School Exploration and Establishment: Basic Timeline

Three-to-five years is a typical timeline for school exploration and establishment. The process starts with in-depth research and planning to test whether a school—and, specifically, an Episcopal school—is needed and sustainable. Should the answer be yes, the start-up group will need to dedicate significant time and resources getting the school ready to open. Such a multi-year timeline includes:

  • A comprehensive feasibility study to assess the need and viability of a potential school.
  • A preliminary business plan that includes: ages/grade levels to be served, size of school, mission, Episcopal identity, educational philosophy, corporate structure, legal and regulatory requirements, facility requirements, staffing, infrastructure and administrative costs, and revenue model.
  • Identifying, securing, and assessing a school site/facilities, and retaining design and construction services
  • A search for and hiring of a founding head of school or director (normally on-boarded 12-months before the anticipated opening of the school).
  • Fundraising for facilities and start-up costs prior to the opening of the school.
  • Admissions and marketing materials, including a school website.
  • Grade-specific curricula, educational materials, furniture, and equipment.
  • Networking and relationship-building in the community.
  • Recruiting and admitting new families.
  • Recruiting and hiring faculty and staff.
  • Preparing facilities for legal, licensed occupancy.
  • Welcoming students, the faculty, and families on opening day!

How can NAES assist you?

NAES has supported numerous Episcopal school exploration committees as they move from inception to planning and, for some committees, to the opening of a new school. We ask that you:

Contact NAES to tell us more about your project.

So we can begin to assist you in your discernment process, email NAES or call (212) 716-6134 to schedule an initial conversation with a member of the NAES staff.

Join NAES as a School Exploration Committee.

NAES membership provides you:

  • School Exploratory Committee Self-Assessment
  • Detailed School Exploration and Establishment Timeline and Sample Budget Lines to Consider
  • Sample Feasibility Studies
  • Connections to others who have started successful new Episcopal schools
  • Online and phone consultation with NAES staff
  • Subscription to Network, the NAES monthly newsletter
  • Full access to member resources of NAES

Most importantly, NAES membership connects you to the larger network of over 400 Episcopal schools, both young and old, across the provinces of The Episcopal Church and to peers who can offer support, guidance, and ideas.