Sounds boring. Sounds like a really thick book that sits on the shelf.
Truth is, we don’t have one.
Truth is, I think we need one. Not a big book that sits on the shelf, but a real well designed, goal oriented, data driven plan that guides all of our decisions.
Don’t get me wrong, we are doing quite well in Calvert County Public Schools. Student achievement is great – our high school PARCC English Language Arts scores are the best in the state. But, like any organization, there are still many areas in which we can improve.
- The needs of a diverse student body are growing.
- Accountability measures are tightening.
- Limited resources are seeing ever-increasing competition.
- All students are not achieving at a high level.
So, there is much yet to do.
This time of year we are working on the budget for next year. Each school submits its requests for money. Sometimes they ask for more than usual for a new project. Each department submits its request for next year’s funding and sometimes proposes a new initiatives – new textbooks, new staff, new equipment, new training, etc. Are the new projects and initiatives aligned with the districts goals? Are they in response to some new state or federal mandate? Are we making sure each new expenditure is tied to our big picture plan? How will we measure its impact? We have many choices. Decisions need to be made from among almost limitless options.
Richard Winwood said, “Planning is a process of choosing among those many options. If we do not choose to plan, then we choose to have others plan for us.”
So, over the next 6 months, we will embark on a journey, guided by a firm called District Management Council, of developing a Strategic Plan.
This experienced consulting firm will assist us in analyzing our data. They will conduct stake holder interviews. Through a district steering committee they will help us define our goals, develop priorities, determine what success looks like, develop action plans, get stake holder feedback on the work of the steering committee and draft a detailed action plan.
When all is said and done, it is our dream to have a plan that we can all point to with pride. It will define student success for Calvert County Public Schools. It won’t be in response to someone else’s needs. It will be all Calvert County – a special, one-of-a-kind, no place like home school district.
We will refer to it frequently. We will report on and discuss our progress regularly and we will make modifications as the environment changes. Such a plan will assure Calvert County Public Schools will always be one of the best school districts in this United States of America.