The Foundation for a Meaningful Life
Kindergarten - Grade 9 in Southborough, MA

2020 Strategic Plan

The 2020 Strategic Plan for Fay School

Fay School celebrated its sesquicentennial in 2016, marking 150 years of excellence in teaching and learning. While the School has grown and evolved over the years, our mission and philosophy have remained remarkably consistent. The guiding principle established by founder Eliza Burnett Fay—“to lay a foundation for education in its broadest sense”—is at the heart of our current mission statement: “to educate each child to his or her full potential through a broad, balanced, and challenging program that establishes a solid foundation for a productive and fulfilling life.”
Today’s world may be very different than it was 150 years ago, but in a time marked by uncertainty and rapid change, Fay’s mission is as relevant as ever. Looking to the future, we believe that the best way to equip students to lead productive, fulfilling lives is to provide them with essential foundational skills: to be critical thinkers, creative problem solvers, and articulate speakers; to be culturally competent and have a global perspective; and to demonstrate resilience, empathy, and integrity.
As we embrace our history and uphold the traditions established by our nineteenth-century founders, we are keenly aware that the best way to fulfill our mission in the 21st century is to continue to evolve in a thoughtful and deliberate way. Fay is grounded in timeless, enduring values: an expectation of excellence, an emphasis on civility and respect, a focus on earnest effort and dedicated service. The best way to honor and preserve our legacy is to maintain a mindset of growth and development and to continuously reinvest energy and resources in our programs, people, and facilities.
At its core, the 2020 Strategic Plan is designed to ensure that Fay School will continue to realize its single, most important goal: to provide students with the foundation for a meaningful life. The Plan is a road map for our ongoing improvement, with goals and strategies that will enable us to strengthen the educational program for our students, promote the ongoing vitality of our school community, and ensure the continued strength and sustainability of Fay as an institution for many years to come. It is the result of a yearlong process during which the Board of Trustees, in collaboration with faculty, staff, alumni, and parents, considered the School’s strengths and challenges and identified strategic priorities in five key areas:  Enrollment, Marketing, Program, Access, and Financial Sustainability.
"At its core, the 2020 Strategic Plan is designed to ensure that Fay School will continue to realize its single, most important goal: to provide students with the foundation for a meaningful life." 


Objective:  Sustain a strong school community and ensure financial stability by fully enrolling a well-matched student body

• Implement an enrollment model that leverages the relative strengths of Fay’s day and boarding markets and increases selectivity by limiting the number of admission entry points and sections at each grade level
     - Maintain admission entry points at Kindergarten and first grade, and at sixth, seventh, and eighth grade

• Replace Pre-Kindergarten with a year-round early childhood program
     - Establish an Early Learning Center for children ages two years, nine months through age five

• Expand the size and broaden the diversity of the boarding population
     - Increase boarding enrollment and include representation from a wider range of countries


Objective:  Increase the number of applications from qualified students at each admission entry point

• Differentiate Fay from other independent schools and high-quality public school options
     - Utilize messaging pillars that articulate Fay’s defining qualities and attributes

• Increase awareness of Fay in our target markets
     - Sharpen our messaging and tell our story clearly and consistently

• Develop and strengthen our brand at home and abroad
     - Embrace inbound marketing as a central element of a comprehensive marketing plan


Objective:  Thoughtfully adapt the educational program to achieve Fay’s mission and provide evidence of our value proposition

• Regularly review, refine, and enhance the School’s program to ensure mission alignment and relevance
     - Increase funding for curriculum innovation
     - Increase investment in programs to develop creativity and design thinking
     - Integrate the development of foundational cognitive skills and character strengths throughout the academic program

• Develop and implement a comprehensive campus master plan that supports educational excellence
     - Renovate and upgrade current facilities
     - Repurpose existing spaces to meet emerging needs
     - Build new facilities to accommodate program development

• Deepen engagement between members of the school community
     - Initiate programs that strengthen connections between day and boarding students, international and domestic students, older and younger students, and parents among the three divisions of the School


Objective:  Make Fay accessible to a larger number of talented, well-matched students regardless of their families’ financial circumstances

• Control growth in the cost of attendance
     - Keep annual tuition increases at or below the rate of inflation

• Increase the financial aid budget
     - Sustain a need-based financial aid budget at or above 15% of gross tuition

• Increase the number of students receiving aid
     - Distribute financial aid to at least 25% of the student body

Financial Sustainability

Objective:  Accelerate improvement in the School’s financial strength and increase institutional resilience and agility

• Implement a sustainable financial model
     - Continuously improve operational efficiency and productivity
     - Achieve balanced annual budgets
     - Utilize a modest annual surplus to support strategic initiatives

• Increase revenue from non-tuition sources
     - Identify new opportunities for ancillary income
     - Increase alumni engagement
     - Institutionalize a robust planned giving program