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2020 Vision Strategic Plan

Milton Hershey School’s 2020 Vision strategic plan identified the school’s priorities from 2015-2020. It served as our compass, guiding all we did. This five-year plan called on all MHS community members to re-commit to the mission and vision of Milton and Catherine Hershey.

Milton Hershey School Middle Division students pause for a photo outside of school.

What We Achieved

By successfully addressing our priorities, we made our school better and better served our students. We are proud that we:

  • Reached the highest enrollment in school history with 2,189 students in 2019-20
  • Implemented three state-registered pre-apprenticeship programs, launching the first in the state in 2017-18
  • Received full-accreditation by Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies in 2017. MHS was the first pre-K through 12th grade residential school to receive the international honor.

Origins

President Peter Gurt ’85 introduced the 2020 Vision strategic plan during the 2014-15 school year. At that time, the school’s leadership, faculty, and staff recommitted to Milton and Catherine Hershey’s mission and vision when they donated their fortune to start our school. For over 110 years, this generosity has allowed MHS to improve the lives of thousands of children across the country.

We worked together to make a bigger impact. Our goal? Helping today’s students reach their full potential as students and graduates.

mhs-2020-logo

The 2020 Vision Mark

The compass at the center reminds us that “The Hersheys’ vision is our compass.” Their foresight is at the center of everything we do and anchored our vision for the future. Like a pebble that impacts a pool of water in a way that ripples far beyond what we can see, our 2020 Vision strategic plan identified the impact our students will have on their families, friends, and communities as a result of the limitless opportunities afforded to them by Milton Hershey School. The rings surrounding the compass represent the impact we are making in the present moment that will continue to ripple in the lives of our students through the year 2020 and beyond.

Three Goals of Vision 2020

Vision 2020 was built on three major goals:

  1. Cultivate strength of character and deliver a top-notch education.
  2. Expand our mission.
  3. Ignite staff engagement and exceptional performance.
Milton Hershey School elementary students ask questions in their classroom.

Goal 1: Cultivate Strength of Character and Deliver a Top-Notch Education

The MHS Deed of Trust lays the groundwork for everything we do at the school. Our mission is to educate children to lead fulfilling and productive lives. As our world changes, we must advance our educational program to meet current and future demands. And, as we strive to prepare our students for the world they will enter after graduation, our focus on these areas will equip them to be the leaders of tomorrow.

We will cultivate strength of character and deliver a top-notch education by:

Implementing a transformational character and leadership program

What we did from 2015-2020…

  • Developed and integrated The Compass Project across all school areas.

Infusing educational technology and integrating science, math, and career technical experiences

What we did from 2015-2020…

  • Exceeded statewide averages on the PSSA and Keystone exams annually.
  • Launched the Career and Technical Education program’s 12th career pathway­–Education and Human Services in 2019.
  • Infused STEAM curriculum and Agricultural & Environmental Education program into student-run Project Market.
  • Developed a 1:1 technology environment.

Elevating global awareness and understanding

What we did from 2015-2020…

  • Launched the Multicultural and Global Education program and domestic service learning experiences.
  • Created living learning communities for seniors to support their interest and goals.

Enhancing career exposure and preparation

What we did from 2015-2020…

  • Implemented three state-registered pre-apprenticeship programs, launching the first in the state of Pennsylvania during the 2017-18 school year.
  • Grew the Spartan Internship program to include the largest number of participants (91) to date during 2018-19 school year.
  • Awarded the Excellence in Action Award from Advance CTE for CTE program’s Law, Public Safety, and Security pathway.
  • Strengthened authentic learning opportunities for students with Hershey entity partners.
Milton Hershey School's Legacy Campus expansion allows us to serve more students and expand our mission.

Goal 2: Expand Our Mission

A longstanding goal at MHS has been to grow and share the life-changing vision of the Hersheys with even more families.

We will expand our mission by:

Growing to serve 2,300 students

What we did from 2015-2020…

  • Reached highest enrollment in school history with 2,189 students in 2019-20.
  • Attained the highest retention rate in 50 years at 93.3 percent in 2018-19.
  • Reached the largest number of students in each division to ever attend MHS in 2019-20.
  • Nearing completion of Legacy Campus construction of 32 new Middle Division student homes.

Advancing graduate success

What we did from 2015-2020…

  • Expanded postsecondary partnerships to 24 colleges and universities to strengthen graduates’ postsecondary experiences.
  • Developed the senior year capstone course.
  • Launched the Graduate Programs for Success (GPS) Division to support our youngest graduates.
  • Incorporated new communications systems into GPS Division.

Strengthening parent/sponsor engagement and education

What we did from 2015-2020…

  • Created Spartan Academy to help students successfully transition to MHS.
  • Introduced Spartan Sponsor Academy.
  • Strengthened relationships with parents/sponsors through Family Weekends.
  • Implemented livestream capabilities for parents/sponsors to watch students’ events no matter their location.
A Milton Hershey School Middle Division teacher works with students in her classroom.

Goal 3: Ignite Staff Engagement and Exceptional Performance

It is our goal to hire the very best staff to serve the children of Milton Hershey School. Being the best means continually growing, learning, and improving, which is what we expect of MHS employees. We support employees in pursuing continuous professional growth and learning because it equips them to better care for our students. We also expect them to model appropriate behavior to students and make genuine connections.

We will ignite staff engagement and exceptional performance by:

Building meaningful connections with students

What we did from 2015-2020…

  • Increased employee participation in Senior Division mentoring program.
  • Committed to schoolwide goal to be a difference maker for students beyond job responsibilities.
  • Launched Co-Pilot Mentoring Program to support first-year elementary students with staff mentoring.

Pursuing continuous professional growth and learning

What we did from 2015-2020…

  • Received continued accreditation status and exceptional feedback from the Pennsylvania Association of Independent Schools (PAIS).
  • Awarded full-accreditation by Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) in 2017. MHS was the first pre-K through 12th grade residential school to receive the international honor. The school has maintained that accreditation since.
  • Launched annual MHS Leadership Academy in 2017, advancing the skills of promising leaders across campus.

Modeling accountability and exceptional performance

What we did from 2015-2020…

  • Launched a new employee orientation program.
  • Created and implemented a schoolwide employee reboarding program.
  • Underwent extensive professional development and annual mandatory training to enhance expertise for the benefit of students.
  • Named Best Places to Work in Pennsylvania for four consecutive years.

Milton Hershey School does not discriminate in admissions or other programs and services on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, sex, religious creed or disability. Read important MHS policies on equal opportunity and diversity, equal employment opportunity, and more.