The Hill-Murray Strategic Plan
During the 2020-2021 school year, members of the Hill-Murray community came together to consider the school’s priorities for the next five years. The result is Go Boldly: The Hill-Murray Strategic Plan.
The plan’s five strategic pillars draw on the latest educational research and are grounded in our Benedictine and Lasallian Catholic traditions. Our goal is ambitious: Hill-Murray will be one of the finest independent Catholic schools in the country.
In an era of unprecedented change, our graduates need new skills, experiences, and perspectives—and so Hill-Murray needs to embrace new ideas and practices. Go Boldly is a blueprint for a modern Catholic school. We will foster a love of learning in our students, deepen their faith, and give them the tools and support to fulfill their God-given potential and make a difference in our world.
Hill-Murray is an independent, Catholic,
co-educational, college, and life-preparatory
school serving students in grades 6–12. Rooted
in our Benedictine and Lasallian traditions, we
embrace the journey of each student and are
committed to the growth and well-being of each member of our community.
Hill-Murray empowers students to reach
their fullest potential by inspiring them to
utilize their God-given strengths to become
leaders who will make a positive difference
in the world.
Hill-Murray will become the preeminent
school that partners with families to
develop transformational leaders grounded
in the teachings of Christ.
Portrait of a Hill–Murray Graduate
Grounded in the Teachings of Christ…
- Driven by curiosity, an independent thinker and lifelong learner
- A critical thinker and innovator willing to take risks
- A problem solver with the intellectual courage to consider new perspectives
- Demonstrates perseverance and grit–to keep going when it gets hard–A PIONEER!
- Acts with the courage to navigate the challenges they know are a part of the journey
- Develops the muscles of their body, mind, and spirit, which they know only get built by
- discomfort, mistakes, and the productive struggle inherent to growth
- Sees the face of Jesus in everyone they meet–We Welcome All Guests As Christ
- Demonstrates personal courage, empathy, and uses their voice to help others
- Acts with humility and considers how their actions affect the world around them
- Lives their values and leads by example
- Embraces their journey and awareness of being created in God’s image
- Understands their strengths and weaknesses
- Empowers those around them
- Seeks to live out their faith by building bridges and serving others
Our Catholic identity permeates our school community and strengthens us as we seek to live out the teachings of Christ. We believe that Jesus Christ is both the source and summit of the realization of full human potential. As a Catholic school community, we meet students where they are and support them as they learn and grow in their faith journey.
Community of Belonging
We believe in the commitment to sharing our faith, values, and experiences with students, alumni, parents, faculty, staff, and friends of the Hill-Murray community. We believe our Benedictine and Lasallian traditions influence everything we do. We take care of each other. Every individual will be known, loved, and respected and in turn, has the responsibility to know, love, and respect others. We are committed to connection and evangelization in a diverse educational community rooted in God’s love, with the profound belief in the dignity of the human person. We believe it is our privilege and duty to ‘Welcome all guests as Christ’ (Rule of St. Benedict, 53), and this belief permeates Hill-Murray.
We believe that educating the whole student is a hallmark of Catholic education. The intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual, and physical wellness of each of our students is a top priority. Current research informs our understanding of what our young people need in order to learn, grow and reach their fullest potential. Supporting our students in finding balance in their lives is rooted in our Benedictine tradition and will pay dividends throughout their lives.
We believe that every student is capable of leadership and will empower them to recognize, develop and use their strengths and gifts to serve their communities. We believe students are transformed by service to others and each will find their own way to provide ethical leadership within their sphere of influence. We believe every student will graduate as a confident, ethical, and humble servant leader inspired to lead and serve.
We believe that for students to be prepared to contribute to a complex and interconnected global society, they need the skills, mindsets, and values that will help them work collaboratively and respectfully across cultures and borders. Stewardship is defined as the responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care. We believe that educating the next generation of global stewards, problem solvers, and faith-based changemakers is critical to Hill-Murray’s success and will provide the kind of leaders our world needs.
Strategic Pillar #1
Our goal is to offer rich and diverse transformational learning experiences beyond the traditional classroom that ignite passion, curiosity and reveal the talents of each student. Our Benedictine and Lasallian traditions nurture and guide students. With a focus on the whole person, our students will fall in love with learning and be challenged to grow and exceed even their own expectations.
All students will have a portfolio of credentialed transformational learning experiences that reflect a journey of growth during their years at Hill-Murray. Key areas include skill development (creativity, curiosity, collaboration, critical thinking), an understanding of self and a sense of self-efficacy, and the role of faith and values in one’s life.
All students will participate in the Pioneer Institute for Health and Wellness during their time at Hill-Murray. Students will be supported and challenged in their physical, spiritual, social and emotional growth journey, as they learn the skills, mindsets and beliefs that will endure over time.
All students will be supported in their faith journey as they grow and mature over time in their understanding of the values, beliefs and actions that define their path in life.
All students will experience a sense of belonging and inclusion during their time at Hill-Murray.
Percent of students on track in portfolio development, reported annually by grade level.
Track the number and percentage of students who are graduating with a Pathway certificate. Include a measure that shows the level of innovative opportunities available to students.
Student survey data that measures: (Benchmarked to national standards and compares ourselves to ourselves annually)
- The sense of belonging among the student body,
- Students’ perception of being supported in their faith journey
- Students’ level of commitment to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Annual executive summary of the projects and internships of each graduating class. Using a rubric for scoring, demonstrate the quality of the experience with the goal that 80% of students score in the top two performance levels.
STRATEGIC PILLAR #2
Collaborative leadership defines our working relationships and propels our school to the next level. We value open communication, cultivating connections, accountability for shared goals, sharing of diverse viewpoints and clarity of roles and responsibilities. These are hallmarks of a high performing school and are attractive, energizing and empowering for current and prospective faculty, staff and students.
