Strategic Planning Introduction

The Board of Education has asked me to organize a new cycle of Strategic Planning for the district. The focus is on creating a focused 21st Century education vision for our students, staff, and community. 

Ultimate Goal: 

To de-clutter the many initiatives and approaches that inform our work, allowing us to focus and develop a clear path from Kindergarten to High School graduation so that our students are better prepared to meet the challenges and opportunities that will define their unique futures. 

You can be involved deeply or choose to follow the progress via posted minutes, links and articles. 

We need your insights and knowledge! 

*What does it mean to participate? 

The Steering Committee and the 5 Focus groups (described below) will be hosting public input events where there will be opportunities to listen and to dialog about areas of importance, i.e., STEAM, Humanities, Career Pathways, etc. In addition, I will sponsor some meetings for administrators only. 

How were the groups formed? 

I chose the Steering Committee –a two part committee –a small core group and a larger group including the chairpersons of the Focus Groups. 

Each Focus Group Chairperson will work with me to create a group related to their area. The upcoming memo to all staff will be in the form of an invitation. First- you are each invited to join a Focus Group. If interested, please contact the respective Chairperson –or me. 


March-June 2016

Create Focus Groups, develop a preliminary consensus about the scope of the vision, host at least one public event. 

Summer 2016 – Read! Interact via social media. Plan! 

Sept- Dec. 2016 – Host several additional public forums, use surveys, bring in community experts, engage students in the process. Refine a narrative and set of goals for the district. 

Jan.- June 2017 – Define a focused set of goals and design a clear map for our students, their families and for us –the educators; develop methods for informing the district and for implementation strategies and expectations. 

Fall 2017 

Roll out the Plan. Embed structures in our work for making it sustainable. 

  1. Theme: Coherence (the work of the Board with Lighthouse, [specifically- the Seven Conditions for a functioning district], the work of the five Focus groups, and the eventual plan itself should connect to all other initiatives and projects in the district, it should be coherent, and not be “just another thing”); the group agreed that too many people do not realize there are many excellent things going on in the district. 

  1. Essential Questions: How can we respond to the rapid changes at every level of our global society (and the physical planet) so that we are truly preparing our students for their future? How can we inspire and engage all students? 

  1. There is a consensus that we need to communicate more effectively, beyond the standard methods. We must be committed to not being ‘static’. We agreed to use the classic S.W.O.T. model for reflecting on the work (‘Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats’) and to work with ‘Change Expert’ Jonathan Costa on focusing on the coherence aspect of the work. 

  1. The Group Structure

    1. Core Group- the smaller core unit will coordinate the work of the focus groups, establish a calendar of events and deadlines, and communicate with the Board, staff, parents and the wider community. The bigger unity of the steering committee will include the chairpersons of the Focus groups.

Members: Lorraine Rossner, Dan Ebert (gr. 4 teacher), Dina Marks, Joan Tichy, Anne Gaydos (parent), Tom Minotti, and Chris Clouet.


The Five Focus Groups: 

  1. Humanities (making connections across disciplines) Chairperson: Kristen Santilli

  2. S.T.E.A.M. (including refining our K-12 scope & sequence for technology skills) Chairperson: Tina Henckel

  3. Career Pathways (true College & Career Readiness, with emphasis on mid-range achievers) Chairperson: Dr. Beth Smith

  4. Innovation (how can we meet the needs of our students in our rapidly changing world?) Chairperson: Ken Saranich

  5. Community (how can we serve and respond our diverse community?) Chairperson: Kathy Riddle


If you are interested in a Focus Group, please contact the Chairperson or me. 

* Some icebreaker material we reviewed 


Thank you! We need your wisdom.