GLISI’s Strategic Improvement Planning service is co-facilitated by the Georgia School Boards Association (GSBA) using a tried and tested process that leads to a new or updated strategic improvement plan for the school district. Our comprehensive process engages all stakeholder groups to create universal ownership and support for district and school improvement. Highlights of the process include:
- A comprehensive community engagement component that allows stakeholders to have a voice in the strategic improvement planning process by providing feedback for the district in the five questions below:
- Who are we?
- Where are we now?
- Where do we want to go?
- How will we know when we arrived?
- How do we plan to get there?
- A diverse Planning and Action Team representing stakeholder groups charged with developing the plan
- A facilitated planning process that assists the Planning and Action Teams in analyzing the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the school district and developing/defining the Mission, Vision, Beliefs, goal areas and elements of the strategic improvement plan
The entire Strategic Improvement Planning process requires approximately 8-12 months to complete and is divided into four phases:
To assist in the development of the Strategic Improvement Plan, input from participants representing the school district, students, parents, and community members is gathered through focus groups and surveys.
This component of the process ensures we:
- Are transparent and inclusive, including the voice of a variety of stakeholder groups
- Inform citizens about the strategic planning process
- Build trust and relationships with stakeholder groups
- Create a proactive rather than reactive process
- Enlist all stakeholder groups in sharing responsibility for the success of schools and students
A planning team comprised of 20 – 50 people representing stakeholder groups including central office, schools, parents, students, business and other community representatives is convened to consider: “Who are we,” “Where are we now,” and “Where do we want to go.” Specific outcomes include a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis, a review of Beliefs, Mission and Vision for the district, and identification of strategic goal areas and priorities for the strategic improvement plan, which are captured in a strategy map. See examples of strategy maps here and here.
Four to five smaller teams consisting of 12-15 stakeholders per team are assembled to answer the question “How will we know when we have arrived?” The Action Teams look at each proposed strategic goal area, then identify the performance objectives and draft measures and targets to answer this question. Additionally, the Action Teams consider the initiatives and action steps that might be needed to answer the fourth question of the Strategic Improvement Planning Process, “How do we plan to get there?”
Action Team members will review the alignment of goal areas and performance objectives using the following:
- AdvancED Quality Assurance Review Standards (SACS standards)
- Required Action Report from the FY13 AdvancED Report
- A Vision for Public Education in Georgia – Recommendations
- Title I Guidelines
The Action Team works closely with the district’s Senior Leadership Team to identify initiatives and action steps needed to answer the fourth question of the Strategic Improvement Planning Process, “How do we plan to get there.” Also, Action Teams will deliver a report of their work to the Planning Team. The Planning Team will review the Action Team’s work, discuss priorities, implications and make recommendations for additions or changes that might be needed.
Board and Staff: The Board of Education is asked to adopt the work of the Planning and Action Teams. The Board has an opportunity to provide input into specific initiatives and action steps needed to execute the plan. These initiatives will be implemented at the board, district, school and community levels.
Alignment: The plan initiatives and action steps are aligned to the district and school budgets. Additionally, school improvement plans and other system action plans are aligned with the new strategic improvement plan.
Execution, Monitoring, and Reporting: After alignment of the plan, district and school staff in conjunction with the Board of Education execute, monitor, and report on the plan as well as ensure an ongoing process to review and update the plan as needed.
eBOARD Strategic Plan Software: One of the most important aspects of the Strategic Improvement Planning Process is the use of GSBA’s eBOARD Strategic Plan Software to assist with the execution, monitoring, and reporting of the plan. GSBA’s eBOARD Strategic Plan Module makes the process easy for district staff and the Board of Education. Plan items can be easily updated by staff, allowing users to filter the plan by staff, department, status, priority, date, etc. As the plan is updated, results are reported through the Strategic Dashboard, Balanced Scorecard, and Goal Alignment report. eBOARD helps to keep everyone informed and provides real-time status updates of the plan in a transparent fashion.