We know what is working for student achievement in our district and we know where achievement gains are being realized for our students. The challenge of the Strategic Process is to outline a series of continuous actions that can translate what is working for students at some schools to be in place at all schools throughout the district over the next five years.
The Strategic Process builds on Vision 2020 with a Statement of Purpose on excellence and equity for all schools:
It is a moral imperative to raise achievement levels for all students and to close achievement gaps by creating conditions that will reverse racial and economic disparity in student achievement.
Translating this statement of purpose in to actions is the goal of the continuous Strategic Process. This is done simultaneously by embracing the equity and access imperative uniformly across all schools and the community-based school reform model initiated by the district in the 2010/11 school year which recognizes that every school is unique in its culture, its student characteristics and in its location and physical elements.
The Design Team and Working Groups identified evidence, for each Indicator, that can be gathered to measure progress toward the ideal over five years. Focusing on evidence signals a shift with past approaches. Often, strategic plans describe in detail the strategies or actions adults should take uniformly across schools. By focusing on measuring progress rather than adult actions, the San Diego Strategic Process is consistent with the beliefs embedded in the community-based reform model that each school must find the best ways to serve the needs of its students and community.
With the 12 Indicators and evidence in place, the Strategic Process calls for two simultaneous actions: each school identifies the strategies and actions it will use for each of the 12 Indicators, and central office and community partners identify the strategies and actions they will use to support the needs of school. Again, strategic planning processes are often “top-down”. Those outside of schools set direction and make resources available, and schools implement. The San Diego Unified Strategic Process is intended to be more interactive. Schools can use the 12 Indicators to apply resources and assistance where they need it most based on multiple measures.
This graphic depicts a quality school as a wheel encompassed by 12 indicators. The center of the wheel identifies four key indicators that must be present to boost student achievement. The outer wheel are eight additional indicators that support the work of the inner wheel and which also must be present for a school to attain the highest levels of achievement for its students.