January 25, 2018

Thank you to all in our community for your participation in the 100-Day Visit conducted by Ralph Davison in December. This common practice, held when a new Head of School is appointed, is helpful for the continuing transition, furthering Peter's growth as a leader, and including the school community as a whole. Your feedback and opinions were invaluable to this process and we were able to gather much helpful and important data.  

The Head Support and Evaluation Committee of the Board of Trustees and Peter have reviewed the summary of the visit and would like to share with you the key findings and takeaways. Overall, there is a feeling of hope and optimism at the school. When describing his leadership, the most frequently used terms were "child-focused, interactive, approachable, and knowledgeable." Comments indicated a strong sentiment that Peter has the ability to understand issues quickly and act positively on what needs to be done. He was described as a visionary and "the right person for the job." The school community as a whole is very pleased with Peter's leadership thus far. The report was certainly a well deserved "round of applause" for his dedication and hard work.

While Peter's strong leadership has supported a smooth transition, excellent leaders know there are always areas needing improvement. Peter and the Board of Trustees have focused on five areas and discussed tactics for addressing each challenge:
  1. On-boarding and introductions to various constituents for Peter needs to continue through the 2017-2018 school year. (A Board of Trustees Task force has been formed to continue this aspect of the transition.)    
  2. The Board of Trustees and Peter need to engage in Strategic Planning work and create a clear vision for the school's future. (The Board will engage in strategic discussions and prep work this winter/spring to lead into the Strategic Design process late summer/early fall.)
  3. Peter and the Board of Trustees need to monitor the pace of change. (Guided by the upcoming Strategic Plan and ongoing parent surveys, they will articulate a vision that provides guidance for change aligned with the school's mission and culture.)
  4. Peter will continue to build relationships with the students and faculty.
  5. The administration should conduct annual parent surveys. (Brief surveys asking for feedback and suggestions will be sent to the parent community.)
The 100-Day Visit proved to be a very valuable experience. Peter and the Board of Trustees, with a spirit of partnership and collaboration, will continue to ensure a smooth leadership transition and the success and sustainability of James River Day School for years to come.

Thank you again for your participation, feedback, and support.