Five Essential Tests for Transforming Your School’s Future

by Peter Baron

Someone I worked with years ago recently asked me this: what’s the best part of building MoonshotOS?

I didn’t have to think twice: creating a community of schools committed to iterating the business model for long-term sustainability.

But let’s be real. Any school contemplating change must overcome several hurdles, including determining whether it is “ready” to tackle this issue.

By ready, I mean the leadership team and the board taking time to reflect on whether they have all the pieces in place to drive change at the school successfully.

When I talk with schools about this, I always reference the guidance from Roy Ballentine, Chair of the Board for Brewster Academy.

During TransformED 2023, an online conference I hosted, Roy shared five critical tests that schools must undertake when contemplating significant changes, such as iterating their business model.

If you missed it, I made this session a free short course to get a feel for Moonshot Lab. It takes under 50 minutes to complete, and you can access it here.

These tests, derived from Brewster Academy iterating the business model, capped by the launch of a network of campuses in Spain, are designed to evaluate a school’s readiness and fortify its strategy for a successful transformation.

The Five Tests, as outlined by Roy Ballentine, are:

  • Continuity of Leadership: Is there a long-term view with stable leadership to champion and sustain the change?
  • Cohesive Leadership Team: Does the school have a strong leadership team that works in unison towards common goals?
  • Board and Leadership Collaboration: How effective is the collaboration between the board and the school’s leadership team? This synergy is crucial for navigating the complexities of change.
  • Compelling Value Proposition: Can the school articulate what unique value it offers families and is willing to pay for?
  • Willingness to Take Risks: Is the school community prepared to step out of its comfort zone and embrace the risks of significant change?

This list is more than just checkpoints; it’s a framework for thoughtful reflection and strategic action and it will help your school navigate the complexities of change with clarity.

Brewster Academy’s bold move to expand its educational model globally wasn’t a decision made overnight.

It resulted from meticulous planning, deep self-assessment, and an unwavering commitment to their mission and vision.

By embracing a strategic approach to transformation, we can ensure that our schools not only withstand the tests of time but emerge stronger, more vibrant, and more relevant than ever.

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