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.
Essential to the San Diego Unified Strategic Process is agreement about what makes a quality school. Beginning in May 2011, the Strategic Process Design Team and Working Groups identified and selected 12 Indicators of a Quality School that are consistent with the Board of Trustee’s mission statement, Vision 2020, and community-based reform model, and reflect research-based best practices. The 12 Indicators, as a whole, define quality in student terms –such as academic achievement, social-emotional and physical development, as well as in terms of a school being part of a neighborhood such as schools’ climate, operations and contributions to the community. The 12 Indicators describe the ideal that all schools should achieve within five years.
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.