Strategic Directions

Strategic Directions--AHA's strategic plan document

Vision 2020: A clear Vision for Transforming Tomorrow

(A strategic planning framework for the Academy of Holy Angels High School)

A Time of Opportunity

Academy of Holy Angels High School has a rich tradition of service to students and families in the Minneapolis area.

Ever since its founding in 1877 by the Sisters of St. Joseph, the Academy of Holy Angels has committed itself to excellence in education and service to students, their families, and the community. Throughout its history, the school has been dedicated to preserving the past, providing for the present, and planning for the future.  It has achieved that by embracing new challenges and adapting to change, all the while remaining steadfast in its mission to educate students superbly. Now the school prepares to meet the challenges of the 21st century—with the same commitment to past, present, and future but knowing that new strategies and bold action will be essential in successfully executing its mission and realizing its vision.

The next five to ten years will be critical for Academy of Holy Angels High School. Holy Angels has the opportunity to build on its already strong program reputation to become truly outstanding and distinctive.

Building on its strong Catholic tradition and the heritage of Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondolet and affirming what the high school does well, this strategic plan identifies the major emphasis and initiatives that must be undertaken if Holy Angels’ potential is to be realized.

Our Mission

The mission of the Academy of Holy Angels is to educate and nurture a diverse student population so that each student, as a whole person, may achieve full potential to excel intellectually, to live spiritually, to lead responsibly, to act justly and to serve selflessly.

Our Vision

In the next decade, Holy Angels will excel in the unique educational experience it offers students. In the CSJ tradition, Academy of Holy Angels High School has as its mission both academic excellence and growth of the whole person. Each student is challenged with a rigorous course of academic study; a wide variety of co-curricular opportunities; and an active campus ministry program and various faith formation opportunities including service experiences, retreats, liturgies and other prayer experience.

Holy Angels has always been dedicated to excellence. In the coming decade, that dedication means that we will excel in offering a unique educational experience through--

  • rigorous classes
  • rich co-curricular activities
  • an unmatched faith formation program, grounded in the principles and foundations of the Sisters of St. Joseph and the Roman Catholic Church.

As a result, our ultimate accomplishment will be students who integrate academics with faith and values, understand themselves and their gifts, articulate clearly their perspective on life and the world; and participate actively in church, community, and larger society.

Core Purpose

“For College…For Life”

Confident…Prepared…Connected in Faith.

Academy of Holy Angels assists students in their academic, spiritual and social growth to prepare them for postsecondary studies and to positively impact their world through faith leadership and a commitment to service.

In fulfilling its mission, the Academy of Holy Angels High School:

  1. Fosters a learning environment of academic excellence and achievement in which each individual is provided the encouragement to reach his/her maximum potential.
  2. Fosters a Christian values-oriented educational setting which recognizes each individual’s dignity and self-worth.
  3. Fosters an atmosphere of social responsibility in which students develop greater awareness of others and commitment to community service.

Core Goals

To accomplish what we have set about to do in the coming decade, we have established the following goals:

  1. Consciously act as a caring community based on our Catholic identity and CSJ values and demonstrate to our students how such a community performs.
  2. Ensure academic excellence in a changing environment through a rigorous and dynamic college- preparatory education based on best practices.
  3. Guarantee adequate financial support; excellent, well-maintained facilities; and highly qualified and strongly motivated faculty and staff.  

Directional Statements

Vision 2020 is centered in the core goals established by the Academy of Holy Angels, which affirm our mission. This mission is as relevant today as it was nearly 135 years ago—perhaps more so, as we prepare our students to navigate and be people of God in a dynamic and complex world.  A mission such as ours, in short, is one of transformation.  AHA students are transformed by their experience at the School as they are better able to comprehend the world and their role in it.

In order to clearly articulate and accomplish those goals and our mission, the School has identified nine major areas of concentration, providing a framework for our vision and a course of action for our goals.

Personnel Resources

Attract and retain highly qualified faculty, staff and administration committed to the mission of the Academy of Holy Angels by ensuring a work environment that honors and values their contributions and continuing professional growth.

Strategic Approaches

  • Create a multi-year resource plan that addresses wellness and the need for competitive compensation and benefits while recognizing the value of professional development for all employees
  • Design organizationally a program that effectively and efficiently provides clarity to all personnel in the delivery of the HR process and policies supporting AHA’s needs and goals 

Faith Development

Strengthen, enhance and improve student understanding of, and performance in, living Catholic identity in the tradition of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet.

Strategic Approaches:

  • Improve performance on selected religious education assessments
  • Perform service in light of principles of Catholic Social Teaching
  • Enhance faith opportunities and spiritual practices for students, faculty and AHA community members
  • Continue and strengthen the AHA Way initiative so that students live and experience a safe and welcoming high school atmosphere that transcends  the high school years into college experience and life


Improve student achievement by providing challenging and rigorous college-preparatory experiences.  

