The Davis school district is still taking nominations for its new Strategic Planning Committee, and Superintendent Winfred Roberson is hoping that a few more dedicated volunteers will step forward and apply by Thursday’s deadline.
“We’re still taking nominations. We want people who care about their school district and their community to participate,” Roberson said.
There are two categories of volunteers — those who will serve on the planning team, which will meet Sept. 26-27-28, and again on Feb. 21-22, and those who will serve on the action teams, which will meet from October into February. The completed strategic plan is scheduled to go before the school board in March.
The purpose of the Strategic Planning Committee is to “explore new possibilities,” to “provide the best academic program possible at all grade levels,” to “re-establish common values, purpose and direction that focus on children” and to “ensure appropriate distribution of resources,” the superintendent said.
Roberson added, “This is an opportunity for us as a community and district to work collaboratively to identify our highest aspiration — where we want to go — and then put the steps in place to get there. It is a time for us to consider the possibilities.
“Most school districts get so tied into their budget, people start to thing ‘the budget says can’t do this, or can’t do that.’ They stop considering the possibilities of what they can do. And there’s so much brilliance in this town, so much creativity, so much innovation in our employee ranks and within this community for us to consider everything simply through the lens of our budget,” with decisions being made on a piecemeal basis.
“We’re going to be examining the possibilities of where we can be as a district five years from now, 10 years from now. Let’s set our highest aspirations and let’s plan the necessary steps to get there,” the superintendent said.
Roberson added that the strategic plan that will be developed should not be a document that will sit on a bookshelf, but a blueprint that will help guide the district’s actions for years to come.
It has been a long time since the school district conducted a comprehensive long-range planning process; that was the Future Facilities Task Force in the mid-1990s. Many years have passed since then. And the school district is just now coming out of five years of financial challenges that stemmed from the state budget crisis, which resulted in repeated reductions in state funding to the Davis school district and others in California.
The present time — with funding for education beginning to grow again as California’s economy rebounds — is an opportune moment to think about priorities and identify the direction in which the community wants the school district to go, Roberson believes.
Information about the strategic planning process is available on the school district’s website, www.djusd.net. Look on the left side of the home page and click on the “Strategic Planning” link for nomination forms and other details.
— Reach Jeff Hudson at email@example.com or 530-747-8055. Follow him on Twitter at @JeffHudsonDE