Strategic Planning Process
How the 2020 Vision Strategic Plan Was Developed
As part of Superintendent Laurie Heinz's 2014-15 roadmap, District 64 in January 2015 initiated a community-informed strategic planning process to create a new plan to guide us towards a "2020 Vision."
The process was led by a Strategic Planning Steering Committee, comprised of a wide range of community stakeholders. Its main purpose was to identify the most important challenges District 64 will need to address in the next five years, and how the District might go about planning for those challenges. The committee was guided by a highly experienced facilitator, Mr. Robert Ewy.
The draft plan was presented to the Board of Education on June 8, 2015 and following further discussion, was adopted on June 22, 2015.
The Strategic Planning Steering Committee was formed through a call for volunteers among all stakeholders. Read more about the Committee's formation in early 2015.
Officially convened on Saturday, February 7, the committee met for an intensive, half-day session with plan consultant Bob Ewy. At the kick-off, the committee examined local, state, national and international trends in education. The committee identified the most important trends and events that will create challenges to the quality of education and sustainability of the District over time.
Based on this analysis, the committee moved out into the community in March to offer local residents several opportunities to directly contribute their ideas and vision. Their open invitation to participate yielded important input:
- More than 820 responses were received to a community survey about priorities for education in District 64. The survey focused on four fundamentals, by asking:
- What are the greatest challenges or issues District 64 will face over the next 5 years? What are the most important skills and abilities students must master to be prepared for a successful future? What do you use to evaluate the quality of education in District 64? What are the financial priorities that District 64 should focus on over the next 5 years? A space for open comments also yielded many additional perspectives.
- Committee members visited with a variety of community and civic organizations to share information about the strategic planning process and invite residents to contribute their ideas.
"Working Draft" Preview Meetings April 15
Meeting on March 26, the committee reviewed the abundant survey responses and feedback from their outreach meetings. Committee members also shared their own research on educational trends and events, and heard an informative presentation from District 207 Superintendent Ken Wallace on the challenges facing the high school district. The committee also reviewed the results of a District 64 system overview assessment conducted by the Consortium for Educational Change (CEC) in February to help benchmark District 64 against effective practices of other "high performing" districts. The committee then developed priorities for the strategic plan goals with Mr. Ewy.
To provide an additional avenue for community input, the committee also sponsored two preview sessions of the "working draft' of the plan goals on Wednesday, April 15 at Emerson Middle School. The previews were led by the District’s strategic planning consultant, Bob Ewy. The information was used to inform the work of the Steering Committee at its April 16 meeting.
Development of the Draft and Final Plan
In addition to the outreach mentioned above, the committee has shared frequent updates with the District 64 Board of Education at its public meetings, and through the Superintendent's monthly newsletter and news releases.
The committee met on Thursday, April 16 to continue its work to draft the plan, with a final session conducted on Thursday, May 21 to complete the plan. The draft plan was presented to the Board of Education at a Committee-of-the-Whole meeting on June 8 for review and discussion. The final plan was adopted at the regular Board meeting on June 22. Implementation will begin at the start of the 2015-16 school year.