS room parent, co-chair of the Book Fair, a member of the Head Search Committee, and a member of the Board’s Building and Grounds Committee. Josh has two children at ACS, in EC and 1st Group. Currently serving as an ACS Trustee, Josh has also been a member of several Board committees, including Finance, Development, and Enrollment & Marketing, and also serves as a Fleur de Lis Co-Chair and an admissions tour guide. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the National Association for Urban Debate Leagues, and on the Governing Board of the Association of Princeton Graduate Alumni.

Strategic plans are exciting, mission-driven initiatives that bring school communities together. Our school has been a model of excellence for over 100 years, and with your help, our 2018 Strategic Plan will ensure that ACS will continue to be the best possible choice for gifted children. We look forward to sharing further details on this important process in the weeks and months to come. 


"Strategic Planning Update," November 19, 2017

"Strategic Planning Update," September 29, 2017

"Upcoming ACS Survey," April 13, 2017


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