MAUMEE VALLEY COUNTRY DAY SCHOOL
As the only independent school option in the greater Toledo area, Maumee Valley Country Day School has enjoyed healthy enrollments and a longstanding reputation for academic quality. After years under a veteran administration, however, the School ― despite continued innovation by faculty in classrooms ― lacked the energy needed to inspire and invigorate strategic planning. In the meantime, nearby public and parochial schools were becoming increasingly strong and competitive.
Over the life of the project we determined ways of strengthening the School’s appeal in the greater Toledo area and helped rally the internal community around a refined, credible and enlivened institutional identity. Early on, all faculty and staff were gathered and engaged by Art & Science Group in a retreat where each was asked to rate, provide frank comment on and help shape credible and aspirant public identities for the School to be tested in market research.
We then surveyed area parents who had not inquired for information about Maumee Valley, parents who had inquired for information but did not apply, parents who had applied and whose children had been accepted and community members who are in positions to influence area parents’ choice of schools to consider for their children. The study revealed that the School was viewed quite favorably, was understood to provide high quality academics and that Toledo-area parents’ school choices were very focused on preparing their children for the next educational level and especially college.
Recognizing the preparation these parents were looking for, A&S recommended that the School focus its institutional position on describing what true preparation requires today. The project catalyzed a shift not only in communications, but also in academic and programmatic planning, now explicitly linked to creative measures of preparation. The School’s communications serve as informal public service announcements with helpful tips about child development and college preparation.