Summit School District seeking community members to serve on strategic plan task forces
District: Community input will continue to lead plan implementation
Summit School District is taking applications from the Summit County community for three task forces to guide the work of the new strategic plan.
Each of the task force groups will discuss ways to implement one of the focus areas of the strategic plan: academic and personal success for every student, equity-seeking systems, and family and community partnerships. The task forces will meet at least four times throughout the spring semester.
Chief Academic Officer Mary Kay Doré said the task forces are an opportunity to get more community voices involved.
“This will really help us do some forward thinking and be able to get that student and community voice as we continue to work on these three focus areas moving forward,” Doré said.
Anyone — including parents, staff, students and community members — is eligible to apply. Doré said the district is hoping to have about 20 people on each task force. Applications have been open for about a week now, and she said the district has received 28.
Doré said the district has staff working on implementation on a regular basis, setting goals for what that will look like over the next five years, and staff will bring these goals to the task force groups to discuss ways to see them come to fruition. She said the task forces will help develop a more comprehensive idea of where the district wants to go and how it wants to get there.
“What we really are committed to is making sure that this is a five-year plan that’s really dynamic, that we work on and that we measure and see those results,” Doré said. “What I want it to be is a living, breathing document and group of people working together to just make sure Summit School District is going in the right direction and doing all the right things.”
The equity task force will kick off in December, focusing on the best way to create an equity tool that would allow the district to evaluate its policies, curriculum, budget and more. Doré said the group will look at examples other schools have put into place that could be implemented in Summit.
The personal and academic success task force will start meeting in January 2022, and Doré said this focus area was broken down into three priorities: high quality instruction, social and emotional development, and pathways to graduation. She said she sees this task force looking at state graduation guidelines and ways to “backward map” from high school down to preschool with a variety of pathways.
The family and community partnerships task force will get started in February 2022, working on communications strategies and getting more families involved and comfortable within the school district.
One point that Doré and Interim Superintendent Roy Crawford emphasized is that they want these task force groups to be representative of the community. Should that not happen, the district will look to other recruiting efforts after the application closes.
“What I’ve seen so far (from the applications) is just great people looking to be involved,” Crawford said. “And we certainly honor and respect that people are doing that, but we also want to make sure that we have diversity and we have representative people in those groups.”
Doré said community involvement is how the district created the strategic plan with roundtables and listening tours, so it only makes sense to keep the community involved through implementation. The task forces will update the Board of Education on their progress, too.
Crawford said he hopes each of the task forces are able to identify and achieve some goals already in the works at the district this year — the equity tool in particular. But he emphasized that he wants the groups to plan and set goals for the future. For example, Crawford said a guaranteed and viable curriculum isn’t necessarily going to come to fruition this year, but plans for how it could look over the next few years could.
“We can’t accomplish everything we want to accomplish by May of 2022, so what’s the timeline for the next four years?” Crawford said.
School board President Kate Hudnut said she is impressed by the process district leadership has gone through, and she is excited to see the work of the task forces come to fruition.
“It leans into this conversation around transparency and community involvement,” Hudnut said about the task forces. “I look forward to having more people involved in our system and … bringing in the parent and community voice to the work that we’re doing.”
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