Strategic planning, community engagement process to begin

Downers Grove School District 58 will launch a community engagement process this winter to obtain input from parents, staff, community members and students. The process is designed to obtain broad guidance for a new Strategic Plan that will help inform the District’s plans for the future.

District 58 stakeholders, including parents, teachers, administrators, staff, students and community residents will be involved in developing the Strategic Plan.

“The involvement of stakeholders from every corner of our community will result in a long-term framework for decision-making that builds upon the common values held by our community,“ said Superintendent Dr. Kari Cremascoli.

“Effective education of students requires a commitment from the entire community,” she said, noting, “We are excited to launch this inclusive Strategic Planning process that will help envision the future for our district and schools.”

Between January and February, stakeholders will be given opportunities to participate in interviews, focus groups and surveys designed to elicit input regarding the district’s goals and priorities for the future. Information will be forthcoming about opportunities to participate. In March, data from that input will be provided to the Board of Education.

All of the data collected through interviews, focus groups, and surveys, along with the district’s mission statement, vision statement and guiding principles will be analyzed to determine findings, goals and objectives for the District. The information will be presented to the Board of Education and released to the public in a Strategic Plan report when the process is complete.  In April, the Board is expected to adopt a new Strategic Plan.

After a comprehensive search and interview process, the Board of Education on Oct. 9 approved a facilitator to help in the community engagement effort. Hazard, Young and Attea and Associates (HYA), of Rosemont, was recommended and approved as facilitators. HYA has a 35-year history of partnering with school districts to conduct strategic planning. The approach is research-based and focused on improving outcomes for student and the community.

The Board’s current Strategic Plan was approved in 2011. Each year, District leaders review that plan and the District’s progress, and then create goals to align with the plan’s vision. The Board of Education reviews and assesses those goals each year. The review of the 2016-17 goals can be found here.

The District 58 Meet and Confer Committee, comprised of parents, administration, Board and staff, has been meeting since fall of 2016 to review the District’s current Strategic Plan and progress, and to begin the planning process for this important next step for the District. “We are very excited to be embarking on a new Strategic Planning process in the 2017-18 school year to help guide and inform our work for the future,” noted Dr. Cremascoli.  “Our children are our community’s most precious and valuable investment. Their future is in our collective hands, and we look forward to envisioning and planning for that future together.”