The Boards and board committees are high functioning, have an established charter with clearly defined roles and responsibilities, and follow an annual cadence that drives toward ensuring success for Hill-Murray.
The Boards provide appropriate guidance, insight and expertise in overseeing the implementation of the strategic plan.
Collaborative leadership is cultivated among faculty, staff and students by providing opportunities and expectations for engagement in relevant and meaningful work that moves Hill-Murray forward in a positive way.
In support of the Portrait of a Graduate Profile, all students will engage in leadership development through both curricular and cocurricular experiences that is developmentally appropriate and challenges students to grow in their leadership skills, mindsets and values.
Key Performance Indicators (KPI) are established and reviewed yearly and include a President’s point of view along with recommendations for taking action if necessary. KPI’s are benchmarked to local or national standards when possible.
The Board engages in a self-evaluation tool that measures the level at which the board demonstrates best practice in board leadership. Results are benchmarked against other independent schools across the country.
School climate and culture survey data collected from faculty, staff and students on an annual basis addressing key areas related to engagement and a sense of ownership in the Hill-Murray experience.
The leadership team will track the number of opportunities available for teacher leadership and create benchmarks for the number of teachers engaged at different levels of experience. Teacher leadership is defined as committee work, special projects, program development or other opportunities that go beyond the traditional scope of the teachers’ work.
STRATEGIC PILLAR #3
Our goal is to attract, reward and retain the very best. The importance of the role adults play in the lives of students cannot be underestimated and our Lasallian and Benedictine charisms root us firmly in that belief. Hill-Murray will be an employer of first-choice for exceptional teachers and professional staff and be recognized as a collaborative community of distinction serving students and families in the Twin Cities.
All faculty and staff members meet or exceed the expectations described in the Characteristics of Professional Excellence Profile.
Best practice in recruiting, rewarding and retaining faculty and staff are fully embedded in all areas of the school.
The Lasallian and Benedictine charisms, focused on the vocational call of the educator, are valued, supported and integrated throughout the faculty and staff culture.
Annual executive summary of performance standards related to the Professional Excellence profile. What percent of our faculty and staff are meeting or exceeding key performance indicators on the profile.
Annual survey data on job satisfaction, positive employee retention and total compensation benchmarked to local Catholic secondary schools and national data.
Attendance data related to faculty and staff participation in faith/charism related activities and experiences that go beyond what is required by Hill-Murray.
Executive summary of student and parent perceptions and surveys of teacher performance.
STRATEGIC PILLAR #4
Our goal is for all who step onto our campus to feel a sense of welcome, a spirit of innovation and a reverence for our commitment to faith, values and sustainability. Our campus and facilities support and enrich the student experience as well as enhance Hill-Murray’s reputation as an innovator and leader in the Twin Cities.
The Hill-Murray Campus Master Plan establishes a vision and framework for the historic 45-acre campus. New buildings, landscape and circulation projects will dramatically transform the school, bringing new opportunities for interdisciplinary activities, improved spaces for learning and increased engagement with wellness and environmental stewardship for students, faculty and staff alike.
Classrooms, common spaces, athletic and fine arts facilities are utilized to the highest potential and provide students with a robust educational environment that meets their needs and exceeds their expectations.
The outdoor campus and surrounding area offers students, faculty and staff the opportunity to expand the classroom in innovative ways, engage with the outdoors and develop their sense of environmental stewardship and care for creation.
Utilization rates for both indoor and outdoor classrooms and campus. Benchmarking the percent of classrooms and outdoor space being used on a daily basis as well as the accessibility of our common spaces.
Annual budget targets for deferred maintenance and annual facilities spend based on industry standards.
Infrastructure, conservation and sustainability measures including recycling, lighting efficiency and conservation, energy efficiency, watershed protection and the reduction of paper materials and industrial supplies.
STRATEGIC PILLAR #5
Advancing Our Journey
Ensuring the operational long term future of Hill-Murray requires careful planning and stewardship. Our promise is that Hill-Murray will continue to provide an excellent Catholic education for generations to come. We will tell the Hill-Murray story with excitement and pride and establish our school as an educational leader in the state. We will partner with families, alumni, friends, staff and community members to bring our mission to life and enhance the student experience.
Financial resources are allocated strategically and thoughtfully in direct support of the goals and initiatives outlined in the strategic plan.
Meet or exceed targets for each area of revenue generation, including annual giving, major gifts, endowment and enrollment. Targets are based on best in class as well as ISM stability markers from recent benchmarking.
Engage Alumni Board to increase participation and affinity for Hill-Murray School including high impact events beyond reunions.
The marketing and communication strategy successfully entices all stakeholders to engage in meaningful ways that support Hill-Murray’s mission and vision.
Maintain enrollment at building capacity while strengthening strategic relationships with scholarship donors, international partners, local non-profits and partner schools.
Regular review of progress made on the strategic plan initiatives using key performance indicators that measure the successful implementation of the plan.
Advancement Dashboard including annual giving, major gifts, capital campaign targets and planned giving as well as constituency engagement, benchmarked to high performing private schools across the country.
Enrollment Dashboard including five year enrollment projections by grade level, partner school matriculation, attrition and retention of current students, benchmarked to other Catholic schools. Also includes demographic data benchmarked to the community we serve.
Alumni Dashboard including participation rates for giving by class, attendance at events and cost per dollar raised for alumni events.
This plan builds on our strengths and successes—and challenges and inspires us to do more. Crucially, the plan introduces a new strategic direction that ensures Hill-Murray meets its mission to provide an intellectually challenging and innovative program of study that fosters curiosity and engagement in every aspect of school life and prepares our graduates to be leaders in society.