Our New Name Is…

To the St. Francis School community:  After nearly a year-long process, we are pleased to announce the results of our name change exploration with you. As a recap, last summer the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to explore the possibility of a name change. A Task Force was created to research all that this possibility would entail including all potential costs and benefits. A survey was conducted as well as multiple listening sessions to ensure we had broad feedback from all involved with the School. The Task Force also conducted research with college admissions officers, faculty/staff search firms, and other schools and nonprofits that have changed their names. Based on that research, in January 2022 the Task Force unanimously recommended to the Board of Trustees that we change the name of the school; and the Board voted unanimously that same month to change the name. Next, we embarked on the process of determining a new name for the School. We hired a naming and branding firm, Bullhorn, a Louisville and Lexington firm, to guide us in the process. They spoke with numerous constituents from the school, examined all the research from the fall, and got to work. They presented 15 potential names to Board and school leaders, and the list was narrowed down to three finalist names: The Francis School, Francis Parker School, and The Bridges School. Those three names were then tested through surveys with internal and external audiences, as well as more listening sessions with internal audiences. A Name Selection Committee was formed, including the Board Executive [...]

Name Change Update

To the St. Francis School Community: As you may be aware, the Board of Trustees was scheduled to vote on a new name for the School yesterday, April 27. However, we have decided that more time is needed to thoroughly analyze and digest all the feedback and data collected from the most recent round of listening sessions and surveys regarding the name options that were brought forward. As a result, the final Board vote was postponed.   Given the importance of this decision, we simply cannot rush it, and we want to make sure that all voices are represented in the final name selection process. Therefore, we have slightly adjusted our timeline and expanded the naming selection committee to include the Executive Committee of the current Board, elected Officers of the 2022-23 Board, Leadership Team members who serve as representatives on the Executive Committee, and our 26-year-veteran Preschool Director. This is an inclusive group that will ensure that all points of view are heard and considered in this process.  The plan is to continue discussing our findings among this group over the next few weeks to reach consensus about which name will best meet our goals in choosing a new name for the school. As a reminder, our primary goals for the new name include: reducing the confusion that we are a religious school, better reflecting our Mission, and helping to attract more Mission-appropriate students to the School. A recommendation will then be made by this committee to the full Board of Trustees. The Board will reconvene for a [...]

Name Change Survey & Listening Session Update

To the St. Francis School Community: We shared on Mar 31, 2022 details of the Name Change process and the dates of the upcoming Listening Sessions. Today we are happy to share with you a survey to gather your feedback on the top finalists for our new name. Our genuine desire is to hear from everyone who wants to weigh in on this decision. Our goal is to be as transparent as possible and, again, to hear all voices on this matter. In addition to submitting the survey, we invite you to join one of the three virtual listening sessions listed below (times listed are Eastern Time Zone and the link will connect you to the Google Meet). Saturday, April 16, 2:00 - 3:00  p.m.: All SFS Constituencies, Virtual Monday, April 18, 6:00 - 7:00 p.m.: All SFS Constituencies, Virtual Tuesday, April 19, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.: All SFS Constituencies, Virtual We will also be conducting in-person Listening Sessions with our faculty and staff, middle and high school students, and Board of Trustees. Our team from Bullhorn will lead the Listening Sessions. Upon completion of the Listening Sessions and surveys, we will summarize the data for the naming committee. The committee will then choose the new name based on that summary.  The committee will then present the new name to the Executive Committee for a vote on Monday, April 25 and then to the full Board of Trustees for a vote on Wednesday, April 27.  The new name will be shared with our community soon after that.  Thank you [...]

Name Change Listening Sessions & Survey

To the St. Francis School Community: As you know, on January 26, 2022, the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to change the name of our school. Since then, our team has been hard at work on the next steps in this historic process.  To help guide us in this endeavor, we are working with Bullhorn, a creative agency that specializes in naming and branding. Over the last several months, we welcomed them into our community so they could gain insight into our community, Mission, philosophy, and core values, as well as experience first-hand all the benefits and unique attributes of our school and feel the Wyvern spirit for themselves on both campuses. They have also digested all the data from the survey and Listening Sessions and specialty interviews (college admissions, employee search, other organizations that have undergone a name change) that we conducted last fall.  We are confident that they really “get us” and in their ability to guide us in choosing a name and image that better reflects who we are.  Regarding the process going forward, as you know, we collected a list of possible names from our constituents in the survey last fall and in the many conversations we’ve had since last summer.  Bullhorn took that list and also executed their brainstorming process and will bring to us a list of 10-12 possible names in early April, some of which will be ones that came from our internal audiences. We have a small committee of school and Board leadership that will then cull those down into our [...]

