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School notes

Your input is needed for new district strategic plan

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Upper Arlington Schools launched an innovative strategic planning process this spring. As we approach the midpoint of this work, we are asking the community for feedback. We have a rich history of excellent schools based upon a foundation of strong support from our community, and we need your help as we plan for the future of our schools.

The goal of this planning process is to provide a focused plan that reflects the expectations and goals of our community and staff. It's a hybrid approach meant to draw from the best practices of both the public and private sectors. The structure was inspired by the conversations we had with community members regarding the district's levy request last fall.

Within several weeks, three clear themes had emerged: efficiency, accountability and results. Upper Arlington residents want a district that functions efficiently from both financial and operational perspectives; they want a school district that holds itself accountable for student achievement; and they want a school district that ensures its programs result in a quality learning experience for each individual student. Efficiency, accountability and results -- we began calling this our roadmap for the future, and we kept it firmly in mind as we designed our new strategic planning process.

The two-phase process began in April, with three work teams launching into a research and data collection process in areas that relate to the themes of efficiency, accountability and results. The teams are made up of volunteer staff members and community members, and I couldn't be more impressed with their dedication to the work. All of the volunteers spent hours and hours researching best practices and collecting as much feedback as possible. Many others helped with these efforts by taking part in surveys, personal interviews or focus groups. My thanks to all involved!

Each work team has compiled a briefing paper summarizing its findings. You can find these papers on the district website, uaschools.org. You'll notice that each paper is still marked as a draft. That's because they won't be considered complete until we hear from you. We want to hear what you like, what concerns you have and what you think might be missing. To gather this information, we'll provide an online form from Aug. 1-25. You can also email me at superintendent@uaschools.org.

We will head into the second phase of this process after school resumes in August, and it will wrap up by early November. During phase two, we will use the information gathered during phase one, the feedback received from staff and community on the briefing documents, and other information gathered by the phase two teams to develop our strategic plan and revisit our mission and vision statements.

I hope you can find the time to share your feedback and help us build upon this district's legacy of excellence. If you have any questions about our strategic planning process, please feel free to contact me by phone (614-487-5030) or email (superintendent@ uaschools.org).

School notes is provided to ThisWeek Upper Arlington News by Upper Arlington Schools. Paul Imhoff is the superintendent of Upper Arlington Schools.

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