By KAITLIN GEBBY
The Cleveland Board of Education heard an overview of the process for building the 2020-2025 Strategic Plan during its monthly meeting Monday.
The 2020-2025 Strategic Plan will be presented to the board in May, after a series of committee work sessions.
Director of Schools Dr. Russell Dyer explained that the seven committees involved in the strategic planning process will begin meeting in January, each one focusing on individual goals for the overall plan. At a focus group meeting in November at Candy’s Creek Cherokee Elementary School, Dyer said the idea for the strategic plan is to “use it as a tool to guide our decision-making for the next five years.”
At this point, Dyer said there have been surveys and focus groups held to identify areas of improvement for the plan.
The committees will be guided by a Steering Committee, which will be chaired by Dyer and overseen by board president Dawn Robinson. The job of this committee will not only be to assist the other six sub-committees in the process of forming the strategic plan, but will also serve as a liaison to the board of education. Dyer said this group will be responsible for compiling the plan in a way that both the public and Board of Education can use and understand. This committee will also be in charge of creating a three-page document that acts as a short digest of the overall plan for the public.
Dyer said students, teachers, parents, staff, administrators and board members will make up the committees, which break down into the Steering, Student Success, Articulated Pathways K-12, STEM, Safe and Healthy Schools, Communications and Engaged Workforce committees. Those sub-committees, their members and tasks, are as follows:
- Student Success Committee: Chaired by Jeff Elliott, chief academic officer and assistant director of schools, and overseen by board member Krista McKay, this committee will focus on curriculum, academic excellence, equity, virtual lessons and college readiness.
Dyer said this group’s mission is to take a “deep dive” into student achievement and academic success.
- Articulated Pathways K-12 Committee: Chaired by Renny Whittenbarger, supervisor of career and technical education, and overseen by board member Steve Morgan, this committee will look at educating parents, students and teachers about college and career opportunities, examine current college and career pathways, professional development that’s both needed and currently available, as well as current and future community partnerships.
- STEM/STEAM Committee: Co-chaired by Supervisor of Elementary and Counseling Kellye Bender and Supervisor of Secondary Education Joel Barnes, overseen by board member Carolyn Ingram, the STEM/STEAM group will address how science, engineering, technology, arts and mathematics are pursued at each school, how to achieve a STEM designation at every school in the district, and how to adjust the “K-12 vision” to align with STEM studies.
- Safe and Healthy Schools Committee: Co-chaired by Director of Student Services Doug Moore and Gena Reed, Supervisor of School Nutrition, overseen by board member Peggy Pesterfield. This group will take on the overall health and wellness of students, Dyer said, including counseling needs, mental and physical health, nutritional goals, discipline, culture, athletics and clubs.
- Communications Committee: Administrative Assistant Andrea Byerly and the new director of innovation, who will be selected later this year, will co-chair. The committee, which will be overseen by board member Tom Cloud, this sub-committee will focus on internal and external communications, looking at both how it’s happening and how it can be improved in the coming years. This group will also look at public relations, marketing, plan implementation, branding and marketing.
- Engaged Workforce Committee: Chaired by Kelly Kiser, director of human resources, and overseen by board member Charlie Cogdill, the sub-committee will address student and teacher recruitment and retention, building an inclusive culture, diversity, employee health, wellness and the TEAM evaluation system.
Dyer explained that through these groups, the school system “isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel, just make it fit our car.”
He also said that this report is more than just a box to check.
“The last thing I want to do is create a 45-page booklet that goes on somebody’s shelf that we don’t look at for five years,” he said. “We need to create a plan that’s actually actionable, that we can actually use and implement.”