Believe In Our Future Together.

Since 1961, Connelly School of the Holy Child has been educating young women according to the mission of our foundress, Cornelia Connelly. Our focus has always been to respect the uniqueness and dignity of each student, sending them out into the world to live lives of joy, zeal, and compassion. As Head of School, I am honored and excited to share with you a new Strategic Vision for Connelly School of the Holy Child.

The vision for our work in moving Holy Child forward is Believe in Our Future Together. For the past two years BELIEVE has been our motto. That simple word has encouraged our students to dig deeper, push harder, and have faith in their individual gifts and the magic that can happen through collaboration and teamwork. Our plan has seven overarching goals – just like the seven goals of all Holy Child schools – with accompanying details and action plans that will guide us to achieve these objectives in the years to come.

Our school has most certainly entered a new era. Applications for admission continue to increase as more and more families learn about our philosophy. Research emerging from such preeminent institutions as Harvard Graduate School of Education supports what Holy Child has always believed: that balance and happiness are critical to academic success. In the coming years, this Strategic Vision will guide us as we continue to improve the student experience even further.

I want to acknowledge the hard work and participation of members from all areas of our community. Without each of you, we would not have been able to develop this ambitious plan. Parents, alumnae, students, trustees, faculty, and staff all invested many hours of their time and energy to contribute to shaping this document that will guide us over the next several years. There were surveys, retreats, meetings, and phone calls over a span of two years that brought us to this moment. I am grateful to be a part of such a dedicated community that works together to make Holy Child even better.

Special thanks to our Board of Trustees under the leadership of chair Nancy Binnie, Strategic Planning chair Kris Rowan, and committee members Bill Whitaker and Alicia Henneberry for their focus and commitment to realize a strategic vision for Holy Child.

This road map is not a document that sits on a shelf and gathers dust. It is a guide that can be adjusted or expanded as we work together to, as Cornelia Connelly once said, “meet the wants of the age.” I believe these goals and objectives we have put forth will make us stronger and better prepared to serve the needs of the twenty-first century student.

Thank you for your ongoing dedication and support of Holy Child.

Strengthen and live our Catholic Identity

We will continue to strengthen and live our Catholic identity by emulating Cornelia Connelly’s philosophy of educational excellence and joyful Christian commitment through Actions Not Words.


First Year Objectives

To strengthen our signature community service program and empower Holy Child students to become young women of action in their communities by leveraging existing service programs and opportunities.


  1. Increase communication regarding service opportunities in student publications and by personal invitation.

  2. Empower students to determine what service initiatives they will both lead and implement, with support and approval from Campus Ministry and Student Life.

  3. Investigate and research formal Christian service programs that include a yearly service requirement for students and foster a personal commitment to action.

Articulate a clear & comprehensive vision

The Board and Leadership will articulate a clear and comprehensive vision that calls all members of the school community to action in order to advance the mission of the school.


First Year Objective

To communicate the vision for the school by publicizing the strategic vision to all stakeholders, using vehicles such as the website, social media, Connelly Contact, and events for the extended school community.


Provide a superior, transformative education

We will provide a superior, transformative, college preparatory education that challenges every student to achieve academic excellence and success, embrace the individual talents and passions of its students, use research-based strategies, cutting-edge technology and resources, instill a joy of learning, and inspire her to make a difference.


First Year Objectives

To provide a cohesive curriculum in all subjects, grades 6-12, in order to facilitate further vertical planning and collaboration within and among departments and grade levels.

  1. Each teacher to build and maintain a curriculum map for one class per year.
  2. Schedule regular vertical planning meetings by subject and grade level.
  3. Revise science curriculum in grades 9 and 10 based on nationally recognized, next generation standards.


To create and employ innovative, 21st century learning spaces that foster the skills of collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking in order to prepare students to succeed in academics and life in college and beyond.


  1. Research innovative space in higher education and the workplace and its impact on learning.
  2. Share results of two classes (one upper school and one middle school) piloted during the 2015-2016 school year.
  3. Communicate benefits to community through various presentations to all stakeholders.
  4. Request applications from teachers with a proposed classroom design and intended pedagogy to be employed in their transformative classroom to ensure that innovative spaces are created thoughtfully and enhance the educational experience.


To optimize the use of technology in a safe and responsible manner and enhance student learning through cloud-based software in order to provide a dynamic, responsive, and personalized learning experience designed to foster collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking.


  1. Provide professional development for Faculty and Staff including technology boot camp, facilitate blended learning, build a curriculum map for technology's use.
  2. Provide training to all students to participate in a dynamic, personalized learning community including cloud-based software to enhance collaboration.
  3. Develop a plan to ensure Holy Child has the infrastructure and staff to further support the continuous integration of transformative technology in the classroom.