Strategic Approaches:

  • Improve the student level of mastery in all AHA courses
  • Maintain and improve level of achievement in standardized test scores
  • Maintain strong enrollment in Advanced Placement classes while increasing proficiency levels
  • Increase student proficiency in technology
  • Improve “whole student” achievement


Strengthen and improve activities and athletics programs by making a commitment to excellence in each while integrating and maintaining well-defined standards for academic achievement and faith development.

Strategic Approaches

  • Strengthen the foundation of all athletic and activity programs through:
    • Focusing on lower-level program development
    • Establishing a reputation for offering outstanding development camps for all students wishing  to participate
    • Cooperating with partner schools and the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) to develop strong feeder programs for the future and appropriate competition for our current students
  • Establish our identity and reputation in the region as a “Center of Excellence” in all athletics and activity endeavors
  • Integrate faith and values into our athletic and activity culture as a vehicle for living out our mission and serving the greater community 


Branding, General and Target Marketing Strategic Approaches
Ensure that AHA stakeholders including alumni, current and future families and those in our extended community are consistently made aware of the distinctive and transformative mission of an Academy of Holy Angels education by:

  • Identifying and communicating our true and authentic brand message and differentiators that clarify the mission, personality, essence and promise of AHA to our defined constituencies and target markets
    Using the most effective methods in the field of marketing, enhance our comprehensive multi-media communications strategy
  • Coordinating and harnessing the total influence of AHA staff, parents, students and alumni to communicate the mission of AHA to external audiences and to execute the strategies of the plan.
  • Communicating in relevant ways unique stories and AHA accomplishments to external audiences.

Target Marketing, Recruitment and Enrollment Strategic Approaches
Attract and retain a diverse student body by improving student recruitment programs which create sustainable enrollment for the future by:

  • Enhancing both broad-based and targeted student recruitment and retention efforts to sustain and grow the student body in a targeted and measured way
  • Identifying and implement new conversion strategies to improve the recruitment and support of both parents and their children.
  • Identifying new and effective ways to bring families and students to the AHA campus. 
  • Providing adequate admissions personnel resources that ensures and provides for effective and efficient operation and execution of all recruitment initiatives
  • Assisting AHA leadership by providing 'outside-in' data from AHA constituents which enable AHA to improve and grow.
  • Initiating strategies to explore and expand upon new markets including international.

Resource Development

Secure and manage the resources necessary to build a strong financial base and support the school’s vision to pursue excellence in education, nurture and develop philanthropic relationships with existing constituents and identify and develop new long-term financial support for the Academy of Holy Angels.

Strategic Approaches

  • Plan and conduct major fund drives to support capital improvements, special projects, endowment and other non-tuition supported initiatives
  • Institute assertive growth in the annual fund drive to sustain increasing need for tuition support, financial aid, staff compensation and other operational costs
  • Establish an endowment and other investable assets with a long-term growth and income support plan utilizing solid investment strategies and management oversight
  • Employ state-of-the-art donor identification systems, cultivation and recognition programs that increase the number and enthusiasm of potential givers to the school
  • Design development staff personnel resources to ensure and provide the greatest opportunity for effective and efficient operation and ultimate financial giving
  • Implement special events that engage a wide range of constituents consisting of multiple interests and activities
  • Integrate co-curricular (athletic/activities) fundraising events into the general development plan by providing oversight, assistance, and support


Maintain financial stability through sound fiscal management and giving that clearly defines the needed resources and allocation of assets.

Strategic Approaches

  • Maintain and enhance the procedures and systems for capturing, processing, and reporting of financial transactions in a manner that facilitates the school’s financial information reporting needs
  • Create systems which facilitate and provide quality service and sound financial counsel to the AHA community
  • Deliver innovative business solutions that support the academic mission of AHA and its constituencies
  • Establish and execute a plan for long-term asset growth and debt service reduction

Facilities and Grounds

Plan, develop and maintain a state-of-the-art physical environment—in the heritage of the unique architecture of our buildings—which will enhance AHA’s mission and create a dynamic learning environment into the future.

Strategic Approaches

  • Provide facilities which support dynamic and evolving,  grade 9-12, college-preparatory curriculum, programs and technology
  • Create and maintain a safe, secure and accessible physical environment that supports instructional programs, staff, students and community members who use  AHA facilities and grounds
  • Create a comprehensive long-term, facilities and grounds campus master plan


Create a governance model that provides for the effective and efficient discharge of board responsibilities which assist Holy Angels in meeting the mission and organizational goals set forth in its by-laws and strategic plan.

Strategic approaches

  • An ongoing and continuous focus on identifying, preparing, and recruiting future governance leaders, including the definition of skills and attributes required in board members including:
  1. The board election process
  2. Orientation of new board members
  3. Training and education of the board related to governances roles and responsibilities
  4. Assessment/evaluation of the board, the chair, individual directors (including a self-assessment) and of board meetings/sessions
  • Evaluation and monitoring of governance structures and processes
  • Identification and recruitment of external resources and experts to assist the board in its governance roles and responsibilities
  • Identification and development of recommendation on board conflict of interest
  • Assessing the board’s composition 

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