The First Independent STEAM School in Orange County, CA
Serving Early Childhood to 8th Grade

Strategic Plan

Like all great schools, St. John's Episcopal School is guided by a forward-looking Strategic Plan. Guided by the leadership of the School Committee, with input from key school constituencies, the Strategic Plan contains long-term and strategic goals for pillars of success: Episcopal Identity, Curriculum, Technology, Co-Curriculum, Admissions, Finance, Advancement, Organizational Development, and Facilities.  

The Strategic Plan 2019-2021 outlines priorities to be addressed in the coming two years, which will serve as a springboard for a long-term plan, to be released at the end of the 2020-21 school year. St. John's Episcopal School has a strong present, and a bright future, as guided by the following strategic priorities:     

Mission Statement
Grounded in the rich history of diversity and excellence in Episcopal education, St. John's fosters every child's full intellectual, physical, and spiritual development.  A nurturing learning environment and programs built on an ideal balance of tradition and innovation encourage our students to pursue lives of service and purpose.

Vision Statement
To provide an extraordinary STEAM education that best prepares our students for a life of leadership, character, and purpose in the 21st century.

Value Proposition
St. John’s Episcopal School is an independent school providing a unique learning environment for children ages eight weeks through eighth grade. Remaining true to our Episcopal heritage, every child is known and encouraged through close personal attention to thrive and to lead a life of service and purpose. As an independent school, St. John’s is able to make program decisions that best serve its students and community without mandate from the government or any other outside entity. Adopting a STEAM approach to teaching and learning is one such manifestation of this autonomy. STEAM integrates curricula across subject areas and enables students to collaborate on projects to create solutions to real world problems. This approach is hailed by leading educators as the best way to prepare students for high school, college, and the dynamic 21st-century workplace. Our engaging programs, coupled with our inclusive, faith-based culture, enrich each student’s mind, body, and spirit, resulting in exceptional academic trajectories and exceptional individuals.

The Pillars of the Strategic Plan to 2021

Episcopal Identity

As an Episcopal school, St. John’s is dedicated to academic excellence and ethical conduct in an atmosphere that respects the dignity and beliefs of every student regardless of origin, background, ability, or religion. Rooted in Christian tradition and lively Episcopal-Anglican practice, St. John’s is a diverse ministry of educational and human formation for children of all faiths, or no faith at all. We encourage our students to be grateful for their blessings, understanding that a culture of thankfulness creates a healthy, happy environment in which students are free to learn, strive, question, and explore to their full potential. Understanding that love and mercy are the heart of the Christian gospel, we promote the gospel by our behavior rather than by enforcing doctrine. We encourage our students to discover the breadth of learning that takes place in successes, as well as failures, in what works, as well as what does not work. Ours is a community where all are welcome, wherever they are on their journeys of faith and life.

Strategic Goal:

Continuously align the mission and programs at the School with its Episcopal identity and heritage.


St. John’s will stay at the forefront of the STEAM approach to teaching and learning, while researching and adapting to appropriate educational trends and industry changes. The School is excited to embrace new paradigms for pedagogy that utilize technology, flexible spaces, and collaborative instruction to create active learning environments. St. John’s will remain true to its mission to balance innovation with tradition, embracing technology and any other emerging curriculum, pedagogy, or tool, that enhances student learning, with thoughtful integration, professional development, and support. The School will continue to use a variety of data sources to ensure that St. John’s students’ physical, emotional, and social needs are met to reach their highest academic potential and that all curricula are effective and aligned with best practices.

Strategic Goal:

In alignment with the School’s mission, embracing both tradition and innovation, ensure the School provides a physical, social, and emotional environment where students learn best, and a STEAM based curriculum that ideally prepares our students for success in high school, college, and the workplace beyond.


St. John’s Co-Curricular programs play an integral part in fostering the intellectual and physical development of our students. St. John’s targets three co-curricular areas – athletics, after school programs, and summer school – to complement its 21st-century curriculum and provide excellent offerings that support the diverse interests of its student body. The School seeks to provide students with viable, high-quality, on-campus options for cultivating and developing interests beyond the classroom. In addition, school athletics will be a consistent source of spirit and pride.

Strategic Goal:

Offer co-curricular programs that engage students, their families, and the wider community in the life of the School.


As the first independent school in Southern California to adopt a STEAM approach to teaching and learning, St. John’s has positioned itself as the leader in innovative education among independent schools in Southern California. Based on the curricular changes, coupled with innovative classroom and facility changes, the School is poised to see consistent demand for a St. John’s education and thereby stable enrollment. Consistent with its mission, St. John’s seeks to admit a diverse student population and promote inclusiveness through its enrollment process.

Strategic Goal:

Reach admissions targets and establish long-term strategies to optimize and maximize enrollment with students and families who are well aligned with the School’s mission and culture of philanthropy. 


St. John’s has entered a phase of growth and innovation. Employing a highly-disciplined budget planning process is necessary to ensure successful funding of strategic initiatives that encourage growth and support high-level academic programs. Planning will be thoughtful and pragmatic to strategically invest resources in support of our objectives. Balancing the growth of the organization while maintaining an appropriate tuition base relative to the value of the education is paramount.

Strategic Goal:

Continuously update the financial model to ensure the School’s long-term growth.


The School will establish a clear St. John’s brand to increase community awareness of the unique value of a St. John’s education and achieve the School’s admissions and philanthropic goals. Fundraising activities will be focused and synergistic with marketing efforts to maximize community awareness and achieve necessary financial support.

Strategic Goal:

Advancement, working in alignment with Admissions, will actively promote a consistent brand image, strengthen community awareness, drive new enrollment, and meet philanthropic goals.  

Organizational Development

Over the course of its 30-year history, St. John’s has been blessed with able, long-tenured leadership. With the School welcoming a new Head of School in the 2019-20 school year, our strategic priorities will focus on successful integration and support of Mr. McHonett, his leadership team, and the structures in place to make an impact on the community experience. Review of internal administrative resources and staffing will be conducted to ensure efficiency, effectiveness of positions, and appropriate succession planning for potential retirements. In addition, the School Committee, in accordance with its bylaws, will continue to ensure that its members are spread across the divisions of the School, have diverse professional and personal backgrounds, and are sufficiently active and philanthropic in their service.

Strategic Goal:

Facilitate the successful transition and integration of a new Head of School and optimize human resources for successful administrative and governing leadership.  


The facilities at St. John's will continuously be evaluated and updated to support St. John’s mission and 21st-century education. The Making Space for the Future capital campaign will transform instructional and common spaces across campus. Technology will be enhanced in all classrooms and the infrastructure will be maintained and upgraded as necessary to support required functionality and security. The campus will be safe, welcoming, and aesthetically appealing.

Strategic Goal:

Provide facilities that are safe, attractive, and ideally support the School’s mission and its innovative, 21st-century program.