St. Francis School Name Exploration Task Force Final Report

St. Francis School | Name Exploration Task Force | Report to the Board of Trustees To the St. Francis School Community: Throughout the history of St. Francis School, the name has served both as a tribute to our origins and a source of confusion for a school without a religious affiliation. In June 2021, the St. Francis School Board of Trustees voted unanimously to explore the possibility of a name change. The action was spurred by the strong recommendation of Independent School Management, a nationally-recognized consulting firm hired to conduct a thorough analysis of the School’s enrollment management practices and its marketing efforts. The Board formed a diverse, 30-member Task Force — which included representatives from current students, current faculty, alumni from both Campuses, current parents, alumni parents, Trustees, and former Trustees — to gather information, listen to all our constituencies, and make a thoughtful, reasoned recommendation on whether to change the school’s name. We conducted an eight-month study that included: An online survey of more than 1,400 people (sent to just over 3,000 — and shared on social media — for an approximately 47% response rate); 13 listening sessions conducted online and in person; Interviews with college admissions officers, employee search firms, and schools and other non-profits that have considered or implemented a name change, and; Estimating costs associated with a name change. Based on the extensive input and information and with thoughtful discussion, the Name Exploration Task Force unanimously recommended that the Board of Trustees proceed with changing the name of St. Francis School to better reflect its [...]

2022-01-31T14:38:29-05:00January 31st, 2022|Name Change Exploration 2021|

Highlights of St. Francis School Name Exploration Survey and Listening Sessions (Fall 2021)

We have committed to being transparent with the St. Francis School community about our process for exploring a potential name change for the School. Therefore, we are pleased to share the results of our recent survey and a summary of feedback gathered during our listening sessions.  While survey results indicate support for a name change, no decision has been made about whether or not to change the name of the School – a decision for the Board of Trustees. The survey and listening sessions are only part of the process.  The Name Exploration Task Force is taking all of this feedback into account while gathering additional data from other relevant sources, which include: interviewing college admissions officers to determine the possible impact of a name change;  interviewing employee search firms to determine the impact on potential hiring;  interviewing schools that have considered and/or undergone a name change to learn more about possible benefits and pitfalls; and  exploring the potential cost of a name change.   All of this information will be analyzed and reviewed collectively by the Task Force in order to make a thoroughly researched recommendation to the Board in January on whether to change the School’s name.   Bulleted data from the Survey Click here to see all pie charts: The survey was sent to 3,300 people and was posted on social media 1,417 people engaged by at least listing their constituent group; 948 answered all the name change questions; 893 answered all the tagline questions; 870 completed the full survey % (number) of survey responses by constituent group*: [...]

Name Change Exploration: Listening Sessions Announcement

To our School community: You have spoken and the survey results are in. Thank you to the 1,417 of you who took the time to interact with the survey and share your opinion, and especially to the over 900 of you who completed it! We are so honored that you took the time to share your thoughts with us. We will spend the next few weeks analyzing the data and examining responses by constituent group, as well as delving into individual responses, so stay tuned for information on the results. We have also created a page on our website that will keep everyone apprised of the process as we move forward. Our goal is to be as transparent as possible and, again, to hear all voices on this matter. Now that you’ve done that, we want to share with you what is next. As we discussed in our earlier communication, the survey is just one part of our data gathering. The next part of our data gathering is our scheduled Listening Sessions, which with the exception of the student and faculty/staff sessions, will all be virtual to allow as many people as possible to participate. Each will be led by a Task Force member and will be attended by multiple Task Force members to ensure that multiple people hear the feedback that is shared. Please mark your calendars for the dates and times (times listed are Eastern Time Zone) that are relevant to your constituent group. *Please note we have eliminated one session (11/5, 9:30 a.m.)  and added an evening session [...]

Name Change Exploration | Fall 2021

As members of the St. Francis School family, you know that our Goshen and Downtown campuses are rare and special places where students learn about much more than math, art, and history. It’s where they learn to be amazing individuals -- nurtured by exceptional teachers, supported by engaged parents, and connected with peers who become life-long friends.   But many people don’t know us -- or unfortunately, think we are something we are not. Surveys, interviews, and conversations over many years tell us that our name -- St. Francis School -- is confusing, shared by many unaffiliated local institutions, and does not communicate our Progressive educational philosophy. As a result, we are likely missing out on amazing prospective students, whose families are looking for a school like St. Francis School, but don’t understand from our name who we are and what we are about.   Spurred by the strong recommendation of an independent consultant that specializes in the management of Independent Schools, the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to explore the possibility of a name change. The Board formed a diverse, 30-member Task Force to gather information, listen to all our constituencies, and make a thoughtful, reasoned recommendation based on the input we receive. Our genuine desire is to hear from everyone who wants to weigh in on this decision, and we’ve laid out a process to do so.   The listening begins with the survey below. We hope you will take a few minutes to share your thoughts about what, beyond our name, makes our School so special to [...]

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