Summit School District’s strategic plan focuses on student success, equity and community partnership
Focus areas and goals are finalized, but implementation will be determined throughout the year
The Summit School District Board of Education adopted the third draft of the 2021-2026 Strategic Plan at its meeting Tuesday, July 27. While the logistics and operations of the plan will continue to evolve, the key points have been finalized.
The strategic plan focuses on three areas: ensuring the academic and personal success of every student, building an equitable learning system, and creating community and family partnerships to enhance learning.
Each focus area has its own objectives that come together to support the Summit School District Graduate Profile, an outline of key qualities the district wants all of its students to have. The profile says a Summit School District graduate is courageous, curious, prepared, growth oriented and globally aware.
Interim Superintendent Roy Crawford said the district is committed to making the goals in this plan the center of its work over the coming years.
“Those were identified as critical areas for student success, and so we want to stay focused on that bull’s-eye,” Crawford said.
Mary Kay Doré, the district’s chief academic officer, said at its heart the plan is the product of the community. The plan was developed by a steering committee composed of stakeholders within the community, including principals, teachers, board members, parents and students.
The district also held public listening sessions and sent out an online survey in June to get feedback on the plan. Survey questions asked to what extent certain values within the plan support students, align with community priorities and set the district in the right direction.
“It wasn’t just three school district people in a room writing a strategic plan,” Doré said. “We really were mindful to have all those listening sessions and to make sure that we had them in English and Spanish. It’s not tied to just one person’s thoughts or even a small group. It’s really hearing from our community what they want their child’s education experience to be in Summit County and for us to keep working on that.”
Board President Kate Hudnut said the board was proud of how community driven the process of developing the plan was and how many students got involved. She said it was the community stakeholders who took the lead as opposed to board or district leadership.
One of the most common pieces of feedback in the community survey results was concern over how the ideas in the plan would be implemented in day-to-day school operations. This is something district leaders will be working to figure out throughout this upcoming school year.
“Even though we’ve got the good skeleton of what we heard from the community … it really is going to be this whole year of digging into how do we operationalize those big ideas in the skeleton plan,” Doré said. “It’s the beginning. It’s been a lot of work, but we’re in a great place to really start to have this be our North Star of where the community wants us to go with educating our kids.”
Crawford said he hopes to have a more detailed action plan in place for each of the three focus areas this school year.
Doré said her biggest takeaway from the community’s feedback on the plan is that folks want to see their kids get a holistic education that’s not solely focused on academics, something she said was key in finalizing the graduate profile. She said it’s important to note it is a five-year plan, and it will take time to dive deeper into it.
“We’ll be talking about this and working on this for the next five years,” Doré said.
Hudnut said there will be continuing opportunities for community members to be involved in the plan, as well.
Doré also said she is excited to continue adding student voices into the plan because they were key in creating the graduate profile.
“Not only was it a great experience to start the plan, I’m just excited to see how we continue to work the plan in the next five years and what results it yields for us and for our kids,” Doré said.
Crawford said it was impressive that the plan was developed throughout the past year of remote operations for the district. He said the plan is a great starting place as the school looks to transition back to a somewhat-normal school year.
“The planning and the foresight was brilliant,” Crawford said. “It just makes for a great segue into this school year.”
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