If your school is still doing strategic planning the same way you did five or ten years ago, you are robbing your community of perhaps its most powerful opportunity for the future.
What does inclusive, collaborative, imaginative, design-based strategic thinking amongst a community of educators look like? Check out this post from Trinity Episcopal School in Austin, TX after our day together in January, and this slide show from The Bolles School in Jacksonville from this week. Check out the short videos that tell the story of Tilton School’s extraordinary faculty-staff-trustee-student design teams, or of Miami Valley School’s unique community-generated, learning-centered vision statement. Is this what strategic planning looks like at your school? Are you all on the same page, feeling included, and contributing ideas and “skin” in the game? Are your teachers excited and ready to tackle the uncertainty of real innovation? If not, why not? Are we still afraid of involving our community stakeholders, or are we ready to embrace the experience, talents, and diversity of viewpoints they have to offer? Sure it is a bit messy and noisy, but that is the price of real innovation as opposed to checking off the box and ending up with another case of “vanilla+”.
I keep sending these posts to my superintendent and Assistant super. In 1994 we had a design charette we called a “futures conference” in which we designed what we wanted the graduate of 2010 to look like. We achieved some amazing growth under the plans that came out of that community based, participatory action. But we abandoned that model after 2010. Your efforts are exactly what my district needs to rediscover. Thanks for what you do.
Thanks, Garreth! Sounds like you and I push along the same pathways!