The frequently asked questions below explain what it means to Champion Our Future. We also explain what to expect from the project and when the district will have a final end product, which will be an actionable strategic plan to achieve our goals and uphold our community’s shared mission, vision and values for our schools.
What is a school strategic plan?
A school strategic plan is a guiding document to help a school district achieve its goals in ways that can be both measured on a regular basis and adjusted when needed. Good strategic planning is a collaborative community process to help a school district establish priorities and identify areas of improvement. The end result is a statement of agreed-upon goals, as well as the vision, mission, values, objectives statements and a clear pathway to help achieve them.
Why are we doing this when Bexley Schools did strategic planning a few years ago?
A common trait of high-impact organizations is a regular practice of assessing its goals, mission, vision and values; Bexley City Schools does this through a rhythm of strategic planning.
Through this process we will identify actionable steps to help our district achieve our community’s goals for the future. We will take into account the changing nature of education, especially through the past few years, and the changing workforce our students need to be prepared to enter. Goals are just wishful ideas if they do not have a strategic plan and the means to accomplish them!
Why is the district engaging in a strategic planning process this year?
First, the last strategic plan covered the years 2018-2021, so this is the appropriate time to create the next plan moving forward.
Second, this is a best practice in organizations that are dedicated to growth and improvement. As a school district we believe strongly in learning from the experiences of the past and embracing new innovations and ideas that can enhance or refocus our efforts for excellence.
Finally, revisiting this practice now that our students, staff and community are in recovery from the pandemic will allow opportunities to reconnect and reimagine our future so that we can collectively write our next chapter together.
What can the community expect?
The district has no predetermined conclusions of what will be included in the final plan. The collaborative and result-based process we will walk through will help assess and identify our areas of strength as well as areas for growth and opportunity. That’s why we are adamant about including as many people in the process as possible. We want and need input from every stakeholder group to develop a plan that guides our district forward together.
Who will have input into this plan?
Every member of the Bexley community is invited to share their ideas and visions for the future of Bexley Schools including, but not limited to, current Bexley students, school alumni, parents/guardians, teachers and staff members, school volunteers and boosters, district administrators, Bexley city and civic leaders, and all residents of Bexley whether or not they currently have students enrolled in the district.
Opportunities to participate are shared in district email newsletters, mailed to all residents and posted on our website. In addition, anyone can submit ideas or comment via our community feedback form. The feedback form is at: bit.ly/bexleyfeedback. The feedback form is not anonymous; we want to be able to follow up to better understand individual perspectives when needed.
We want to hear from as many of these stakeholders as possible. Every voice is valuable.
How will the strategic planning process work and what is the timeline?
The process will be broken into three phases.
The first phase continued through the Fall with the gathering of data and other information through a variety of interactions with the community (see below). This phase wrapped up at the end of November 2022.
The second phase will run from January to March 2023 as we dive more deeply into the areas that were identified in Phase 1 for further conversations and study.
The final phase will run from April 2023 to May 2023 as the strategic plan outlining the goals and actions for the next three years is written based on the results of the first two phases.
The final plan will be shared with the entire school community in May of 2023, and the initial implementation will begin in the summer in anticipation of the 2023-24 school year.
How will the community and other stakeholders be involved?
We held six in-person community events through October and November and welcomed everyone from the Bexley community to attend.
Conducted one-on-one meetings (in-person and via Zoom)
Conducted small-group and large-group focus sessions (in-person and via Zoom)
Utilized stakeholder surveys.
In addition, anyone can submit ideas or comment via our community feedback form. The feedback form is at bit.ly/bexleyfeedback. The feedback form is not anonymous; we want to be able to follow up to better understand individual perspectives when needed.
Who is managing the planning process?
We are working with the highly capable leaders of The Big Questions Institute (BQI), which was founded by Homa Tavangar and Will Richardson, who together have worked with educators for more than 50 years. Their past clients are located in both the U.S. and across the globe and their work has earned them an international reputation as leading thinkers about education and the larger world.
Will we have to do this again after the three-year plan is up?
Our intent through this new strategic planning process is to create a “living document” that will be regularly reviewed, assessed, and if needed, modified, thus reducing the need for a formal “project” every three years.
Regular and robust systems of community engagement and feedback will be necessary to ensure the living document can be accurately updated to reflect the expectations and desires of the community at-large.