Decatur superintendent gives update on strategic planThe Decatur School Board discussed the district's strategic plan during its regular meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 8. Photo by Zoe Seiler.
Decatur, GA — City Schools of Decatur Superintendent Maggie Fehrman gave the school board an update on the strategic plan at its meeting on Nov. 8.
The process began earlier this year, and it’s anticipated that the school board will approve the strategic plan in March 2023. The board is working with the Georgia School Boards Association to develop the plan.
“We are moving and grooving on this strategic planning timeline and making really good progress,” Fehrman said.
The strategic plan is a community-inspired plan to help set the direction for what the school district can be over the next five years, Fehrman previously told Decaturish.
“This a strategic plan that is inspired by our community but is for their future,” she said. “When I say their future, I mean our student’s future. This is focused on students and what our students need to be successful as they move into their future.”
The school board and the community recently analyzed the district’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. The district issued a survey that got about 650 responses.
“All of that information was taken and provided to our planning team,” Fehrman said. “The planning team met a couple of weeks ago. They reviewed all the information from the analysis. They had a large amount of data at their fingertips to look at and review as they decided what are the big goals areas that we want to focus on as a school district.”
The planning team is facilitated by Georgia School Boards Association and the Georgia Leadership Institute for School Improvement (GLISI). The team will look at a few essential questions: “Who Are We? Where Are We Now? Where Do We Want To Go,” a spokesperson for CSD said.
An action team of CSD employees will also meet this month to begin talking about how to measure the success of the strategic plan.
Fehrman will additionally be leading a task force of students, community members and staff that will revisit the mission and vision statement.
“We want to refresh that vision and mission to capture what we are about as a school system in this moment and what we want to become in the future,” Fehrman said.
The planning team identified five big areas for the district to focus on, and identified strategic accelerators, things that will help the district move toward those goals quickly and efficiently.
Here are the five goal areas:
– Student success in all areas: provide and deliver an engaging curriculum, increase mastery of the curriculum, provide relevant and meaningful assessments.
“This is about students success in every area that we have our students working on in a school day, whether it is PE, whether it is theater, whether it is writing, we want our students to show that success in every single area that they are engaging with in our schools,” Fehrman said.
– Equity and student support: increase wellness resources, embed career and college preparedness in diverse ways, expand and diversify access and engagement for extracurricular activities.
When it comes to embedding career and college preparedness, Fehrman said the district should think about how to get students ready for jobs that haven’t been created yet or for a college degree that no one has thought of yet.
CSD also wants to diversify access to the various things the school system offers, including the international baccalaureate diploma program.
“We want to make sure that every student has the opportunity, has the support and access to reach those very important activities that we have available in our schools,” Fehrman said.
– Organizational effectiveness and excellence: create and sustain excellent and transparent financial stewardship, monitor and implement an environmentally sustainable long-range facilities plan, and enhance safe and inclusive environments.
– Cultivating and retaining quality professionals: use consistent equitable hiring processes, attract and tap diverse human capital, address relevant and appropriate professional currencies, and prioritize and invest in anti-racist and relevant professional development.
– Building and sustaining an engaging and inclusive culture: foster rich connections between all stakeholders, empower student voices, utilize community resources and partnerships, facilitate communications between all stakeholders.
Moving forward in the process, there will be opportunities for students to provide feedback.
Last week, Fehrman hosted three town hall meetings to give the community an overview of the strategic plan. To watch that meeting, click here.
In other business, School Board Chair Jana Johnson Davis said GSBA has posted CSD’s superintendent search announcement on all of its platforms. The job application will be open until Dec. 18.
The school board is also working with the Georgia School Boards Association to conduct the search for the district’s next superintendent.
Additionally, Decatur High School students were given an opportunity to take the superintendent search survey to provide feedback in the process. GSBA hosted a Zoom session with all CSD principals, so they could give input into the superintendent search process as well.
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