Strategic Plan Report Update Scheduled for Board

Strategic-PlanningBy Nicholas von Wettberg

The Davis Joint Unified School District (DJUSD) Board of Education will hear the results of the annual Strategic Plan Report at the regular trustee meeting on Thursday.

Two weeks ago, the 26-member Strategic Planning Committee, comprised of students, parents, teachers, educators, bargaining members, officials and Davis residents, gathered to update the state funding-induced plan approved by the Board in June 2014.

One of the central purposes of the collaborative session, held on April 1 and 2, was to scrutinize and “reaffirm” the core elements, as a part of the district’s Strategic Plan, which are its beliefs, mission, objectives, strategies and parameters.

Currently, four plan strategies are in place: professional growth, physical space and technology infrastructure, assessment system, and student goal setting.

Following what was described as two days of “reviewing progress, hearing updates from district administrators and identifying areas for growth,” the committee concluded that the need exists for the plan to include a fifth strategy.

According to a staff document, the formal wording for Recommended Strategy 5 is, “We will develop, implement and assess a comprehensive human resources system consistent with our mission and objectives, focusing on: recruiting, supporting, evaluating, retaining and advancing…a team of highly qualified diverse and dedicated staff.”

Once the district staff and members of the committee finish with the presentation on the update, the Board will discuss, comment and ask questions before taking any action on the recommendation.

If the motion is approved, then the next task at hand would be the creation of an “Action Team,” in which a group of Davis school community members become voluntary educational overseers in the implementation of the new strategy.

Another result of adding a potential new piece to the plan would be the chore of aligning the fifth strategy with one of the eight goals, as defined in the DJUSD Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP).

Three of those goals are missing a strategy component, although LCAP Goal 8 (recognition will be embedded in collaborative practices, professional growth, and effective communication networks) is the likely recipient with its correlation to Strategy 5, which offers a “comprehensive human resources system.”

At the Board meeting, on Thursday, April 7, a number of Strategic Planning Committee members expressed their gratitude for the chance to take part in such an innovative and needs-based process.

Trustee Alan Fernandes, who thanked the moderator of the two-day session, DJUSD Associate Superintendent Clark Bryant, said he was “overwhelmed by the thoughtful and energetic input” of the two student representatives, Colin Unger and Gabriel McKinney.

Lauding the pair as “everything I think we all want to see in our students,” Fernandes singled out their progressive stance and forward-thinking approach.

“We really tackled some meaningful things that we think represent what our upcoming challenges as a district are with the potential loss of a workforce due to retirements and our need to recruit the best teachers in our district,” said Fernandes, who is now in his third year as a committee participant.

He encouraged others to get involved in the strategic planning process, either as a future committee member or as a member of the public, and added how proud he is of the team, for the work they have put in to the process.

“I don’t know why I’m surprised,” Fernandes said. “But I’m pleasantly surprised every time when I go to these meetings and see the dedication from community members…I mean we really put everything we had in to this event, and we continue to it not just in those two days but throughout the year.”

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