School Board sets District's course for future
School Board sets District's course for the future with revised Strategic Framework
Posted on 06/21/2013

The District 197 School Board recently approved updates to its Strategic Framework, a guiding document that contains the District’s mission, vision, values and goals.

The process to revise the Strategic Framework began earlier this year. Initial planning meetings among the Board revealed that updates to the Strategic Framework were needed. Since the last update in 2010, new district priorities had been identified through the Strategic Redesign Advisory Committee (SRAC) and it was clear that the District’s goals needed to better reflect its focus on educating 21st century learners and increasing student achievement.

To gain input from the community the board held a series of three Stakeholder Engagement meetings in February, March and April. Teachers, parents and area residents, who signed up to participate by responding to an open invitation to the public, met with administrators and the School Board to offer input and ideas regarding the current state of the District and what they felt should be changed in the future. The Board then used their feedback to revise the District’s mission and vision statements, core values and goals.

picThe next steps of the strategic planning process will put the Strategic Framework’s words into action. As shown in the graphic at right, all levels of goal-setting will be connected to create an aligned goal structure throughout the District, linking the daily work of teachers in the classroom to the strategic objectives of the School Board. 

Over the summer, administrators will develop core strategies and create an implementation plan based on the district’s strategic objectives (goals within the Strategic Framework). In the fall, all district departments and school buildings will engage in Continuous Improvement Planning (CIP), to set goals that are results-oriented and directly aligned with the District’s strategic objectives. Goals set by teachers in their Professional Learning Communities in September will directly connect to their department’s goals.

Going forward, the revised Strategic Framework will serve as a stable and consistent guide that keeps all members of the district — teachers, principals, support staff and administrators — focused on the same common goals and purpose. Continuous Improvement Planning will be an annual process that will ensure continued progress toward achieving those goals. Together they will lead to positive impacts on student success and assure all District 197 graduates are prepared for life and careers in the 21st century.

District 197 Mission Statement (Our Core Purpose)
School District 197 provides a challenging educational environment that instills in each student a lifelong passion for learning, empowers all students to achieve their personal goals and academic potential, and prepares them to be responsible citizens in an interconnected world.

Vision (What We Intend to Create)
- Comprehensive and exemplary academic and co-curricular programs and services.
- Rigorous 21st Century curriculum and instruction based on current research and best practices.
- A safe and respectful learning community.
- A welcoming environment that embraces diversity.
- The leading educational choice in the community.

Core Values (What Drives Our Words and Actions)
- Accountability: Upholding a shared commitment to achieving goals, producing measurable results, and ensuring transparent communication. 
- Collaboration: Engaging in partnerships founded on interdependence, trust, and transparency. 
- Curiosity: Inspiring a lifelong desire to learn and grow.
- Equity: Providing all students with equitable access to educational resources and 
- Excellence: Setting high expectations and focusing on continuous improvement.
- Innovation: Encouraging creative problem solving, critical thinking, and risk taking.
- Respect: Demonstrating personal responsibility, holding high regard for self and others, and honoring individual gifts, talents, and perspectives. 
- Stewardship: Allocating resources in a wise and sustainable manner to cost-effectively achieve our vision. 

Goals (How We Focus the Allocation of Resources)
a. Achieve measurable growth and continuous progress for each student.
b. Narrow the achievement gap.
c. Personalize learning by offering multiple pathways and opportunities for students to explore individual interests and talents.
d. Prepare students to be career or college ready.
e. Deliver high impact early learning opportunities.
f. Transform teaching and learning through the innovative use of technology and other non-traditional methods and media.