Jeffco Public Schools is performing two pieces of transformational work which will change both what our students are educated in and how our students are educated. These efforts will dramatically improve students’ readiness for the workforce, college, or community college upon graduation.
The first piece of this work is a project called Vision 2020. I’ve written about it before here and here and you can see details of progress directly on the web site here. The second piece of work, which I’ve now also been invited to assist with, is the development of a strategic plan to achieve the vision. This is a much smaller group of just 25 of us working to develop how we will achieve the now almost complete Vision 2020. Updates on both projects are below.
Where we are – Vision Development
We are just about complete defining the attributes of a 2020 graduate from Jeffco Public Schools. Click here and open the pdf file on that page to see what is likely very close to a final list. Across the top are the high level vision attributes and below each are the detailed attributes supporting the high level attribute.
Next steps in the vision are finalization of attributes, graphical representation, and development of impacts to the school system. The final workshop is April 16.
Where we are – Strategic Planning
We had our first meeting on Tuesday, the 31st. We were divided into 5 tables of 5 people – 25 in all. There are a handful (~5) of us who were also a part of the vision development. Part of our role is to educate the other 20 people helping develop the strategy and to ensure that the vision is in the forefront of thinking as the strategy is being developed.
As with the vision work, there seems to be a good representation of viewpoints from both within and outside of the school system. At a minimum, we have the following:
- Involved members of the community like me who have a focus on education and student outcomes
- Parents of Jeffco students
- The Arvada City Manager
- The head of the Arvada Chamber of Commerce
- A representative from the University of Colorado
- Various administrators
- Representatives of the Jeffco Board of Education
We started the meeting with a review of the vision work and discussed how our strategy development had to result in achievement of the vision once the strategy is carried out.
Each table was assigned one of the high level vision attributes (see the link above in this posting) and began to develop strategies to achieve that attribute. We spent about an hour developing 4 – 5 strategies per table for the vision attribute we were assigned. We then posted the first-cut strategies up on the wall on poster paper under the vision attribute they supported. Each vision attribute was on the wall in a different place in the room. The subsequent exercise was to move clockwise through the room to the next attribute and to see if your table had anything to add to the initial work by the table responsible for a given vision attribute. We did that 5 times, ending back at our own vision attribute to see what the group collectively came up with.
A good example of a strategy supporting a vision attribute was one my table added to the “Content Mastery” vision attribute. We added a strategy along the lines of, “All content offerings will be available to students in every school“. We clarified that “available” didn’t necessarily mean a dedicated teacher on site. Content could be delivered through the use of technology and could be utilizing a teacher who rotates through schools. For example, this might be a way to deliver a high level math class to students across 4 high schools where none of the high schools individually have a critical mass large enough to allocate one teacher to, but combined, they have a full virtual classroom of students with a specialized need.
That was the end of the first working session. The attributes and the first cuts at strategies to attain them will be documented and distributed back to the group in the next few days.
Upcoming meetings are:
- April 28: Priority strategies and actions
- May 11: Drafting the plan
- June 1: Plan finalization
Soon after June 1, the work will be presented to the Board of Education.
If any questions, post a reply and I’ll do my best to answer them.