Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.
Earlier this month, the District launched a community-based committee with the charge of developing a long-term strategic plan. Because this committee’s work will impact the future of our schools, the group has been dubbed the Future Planning Committee. This committee is made up of nearly 60 parents, community members, teachers, and students. At our first meeting, we defined the role of the committee and agreed that, as owners of the district, the committee would develop the high-level direction for the district. The administration, as management, would then take this direction and develop the specifics of the plan.
At that first meeting, the committee engaged in three main activities. The first activity allowed us to identify the beliefs that contribute to school experiences where students learn best. Our community feels that deep and powerful learning occurs when:
- Students feel valued and can take risks and learn from mistakes
- Learning is authentic
- Students have choice and voice in their learning
The second activity allowed us to identify current and future challenges facing the district. Committee members were honest in their appraisal of our challenges. They identified the use of instructional technology, managing change, and meeting the needs of all learners as challenges facing our schools. At our second meeting, we will dig deeper into these challenges by confronting our district’s “brutal facts”.
Finally, the third activity asked us to take a closer look at our mission statement and determine if we needed to modernize our mission. A modern mission is comprised of four main components: It’s concise, makes a promise, is intentional, and can be simply understood by those outside the organization. The diagram to the right was used at our meeting as an example of a modern mission.
The committee provided us with the feedback we need to draft our modern mission. Some of the themes that emerged from the third activity include: empowering students on a learning journey, ensuring that our students are leaders, and creating partnerships that will ensure all students reach their full potential. The Future Planning experience has been exciting and will surely result in a plan that continues to move our schools from great to greater. If you would like to learn more about the Future Planning Committee’s work, check out our website!