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Five Priorities of 2021 | Dr. Brett Jacobsen

Sep 15, 2021 | All School

Hey, Mount Vernon. Welcome to the 21-22 school year. This is a record enrollment year for us, of more than 1200 students, and that reflects 900 engaged families at the school and more than 250 dedicated faculty and staff members. So it could not be more of an exciting year for us. And with that, Mount Vernon is celebrating its 50th year. This year, we’re going to look back at the previous 50 years and all the fun and the messiness along that journey, but we’re also setting the conditions for the next 50 years here at Mount Vernon. So I wanted to take a few minutes to share with you the priorities for the 21-22 school year.

Priority number one is to launch a strategic planning process. During the 21-22 school year, the school will launch a strategic planning process charting the next iteration for Mount Vernon. You will have three areas of focus, three desired outcomes. One is to strengthen our identity. Number two is to deepen our innovation, and three is to scale our impact. And so we will analyze our current strategic plan called MVX and we will identify future opportunities for the school to build a more inclusive future.

Priority number two, advance inclusion, diversity, equity, and action right here at Mount Vernon, being story informed and experience informed, data informed, and even researched informed. We will continue to cultivate relationships, develop programs, and design strategies to advance IDEA here at the school. As we celebrate what we have in common and even dialogue across our differences, we draw strength from our grounded in Christian values identity. We are committed to cultivating inquiry and innovation, and we are committed to value and diversity, searching for maximum impact right here at the school, because we know these are transferable skills as we prepare all students to be college ready, globally competitive, and engaged citizen leaders.

Priority number three, deploy a wellbeing and resilience framework. As COVID continues to sustain a presence in our community, we will continue to analyze interdependent factors that will have an impact on our decision making going forward. That includes guidelines from public health officials, getting expert advice from medical professionals within our own community. This is about the effectiveness of the multiple layers of mitigation strategies that we have in place. This is understanding what the COVID analysis is at the moment, the number of cases within our community. But in addition to that, we know that a number of students and adults are vaccine eligible, and we’ll continue to look at the robust numbers that we have already had thus far.

And then probably two of the most important factors, one is just around the effectiveness of teaching and learning and the impact moving forward, but ultimately the social emotional health, which sometimes has taken a back seat. We’re putting that more towards the forefront of what we’re doing here at the school, as we cultivate resilience in our own students, so that they will be able to overcome these setbacks and continue to learn and grow and thrive right here at Mount Vernon.

Priority number four is to raise additional funds through the Mount Vernon Fund and the gala to support various student programs right here at Mount Vernon, to install a new turf field on the multi-purpose field right here on the upper campus. Also, to continue to advance the technology and the performance capabilities on the main stage on the upper campus and also the main stage on the lower campus, to really support our performing arts students. In addition to that, is to have a whole new fleet of buses. Now, I think if you’ve seen our current ones, I think you know what I’m talking about. And then lastly is to support IDEA initiatives right here at the school.

Priority number five is expand Mount Vernon Ventures. As you know, Mount Vernon Ventures is a research and strategy lab right here at the school, consulting with schools across the country and even the world. Matter of fact, two of our major projects right now, one is in Vietnam and one is right here, working with and collaborating with Fulton County schools. So in addition to those two projects, there are some exciting announcements coming forward, and we look forward to sharing it with you, because money raised, funds raised out of Mount Vernon Ventures, actually reinvest back into our students and our teachers right here at Mount Vernon.

May we be a community that not just weathers change, but is transformed by it, and even creates it and designs it. So have a great school year, and we’ll see you around campus.