New superintendent starts work on new strategic plan
With a new superintendent now at the helm, the Westerville City School District has embarked on a new strategic-planning process.
During the annual retreat of the Westerville Board of Education Aug. 7, Superintendent John Kellogg presented the work the district's administration has done on the planning and discussed how he would like to move forward.
The district last created a strategic plan about 10 years ago, Kellogg said, and most of the community discussions since have been issue-based, such as the proposed closing of the magnet schools or realignment of elementary school boundaries.
Having an updated strategic plan will better help the district guide those kinds of issue-by-issue discussions and make decisions, Kellogg said.
Kellogg said the district would like to bring in an outside group to facilitate community discussions on a strategic vision for Westerville City Schools.
"I think that creates a different atmosphere," as opposed to district officials running public meetings, Kellogg said.
The board and administration would help determine which groups should be included in the planning process -- including parents, students, community leaders, local businesses and community organization -- and invite them to the public meeting.
From there, data and a matrix for a strategic plan will be created, Kellogg said.
The goal is to have a new strategic plan in place by the end of 2013, said district spokesman Greg Viebranz.
At the Aug. 7 retreat, the board began the strategic planning process by re-examining the five board goals adopted about five years ago, when former Superintendent Dan Good arrived in the district.
The goals are: that every student achieves educational success; learning and working environments are safe, nurturing and efficient; the best staff are recruited, selected, developed and retained; community, parents, students and staff are engaged as partners in education; and financial resources are maximized to support educational success.
Those goals have been used since to help guide the board in all of its decision making, said board member Kristi Robbins.
The board extensively discussed those goals at the retreat, and the next steps in creating a strategic plan will be to continue to develop questions surrounding those goals and to identify key stakeholders to involve in the discussion, Viebranz said.
The district must work hard to involve a broad spectrum of the community, Kellogg said, not just the people who are typically involved in discussions.
Getting feedback from parents and students is key, Kellogg said.
"They are our end-users. They are our most significant customers," he said.