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Is Your School Student-Centered or Adult-Centered?

Need an edge to be competitive?

Want something

better to offer?

Among innovative businesses today, it is normal to launch a test-product, with the intention of inviting the reactions, both positive and negative, of targeted users. We read a recent review in a major newspaper of a brand new electric vehicle pickup. The reviewer said, in effect, here’s what they have right, and here’s what they need to do before a real product launch. The company clearly has a “market-facing” orientation! They have developed an exciting product, but before gearing up production, they know that as good as their engineers, designers, and production teams are, the success of the product depends upon how the market receives it. No doubt, they are back at the drawing boards now, reviewing the reviews, re-designing and re-tooling as necessary to meet the needs of the market.

What about our schools?

Are we customer-focused,


faculty-administration focused?

In school terms, are you student-centered, or adult-centered? We are here to help you make this important, but possibly difficult change.

VisM has experience in helping independent schools make this key educational and cultural institutional move. We see “student-centered schools” as those institutions that keep the learning needs of the students front and center when it comes to decisions about teaching and learning. This means that the personal priorities and preferences of adults are secondary, not primary, considerations while formulating schedules and policies.

Your clients are of course your school’s parents, who are seeking an experience that is responsive to the needs of their kids, and therefore the more student-centered your school’s instruction and programs are, the more your product will be celebrated in the market!

We suggest you use our Survey to begin evaluating your school's current bias.

Feel free to download and print the survey, using it for your own reference.

If you like, submit your responses online and we'll get back to you with aggregated data.

If you find this Survey helpful and have any questions or would like to learn more, please contact us.


A few words about our backgrounds...

Vital Independent School Management is a New England based consultancy composed of three experienced independent school leaders.

Dexter Morse led Worcester Academy for 15 years with a laser focus on enrollment growth, development and implementation of the school's student-centered strategic plan. During Dexter's tenure, enrollment increased from 317 to 655 students and the school completed its first two major capital campaigns- the first for $30,000,000 and the second for $50,000,000. Dexter graduated from Phillips Andover, Bowdoin College (BA), UVM (MEd) and UMass Amherst, (CAGS).Dexter resides in Holden Massachusetts, and is VisM’s Senior Partner.

Bill Toomey served for 22 years as Chief Financial Officer/Controller of Worcester Academy and other large New England boarding schools. Bill has a pragmatic insistence upon expense control and realistic budgeting. Bill resides in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, and holds his BS in Accounting from New Hampshire College.

Harry Lynch served as Head of School at Boston’s The Newman School for 35 years, leading the institution through initial accreditation with NEASC/CIS in 1993, and the introduction of the school’s International Baccalaureate program. Harry lives in Plymouth, New Hampshire, and is a graduate of College of the Holy Cross (B.A.) and Northeastern University (M.B.A.)

VisM focuses on Strategic Mentoring of Boards andSchoolLeadership teams. We are experienced, successful school leaders with years of service both as Board members and as administrators. We are sensitive to school budgeting realities and are focused on the success of YOUR school.

For information about how we can help your Board or your school leadership, contact Dexter Morse

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