The plan has been implemented with an empathy-driven design thinking methodology developed by Stanford University. Importantly, this approach puts student needs around their educational, growth and well-being at the center of the innovation process. Today, St. Margaret's has evolved this approach into its unique approach: Innovation Strategy.
St. Margaret's Innovation Strategy uncovered authentic student needs for deeper connection, relevance in learning experiences and a holistic approach to student health and wellness. These insights led to exciting and inventive new academic and student programs, many listed above, as a result. It has also yielded an important and enduring byproduct—an entirely new way of thinking and approaching challenges and opportunities by St. Margaret's professional community, a renewed energy, enthusiasm and collaboration for school planning and change, and a schoolwide culture of innovation among the entire professional community.St. Margaret’s signature Innovation Strategy is similar to Design Thinking, and has unique characteristics to St. Margaret’s:
St. Margaret's has been recognized as a leader for its Innovation Strategy by the National Association of Independent Schools.
- Guided by an ongoing, replicable process to continually design and actualize the future of the school
- Student-centered and heavily influenced by principles of design thinking (empathize, define, ideate, prototype, test, iterate)
- Relies on the educational expertise of the professional community and fiscal expertise of the Board of Trustees
- Results in the identification of aspirational strategic priorities within the school’s Core Values (Character, Community, Balance and Breadth, High Expectations and Equity and Inclusion) and institutional sustainability
- Relies on diverse teams from across the school collaborating to generate creative solutions
- Embraces piloting to test action steps at small scale before full implementation
- Evolves beyond traditional “Strategic Plan” name and approach, and moves toward continuous “strategic thinking” mode