School Committee Long Range Priorities for 2018 and beyond

In 2017, the School Committee (SC) identified a SC Long Range agenda that would best support achievement of the SPS Vision and Goals. Long Range initiatives have a longer time horizon that traditional district two-year goals and are significantly complex with respect to level of investment (time and resources) as well as cultural shifts necessary to both consider and implement. The process for this work, as well as the outcome, are outlined below and include three Long Range priorities for the SC and a list of additional topics that administration will explore and engage the SC as appropriate. 

Process: To identify the most pressing items to be addressed through the SC Long Range activities over the next several years, several meetings were held to brainstorm, parse (short term from long term), consider and assess. Once items were identified, each were were assessed based on two parameters; the first complexity to implement and the second scope of impact. Complexity to implement considered both the resources necessary (people-power and money) and the type change -- from "adaptive change", which requires significant cultural shifts in expectations, to “technical changes” which are more contained to a specific area or group that doesn’t require as much change in mindset or practice. Scope of impact considered the both the influence on the achievement of the district’s goals and the population of students and staff that would be positively impacted by implementation. SC members did homework to pre-assess each item based on the two criteria, as well as rank each to prepare for the group process and worked together to finalize their findings. 

Outcome: The following three items were identified to be the focus of Long Range activities over the next 1-2 years. An additional list of topics that the SC and administration agreed would benefit from the School Committee’s participation in consideration were also identified. Efforts on this additional list would be lead by administration and are also listed below.

SC 2018 Long Range focus:

  • Examining Cultural proficiency and power structures in the district, which includes equity in the district
  • Long Term Enrollment Strategy (enrollment projections, school population and programs (including scope, placement, expansion or addition), school choice (including current Brown School transition model)
  • Long Term Labor Relations/Supporting Human Capital strategy

Additional topics identified for SC participation in consideration (scheduled by Superintendent/Chair in Regular or Subcommittee meetings in 2018 and beyond if necessary):

  • Enhancing middle school programming in the K-8 model
  • Developing a comprehensive transportation plan
  • Enhanced planning/resources to increase family access and engagement
  • Delivering on an after school and out of school time equity plan
  • Assessment and Accountability (standardized testing and beyond)
  • High school Structures
  • K-8 World Language Strategy

The three Long Range topics will be explored in more detail, including clarifying the scope of each topic, in future SC Long Range meetings to be scheduled in 2018 and beyond. 

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Laura Pitone for Ward 5 School Committee
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