Academic success, personal resilience and interpersonal skills: Shawnee Mission sets objectives for every student in new strategic plan

SM West student Brenda Garcia, one of five students on the 30-person strategic planning steering committee, helped present the final product to the Board of Education on Monday.

Six month ago, first-year Superintendent Mike Fulton kicked off a comprehensive strategic planning process that he said would serve as a new “north star” for Shawnee Mission, guiding the district’s work for the coming five years.

On Monday, that north star was set.

The Board of Education voted unanimously to adopt the recommendations of the 30-person strategic planning steering committee, which oversaw the development of a final product that had more than 180 individuals actively participating.

Leading off the plan is a set of shared beliefs:

That’s followed by a mission statement for the district:

Then come three objectives the district has for each student:

Following that are five strategies the district will use to achieve its objectives:

And then are the parameters staff will use when making decisions about how to enact all of the above:

The remainder of the plan spells out specific actions staff will take to work toward each strategic goal.

Taken as a whole, the plan lays out work that could easily fill the entire five-year window it’s supposed to cover. In remarks to the board, Fulton noted that the administration will be working on prioritizing and sequencing which parts of the plan to tackle when.

“Everything in the plan is important,” he said. “But if we try to do everything at once, we will get buried under the weight of the activity.”

Each of the five strategies has an assistant superintendent or the deputy superintendent assigned to supervise the work, and each action plan has an administrator assigned to it. The steering committee will meet once a year to review progress on the plan.

Four members of the steering committee — parent Laura Robeson, Trailridge Middle School Teacher Wraye Royle, administrator Ryan Flurry, and SM West student Brenda Garcia — shared insights from the planning process, noting how the members had worked together to identify shared values and wordsmith specific lines that ended up in the final product.

SM Northwest representative Patty Mach noted that the process that led to the creation of the plan was different than anything the district had undertaken during her time in office, and that it truly reflected the input of the community — not just a select group of board members or administrators. She lauded the group specifically for development of the three objectives.

“When I look at those three objectives, to me, personally, that’s what leaps out to me,” she said. “I just want to say thank you for nailing it.”