Clarity of Purpose

Our first public vetting of the draft version of core components of our Strategic Plan-The Mission, Objectives, Strategies and Core Values-occurred last week during the second meeting of the Community Relations Committee. This group of volunteers, with Board of Education representation, has been utilized as a parallel feedback loop throughout the initial stages of plan development. The evening opened with an overview presentation of the formation and work of the Internal Steering Committee. This committee, comprised of a cross section of faculty and staff from the FRHSD, convened on October 12 and November 1 & 2 to collaboratively develop the working draft of a Strategic Plan. The strength of this process was in the discourse, debate and discussion that can only occur when a sizeable group of articulate and insightful individuals comes together to help determine the direction of an organization.

The members of the Steering Committee laid the framework of an intentionally ambitious plan that boldly declares our commitment to perpetual improvement and increased student achievement.

The framework was challenged, critiqued and questioned on Thursday evening. Participants gauged the clarity of purpose of the working draft. Additionally, the committee members participated in a carousel activity where the alignment between Mission, Objectives and Strategies was explored. While critical elements of the content of the plan were affirmed, other aspects were challenged. A unique dynamic was made possible by the presence of several Steering Committee members –the architects of the draft-who served as active participants in the carousel activity. Thus, the meeting structure allowed questions posed by the Community Relations Committee members to be addressed directly by the folks behind the thought processes that led to the development of the draft. These individuals provided an overview of the extensive discourse that resulted in particular language choices, defended, and, at times, altered their positions, and allowed their work to be fine tuned.

Now begins the heavy lifting.

As a school district we face many unanswered questions moving forward: changing state and national requirements, limited resources, exponential changes to the meaning of knowledge acquisition. How we prioritize our needs and allocate our resources to explicitly confront the promises of our Mission will determine the limits to which we push our student achievement at the FRHSD. A meaningful Strategic Plan will help meet these seismic challenges and maintain our fidelity toward continuous and systemic improvement-no easy task. The path to such improvement is fraught with landmines, roadblocks and barriers that we must not allow to limit our capacity as an organization to provide the most meaningful experience possible for the students we serve.

We need your insight to help navigate this path.

In the coming weeks, there will be opportunities for all community members to provide feedback and offer input as the Strategic Plan framework is finalized. A web presence is being developed that will house the” living document” of the Strategic Plan and demonstrate, over time, the construction of the plan for all to observe, and, we hope, critique. Please take the opportunity to participate in the process. We want to hear every idea, thought, or notion that assists in planning for greatness.

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