A goal without a plan is just a wish.
In a previous blog post, I discussed our new process for creating a long-term strategic plan to move our district from great to greater. In that post I outlined the difference between committee work (setting the district’s priorities) and staff work (creating the action steps to achieve those priorities). This process allows our community stakeholders to set the vision for the work and then allows the teachers (those closest to the classroom) to put the actions in place to make the community’s vision a reality. This is an honest and sometimes messy process, but it ensures that the right people are doing the right work, at the right time, in the right order and for the right reasons.
On Monday of this week, the staff gathered at the middle school for our January institute day. Our task for that morning was to review the work that the Future Planning Committee had done over the last three months and then begin the process of suggesting action steps. The Future Planning Committee has created a modern mission for our district, an updated set of beliefs, goal areas and statements, and the Portrait of a Pleasantdale Graduate. The three goal areas that the committee drafted are:
Building Learning Capacity – Making sure we have the right methods, curriculum, and instructional practices in place to ensure our students succeed.
Building Learning Environments – To ensure that our students have 21st century learning environments in which to work and that the culture and climate in our schools is positive.
Building Human Capital – Making sure that we are hiring and retaining the best teachers and that we have a professional development program in place to keep our teachers on the cutting edge.
The staff rotated through three rooms and applied their experience and perspective to create action steps. The discussions were rich and spirited and allowed for multiple viewpoints to be shared. At the end of the day we had hundreds of pages and suggestions to sift through. Over the course of the next month we will be reviewing these data, prioritizing the suggestions, and applying their suggestions to our three goal areas.
Based on the fact that we have an amazing and committed staff, I know their suggestions will translate into an amazing plan. The administration will be presenting a draft of the plan to the Board of Education in February and will seek approval of the plan in March. This plan is sure to move the needle for our students!