Benchmark – K-12 Strategic Plans Matrix
For this assignment, three K-12 strategic plans were chosen. These are Kent School District (KSD), Center School District (CSD), and Triton School Corporation (TSC) plans. In the three plans, internal and external stakeholders were considered as part of the institutions. The plans incorporated all stakeholders in developing and implementing the plan. For example, KSD involved a collaboration of internal stakeholders such as students, teachers, parents, and office staff. Students gave their input based on their experiences in school. Parents focused on the need for improved communication. Teachers emphasized the need for professional development and equal distribution of resources. External stakeholders were also participated including civic communities, faith-based institutions, and higher education leaders (Kent School District, 2016).
Center School District’s plan included internal and external stakeholders in developing their plan. Students, teachers, and parents gave their ideas. The community also collaborated with the strategic planning team in developing the plan. For example, focus group-like sessions were organized to engage the community. Different groups such as faith-based, opinion leaders, community members, and parents participated in these sessions (Strategic Planning Committee, 2016). Workshops were also organized to allow internal stakeholders to share their views. Students, teachers, support staff, and administrators were engaged in these workshops.
Similarly, Triton School Corporation involved both internal and external stakeholders in the development of the strategic plan. The input was gathered from the staff, faculty members, students, parents, and administrators, community members also gave their views guiding the development of the plan (Triton School Corporation, 2016). Therefore, in the three strategic plans, internal and external stakeholders were considered as part of the system. This is why their views and input were considered in the development and implementation of the plans.
The three plans have three most significant elements of governance and structure. First, the plans have a strategic planning committee with the general responsibility of developing the plan. For example, KSD engaged the strategic planning committee in steering the development of the strategic plan (Kent School District, 2016). CSD had a strategic planning team facilitating the development of the strategic plan. The team played the role of organizing, coordinating, and managing the process. TSC had the Triton Strategic Planning Team. The team also facilitated the development of the plan.
Second, the strategic planning teams in all the three plans composed of representatives of all stakeholders. This shows the governance element of inclusiveness. The plans provide opportunities for stakeholders to improve their wellbeing. For example, the KSD planning team included representatives of students, staff, administrators, and community (Kent School District, 2016). TSC planning team was composed of students, teachers, community members, and school board members among representatives of other stakeholders.
Third, in the three plans, leaders such as superintendents played a major role in facilitating the strategic planning process. This brings in the element of accountability. For example, in TSC, the superintendent ensured that the planning team had the necessary resources and support to develop the strategic plan (Triton School Corporation, 2016).
The three strategic plans support continuous school improvement and sustainable change in several ways. First, they support continuous school improvement by creating shared missions and visions, collecting meaningful data, and prioritization of needs (Strategic Planning Committee, 2016). The three plans have a shared vision and mission. Internal and external stakeholders participate in creating an effective learning environment that supports continuous improvement (Hanover Research, 2014). They are engaged in translating the visions and missions to practices.
Second, the plans have goals or priorities aimed at supporting continuous improvement. Having goals and action plans facilitates continuous improvement (Hanover Research, 2014). For example, the KSD plan had four primary goals. The goals address several problems in a more effective manner (Kent School District, 2016). Focusing on these fewer goals at a time helps achieve better results. Although the other two plans have not clearly stated their goals, they have priorities and action plans that support continuous improvement. For example, one of the priorities of CSD is enhancing STEAM learning by incorporating Project Lead the Way to improve academic achievement (Strategic Planning Committee, 2016). TSC on the other hand incorporates best practices to close performance gaps as part of continuous improvement.
Third, the plans used data to inform improvement decisions. Data use is a key factor in continuous improvement (Hanover Research, 2014). The plans were designed after a successful collection of data from all stakeholders. This is essential in supporting continuous improvement as it helps identify current problems and possible solutions. For example, KSD started developing the plan by collecting stakeholder input (Kent School District, 2016). Also, CSD and TSC started by collecting data as part of developing their plans. This data is then used in the continuous improvement process.
Fourth, the plans have prioritized needs, a key factor in continuous improvement (Hanover Research, 2014). The plans have selected priority areas based on the analysis of the collected data. KSD plan has four strategic goals in priority order. CSD plan has strategies put in order of priority with numbered priorities under each strategy (Strategic Planning Committee, 2016). TSC plan also included various elements in order of priority supporting continuous improvement.
By supporting continuous improvement in schools, the three plans support sustainable change. This is because continuous improvement is a key component of sustainable change (Hanover Research, 2014). Also, the three plans offer professional development opportunities. These opportunities support sustainable change. For example, the KSD plan incorporated high-quality professional development essential for building instructional capacity continuously (Kent School District, 2016). CSD provides professional development essential for sustainable change. TSC plan also includes professional development opportunities supporting continuous improvement. This eventually supports sustainable change in education (Triton School Corporation, 2016).
The knowledge collected in this assignment will be useful in the future. First, the knowledge will help identify core components of K-12 strategic plans (Hanover Research, 2012). The first set of the core components include goals, vision, and mission. The components help in establishing guidelines for a strategic direction. They help in identifying specific areas in which to carry out goals.
Second, the knowledge will help emphasize the importance of stakeholder involvement in developing and implementing strategic plans (Hanover Research, 2012). A comparison of the three strategic plans shows the importance of stakeholder engagement in strategic planning. The stakeholders help in translating their needs into goals facilitating strategy development. The analysis shows that both internal and external stakeholders should be involved in planning.
Also, knowledge from this assignment will help develop a comprehensive K-12 strategic plan supporting continuous improvement and sustainable change. Research shows that such plans have achieved better outcomes in different fields such as technology and health (Hanover Research, 2014). A comparison of the three plans shows different ways of developing a comprehensive plan that supports continuous school improvement and sustainable change. With this knowledge, it will be possible to develop a plan that supports continuous improvement in the future.
Hanover Research (2012). Strategic Planning for K-12 Districts. Hanover Research, 1-30.
Hanover Research (2014). Best Practices for School Improvement Planning. Hanover Research, 1-31.
Kent School District (2016). Blueprint: Leaning Forward Together 2016-2021. Kent School District, 1-24.
Strategic Planning Committee (2016). Strategic Plan –Vision 2020. Center School District, 1- 15.
Triton School Corporation (2016). Strategic Plan 2016-2025. Triton School Corporation, 1- 44.