To ensure each student’s post-secondary goals are met with individualized attention and detail, focusing on academic programs, career goals, and post-collegiate success.


  1. Schedule small group meeting with freshman to introduce the college counseling staff, map out the college process at Holy Child highlighting the high school transcript, activities, leadership opportunities, and service.
  2. Schedule group meetings with sophomores to provide a more in-depth look into the college admissions process, complete a personal interest survey, identify passions, academic strengths, and areas for growth.
  3. Conduct junior parent / student information meeting to provide a timeline for the college admissions process that includes, where appropriate, specific accommodations information from the Director of Academic Support.
  4. Partner with students and parents through multiple individual meetings to determine personal, academic, collegiate, and career goals.
  5. Investigate, research, host, and visit various colleges and universities in order to identify “best fit” schools for students and foster relationships between the college counseling office and admissions.
  6. Continue to collaborate with other area Catholic schools.
  7. Provide a variety of experiences to Holy Child across all grade levels, including but not limited to standardized test practice and preparation, the Strong Interest Inventory, resume writing, college fairs, college admissions representative visits, pre-application “boot camp”, and a transition to college speaker.

Foster & encourage a balanced life

We will foster and encourage an understanding of living a balanced life of commitment to faith, learning, service, traditions, arts, athletics, and extracurriculars informed by Cornelia Connelly’s calling to live a life of joyful service, justice, peace, and compassion in a safe and respectful environment.

Connelly School of the Holy Child will further and enhance, develop, communicate, and implement comprehensive counseling and advisory programs, which sustain a safe, respectful, and trustworthy environment that cultivates the academic, social and emotional growth of each student.


First Year Objectives

To increase leadership opportunities and leadership skill development.


  1. Hold student government leadership workshops throughout the school year with student government members.
  2. Develop Athletic and Arts Councils comprised of students in team captain/leadership roles.
  3. Seniors will explore career interests and gain working experience through a senior internship program.
  4. Junior Entrepreneurship Program to provide teams with real world hands-on learning experience.


To enhance the social emotional curriculum through the advisory program at Holy Child in order to foster the students’ understanding of themselves and encourage them to value the uniqueness of each individual as well as their development into well-rounded young women of faith and action.


  1. The enhanced social and emotional advisory curriculum was developed in summer 2016 and will be implemented throughout the 2016-2017 school year. Students of all grade levels should participate in the advisory council and in the evaluation of the new curriculum.
  2. Provide training for faculty and staff through professional development institutes and workshops.
  3. Define the role of advisors and the advisory program to implement social and emotional learning curriculum.



Be the preeminent school

We will be known as the preeminent school for a young woman seeking an innovative college preparatory experience characterized by a sense of joy, confidence, and accomplishment for having realized her fullest potential while exemplifying a faith-filled life of Actions not Words.


First Year Objectives

To widen the enrollment funnel in order to increase enrollment of students who are likely to succeed in and benefit from a Holy Child education.

To increase the reach, visibility, and reputation of Holy Child as the premier choice for young women through a marketing campaign targeted at expanding audience outreach and to continue to inform our constituency.


  1. Develop a communication matrix that defines current audiences and marketing and communication vehicles and identifies gaps.
  2. Determine components of an effective marketing campaign, including messages and vehicles to reach desired audiences.


To more fully reconnect and engage with our alumnae by launching an Alumnae Council composed of graduates from each decade and largest geographic pockets. The Council will become the leadership of the Holy Child Alumnae Association.


Continue to build a culture of philanthropy within our community to ensure programs, professional development, scholarships, and facility needs are met now and in the future.

Enhance our campus

We will enhance the intellectual, spiritual, artistic, physical, and social development of young women through a thoughtful and strategic assessment of the physical environment, and implementation of a facilities master plan that supports our academic and cultural goals.


First (and Second) Year Objectives

To further remodel and repurpose areas for students to assemble and for enhanced student use:


  • Innovative classrooms
  • Cafeteria
  • Fitness Center
  • Black Box Theater
  • Lockers/Showers
  • HVAC/Windows

Implement a long-range financial plan

We will research, develop, and implement a long-range financial plan that maintains financial sustainability.


First Year Objectives

To begin development of a long-range/five-year plan to include components for:


  • Operational expenses

  • Advancement income

  • Sources of revenue to fund approved capital projects

  • The vision will address an appropriate balance between tuition revenue and financial aid needs.



Laura Volovski
Chief Advancement Officer
301-365-0955 x2123

Suzi Montes de Oca
Director of Development
301.365.0955 x2122

Ann Kerrigan
Director of Annual Giving and Alumnae Relations
301.365.0955 x2229

Claire Drummond
Office Systems Manager
301.365.0955 x2208