Local News

School district’s Strategic Planning Committee updates community on progress

By From page A1 | January 08, 2014

The members of the Davis school district’s Strategic Planning Committee — as well as the Action Teams that are part of the planning process — offered a glimpse of their emerging recommendations at two sessions Tuesday at King High School. Ideas and suggestions also were offered at the sessions for school district staff and the community at large.

The committee began its work in late September, and the developing strategic plan will have a five-year horizon. Major recommendations may come in a sequence of five related one-year projects.

The Davis school district is preparing its strategic plan at a time when California is transitioning to the Common Core academic standards, which will entail new testing systems to assess student performance, and school funding from the state is being reorganized under the new Local Control Funding Formula. In other words, the district’s academic goals and financial structure are experiencing the biggest reorganization in decades.

This is the first time in decades that the school district has prepared a long-range planning document, and the first time it has ever drafted a formal strategic plan. The district is working with veteran planner Kathy Ohm of the Association of California School Administrators, who has assisted numerous California school districts in the preparation such a plan.

Action Team One has been studying issues relating to professional development, and is working on recommendations to develop the capacity to design, oversee and execute a professional growth system; build a team of talented staff and a professional learning culture; and ensure regular formative and summative evaluation of the new Professional Growth System.

Action Team Two has been studying physical space and technology infrastructure, and is evaluating the merits of a facilities bond that would be placed before voters, and how to deploy districtwide wireless connectivity in support of instructional programs and student achievement.

Action Team Three has been studying the development and implementation of a districtwide assessment system aligned with the Common Core standards “to effectively analyze student performance data at more frequent intervals in order to improve instruction, close the achievement gap and ensure that all students meet or exceed district standards.”

Action Team Four has been studying the development and implementation of a system that enables each student to set and pursue academic, social and personal goals, including a “goal-setting curriculum to teach and train elementary students how to set reasonable, attainable goals,” as well as establishing a mechanism for addressing social/emotional learning for students at every school site, consideration of multiple programs for students and parents to choose from to realize academic/social/personal goals, and improving communication with parents to establish school-connectedness.

The research and recommendations from the Action Teams will be presented at meetings on Feb. 21-22. Then there will be a study session at which the Davis school board will review the research and recommendations, followed by formal consideration and action by the school board at a regular meeting in early March.

Kim Wallace, the district’s director of instructional technology and learning, is coordinating the strategic planning process from the district’s side.

“The two input sessions on Tuesday were well received by both staff and the public,” she said. “The participants contributed several insightful ideas and areas to pursue. The Action Team leaders reported that much of what was shared resonated with a lot of the work their teams had done so far, and it was gratifying to get the important feedback that was gathered at the two sessions.”

Wallace added, “There was a positive vibe in the room and people seemed very excited about the directions the plans were going and glad to have this opportunity to see the draft plans and add their input before the plans start to solidify.”

Superintendent Winfred Roberson said the staff and community input sessions “provided a midway adrenaline shot to the strategic planning process. The questions, ideas and suggestions will add value to the work of our Action Teams. Huge thanks to the dedicated staff and Davisites who participated.”

— Reach Jeff Hudson at [email protected] or 530-747-8055. Follow him on Twitter at @JeffHudsonDE

Jeff Hudson

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