Background about the Development of Our Community's Plan for School Progress
The Lawrence Board of Education on June 24, 2019, approved a five-year Strategic Plan that reflects what the Lawrence community wants for the future of its public schools. Here is the school board presentation by Martha Greenway of Greenway Strategy Group (GSG).
The school board hired GSG in January of 2019 to assist with the design, development, and implementation of a process to determine strategic direction for the district. The work culminated in a five-year plan, which includes establishing short-term priorities and goals for the 2019-2020 school year, as well as a comprehensive direction for school years 2020-21 through 2023-2024.
GSG analyzed district student academic data, survey results, and feedback collected during the Superintendent's fall Listening and Learning Tour. Next, the district invited student, teacher and staff, school board, parent, and community representatives to a Design Team meeting to review the data analysis and discuss priority student outcomes. The district's Executive Leadership Team (ELT) grouped that input into five priority student outcomes and five strategic themes that made up the draft Strategic Plan Framework.
The school board on February 25, 2019, agreed to share the draft framework with the community for feedback. The district hosted five forums and invited feedback via an online survey. On March 25, GSG shared highlights of that feedback and a revised Strategic Plan Framework incorporating the community input.
GSG then trained district Strategy Team leaders for each of the five themes. They worked with teams for eight weeks to brainstorm ideas around objectives and initiatives, reaching out to experts and stakeholder groups for additional input throughout the process. The Strategy Teams shared their progress with the ELT on April 11, 2019. The draft objectives also were shared with principals and staff, the district’s Equity Advisory Council, District Equity Leadership Team Advisory, and District Site Council committees.
GSG again shared the draft Strategic Plan Framework, including objectives and initiatives, with the school board on May 13, 2019. Following board consensus to move forward, Martha Greenway trained Action Team leaders. These staff members continue to work with teams to develop action plans for the nine initiatives chosen by the ELT for phase-one implementation during the 2019-2020 school year. The nine initiatives include work around curriculum standards, instructional resources, student supports, instructional framework, teacher observation and feedback, adult connections with students, safety, climate and culture, data use in decision making, and resource allocation.
“This is a plan. Just like you have a plan for a road trip and get a flat tire, you may have to adjust the plan, but the destination doesn’t change,” said Dr. Lewis.
Following a review of the mission, priority student outcomes, themes, objectives, and initiatives, as well as the ELT’s phasing plan, the board voted unanimously to approve the Strategic Plan. Next steps in the strategic planning process include continued work by the Action Teams to develop action plans, responsibilities and timelines; ongoing community engagement, budget planning, the drafting of performance indicators and monitoring and reporting processes, and communications planning.
Lawrence Public Schools sincerely thanks all of the students, parents, school staff, and school board and community members who participated in the development of the Strategic Plan.