SMSD Strategic Plan: Reflecting on the first year

This is a paid editorial placement from the Shawnee Mission School District.

A year ago, the Shawnee Mission School District embarked on developing a Strategic Plan to serve as a roadmap for continuing our legacy of excellence. The Strategic Plan work continues in order to achieve our objective that each student will have a personalized learning plan that will prepare them for college and careers, with the interpersonal skills they need for life success.

A year ago, to guide the strategic planning process, the district formed a steering committee with approximately 30 members who represented a broad range of groups and the district’s demographic profile including parents, students, classified staff, licensed staff, PTA representatives, business leaders, and community service leaders.

The committee worked together to develop the blueprint for the Strategic Plan, and formulated the district’s beliefs, mission, objectives, strategies, and parameters.

The Board of Education approved the Strategic Plan in June 2019 and action teams formed to support each of the five strategies:

  • Strategy 1: We will reimagine teaching and learning to guarantee relevant opportunities for personalized learning experiences, with a focus on:
    • Relevant, engaging and applied learning
    • Learning connected to community, industry, citizenship and life-long learning
    • A focus on academic and interpersonal success
  • Strategy 2: We will relentlessly create a fully unified, equitable, and inclusive culture, through:
    • Improved policies, procedures and practices
    • Review and strengthening of recruitment and hiring practices and procedures
    • Recognizing and valuing all students, staff and families through an inclusive culture and climate
  • Strategy 3: We will create the climate to cultivate quality educators, so they flourish in pursuit of our mission by:
    • Developing comprehensive, sustainable professional learning plans
    • Maintaining a work environment that promotes the social/emotional health of all staff
    • Designing protocols to communicate with staff
  • Strategy 4: We will design systems that support our mission and beliefs by developing and strengthening:
    • Communication and collaboration between district and building leadership
    • Gathering data to evaluate and adjust systems
    • A system-wide Response to Intervention system to ensure social-emotional and academic growth for all students
  • Strategy 5: We will strategically focus resources to support state-of-the-art facilities to accomplish our beliefs, mission and objectives through:
    • The development of a 2020/21 strategic bond plan
    • The development and implementation of strategies to enhance district facilities

Task forces and curriculum cadres were formed to research, plan, and implement each of the Strategic Plan action steps. Reports on the progress of their work can be found here.

The next step is to implement the strategic planning process at each Shawnee Mission school. Each school has a Site Council, which is encouraged to include administrators, teachers, staff members, parents, community members, and students. The purpose of school-based Site Councils is to inform and support their building during each step of the School Improvement Process.

School Site Councils will meet in February to study and plan using district and school data to support continuous improvement on student success measures.

No two schools are alike, so each school will be encouraged to customize a plan that works specifically for its community in reaching common objectives. Customized plans are essential to our objective of helping every student achieve life success.