Thursday, January 10, 2013

Strategic Planning: Want to Join In?

Is this any way to figure the future of this district?  I like that the Superintendent and Board realize how unwieldy the last Strategic Plan was but a taskforce of 6-80 people?  It'll be like herding kittens (or be largely pro-forma facilitation from the consultant group).  (Sorry for the varying typefaces; I couldn't get it worked out of the press release from the district.)

From district Communications:

Seattle Public Schools is starting the process of revising the current Strategic Plan, Excellence for All. The updated plan will guide academic and operational priorities for the next three to five years and include ongoing benchmarking to measure the District’s performance. In 2008, the Seattle School Board unanimously approved Excellence for All, aimed at ensuring all students graduate from high school ready for college, careers and life. The plan is based on best practices nationally and input from more than 3,000 staff and community members. The plan includes clear and measurable goals - with strategies to achieve them – for students, schools, staff and district.

 “The current Strategic Plan was very ambitious and put the District on the right path,” said Superintendent José Banda. “Although we have seen increases in student academic success, we must do more to ensure each student receives a high quality education. An updated Strategic Plan can set us on that course.”

 An important part of the review is to engage with the community and seek as much feedback as possible to help shape the goals of the District over the next three to five years. Pivot LearningPartners has been hired to consult with the District, gather feedback from the community, and assist in the development of an updated plan.

 A key element to gathering feedback is the formation of a Stakeholder Taskforce. The taskforce, made up of approximately 60-80 people, will be a diverse group that includes parents/guardians, teachers, principals, district staff, and community and business leaders. Members will include the organizations/individuals selected by School Board members who served on the Community Focus Group during the Superintendent search last April. Members are also being selected by the Seattle Council PTSA, the Special Education PTSA, higher education community, labor partners, district staff, and community organizations. School Board Directors will appoint two members each.

In addition,five slots will be available via random selection. To be eligible to serve on the taskforce in one of the open seats, you must be a Seattle resident and contact Anita DeMahy at 206-252-0040 or andemahy@seattleschools.org by Jan. 17, 2013 to nominate yourself. 

Please include your name, phone number, email address, and if you are affiliated with a school or community organization. Each person will be assigned a number and a random drawing will take place to fill those slots.

Taskforce members must be able to commit to at least four of the five meetings listed below. Substitutes or proxies may not be sent in your place. This is to guarantee consistency and reflective discussion throughout the process. 
 o Wednesday, Feb. 6, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 
 o Tuesday, Feb. 19, 4-8 p.m. 
 o Wednesday, March 6, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 
 o Thursday, March 14, 5-9 p.m. 
o Wednesday, May 1, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 

All meetings will take place in the John Stanford Center’s auditorium, 2445 3rd Ave. S. Please note that taskforce membership is on a voluntary, unpaid basis. 

Task force members will offer feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of the District’s current strategic plan, develop student and District profiles, give feedback on the vision, mission and core beliefs of the District, and make recommendations on strategic goals and initiatives. Those selected for the open seats will be notified by Jan. 25. 

The updated Strategic Plan is expected to be presented to the School Board for introduction at the June 19 Board meeting and for action at the July 3 Board meeting. Five regional meetings will be held in April to gather additional feedback from the community on a draft of the Strategic Plan. In addition, the process will include a way to provide feedback online before a School Board vote, expected in July.

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