Thursday, September 18, 2014

The District's Lesson Plan

September 18, 2014

In this heightened age of accountability, and core everything, planning and decision making are at a greater level of need, than ever before. Once again, taking our cues from the world of business, the strategic planning process for a school district is one of the most important steps school leaders can maneuver in working with the different socioeconomic groups and issues of the community that benefit from the work of your school district. According to Matthew Zajechowski (2014) "Strategic planning is a powerful process that your company can use to gain profound insights on its clients, target market and competitors for the sake of creating an unbeatable competitive edge." Substitute "school district" for "company" and "students and community" for "clients, target marketing and competitors".

Despite the article emanating from the world of business, it resonates for anyone truly passionate about school planning, and accountability from the community.

The Foundations of a Strategic Plan

"The foundational building blocks of strategic planning come together in asking yourself some probing questions that come to the core of what your [school district] and business are all about. Once these questions have been answered, you can then move onto even more specific competitive improvement strategies." (Zajechowski, 2014).

Five key questions you need to ask yourself about your school district consist of:

    • Where does your district currently stand with meeting the needs of students, families and community members?
    • What are some core goals your district wants to fulfill?
    • What is your picture of near perfect success and how might you reach it?
    • How could you plan your time, activities and resources for reaching your ideal image of success?
    • What steps in this direction have you taken so far and how are you measuring your advancements?

The Creation of your Consumer Information Roadmap

"The most absolutely vital part of your strategic planning process will be getting to know and understand your community at a deep level, as we’ve already mentioned in the last bullet point for your strategic planning checklist.

Getting to really know your students and the community means gathering together all the information you already have on your consumer base and adding to it as widely as possible on a regular basis, and then applying this information in planning meetings with the Board of Education and the faculty and staff." (Zajechowski,2014)

What are some key consumer information data points to continuously investigate?

    • The socioeconomic factors of the the community 
    • Browsing and ad view
    • How they’re finding your message and promotional material
    • How your message is being delivered to community members.
    • How they perceive your district's programs and policies
Remember, community members vote on your school budget. Meeting their needs garners support for your 21st century learning program

.Zajechowski, Matthew. " the Strategic Planning Process | Project Eve." Project Eve Navigating the Strategic Planning Process Comments. July 16, 2014. Accessed September 17, 2014.