SMSD News: SMSD Strategic Plan update

SMSD's Strategic Plan is a community plan, designed to serve as a guide and roadmap for the district.

At the June 8, 2020 Shawnee Mission Board of Education meeting, Dr. Mike Fulton, superintendent, shared an update on the progress the district has made with the Strategic Plan. June marks a year since the Board approved the plan, which was developed by the community.

Fulton reiterated that the Strategic Plan is a community plan, designed to serve as a guide and roadmap for the district. The plan includes the district’s mission statement, parameters, and beliefs, with clear and measurable strategies and action steps.

Fulton noted that decisions the district and community make today can ensure future generations of students and educators have what they need to be successful.

“The Strategic Plan is evidence of the long-term commitment to the students in the Shawnee Mission School District (SMSD), so they see their world as a bridge to unlimited possibilities,” Fulton stated. “This is not a slogan. This is our commitment.”

The plan was developed through the hard work and input of hundreds of individuals from across the community, beginning with a diverse steering committee made up of teachers, students, parents and community members. In accomplishing their work, the steering committee was able to integrate broad community input gathered through the use of Thoughtexchange. Through this platform staff, families, students, and community members shared ideas on important issues and questions to be addressed in Shawnee Mission.

The outcome centers around one objective, a powerful promise Shawnee Mission makes:

Every student will have a personalized learning plan that supports them in being college/career ready and having the interpersonal skills important to life success.

At the meeting on Monday, Dr. Fulton spent time on each component of the Strategic Plan objective. He noted that personalized learning requires students to set goals and take control of their learning, supporting them in becoming life-ready and successful. Being college and career ready requires not only knowledge and skills, but also the grit and resilience to acquire those skills. Equity requires achieving that outcome for each student.

“Our equity commitment to every child as they move through the system and graduate is that we have given them the academic foundation they need,” Fulton emphasized.

Gaining interpersonal skills involves helping to engage and empower students to be empathetic members of the local and global community.

“Our objectives are timeless, measurable (which holds us accountable), and meaningful, providing aptitude and attitudes for life-long learning,” Fulton noted.

Each strategy – Learning, Culture, People, Systems, and Facilities – has action steps related to it. As these strategies are put into action, the district will follow the model defined within the strategic plan, “Study-Plan-Act.” For example, Strategy 4: Systems 4:2:6 says the district will “Establish process for data review and decision making with a focus on being responsive not reactionary as the strategic plan is implemented over time” In other words, “Study-Plan-Act.”

In his June 8 report, Dr. Fulton also brought forth two issues where specific actions steps had been previously identified for further study, prior to action. With studies complete, Dr. Fulton presented several recommendations for consideration, related to Teacher Planning and Collaboration (with a focus on reducing teacher workload), and planning for a potential future bond issue.
Dr. Fulton recommended to the Board that a community survey be conducted in June and July to inform future Board consideration of two possible scenarios for potential bond issues. The potential issues could be placed on the ballot in November 2020 or January 2021. Click here to read about those scenarios and for more information about Dr. Fulton’s presentation.