Draft Strategic Plan Undergoing Public Review

March 17, 2003
The development of a multi-year strategic plan for the Montgomery County Public Schools—that builds on the planning and reform initiatives of the past three years—is under way as the school system addresses the academic priorities of the Board of Education and prepares to meet federal and state requirements for achieving standards-based reform in student achievement and personnel quality.

Community Forum Scheduled April 2

The current draft plan will be presented for public review and comment at a community forum rescheduled to Wednesday, April 2, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the Carver Educational Services Center in Rockville. The draft plan is available on the web at the link below, and a unique electronic feedback form (see other link) provides an opportunity for submitting comments.

Other presentations of the draft plan are being conducted for local community groups, PTA organizations, business groups, and employee organizations. The goal is to gain feedback and improvements for the draft prior to the Board of Education’s consideration of the final document this June.

Building on Ongoing Planning Efforts

For the first time, the draft plan pulls together a variety of planning efforts that resulted from the original Our Call to Action strategic plan adopted in 1999. The current draft plan provides numerous updates to the original, with the primary focus on a “pursuit of excellence,” and identifies all of the necessary systemwide activities associated with meeting the requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind Act and the Maryland Bridge to Excellence in Public Schools Act.

A key feature of the draft plan is the incorporation of significant parent, employee, and community involvement that has already occurred over the past three years in the development and implementation of ongoing reform initiatives. This includes the development of the new curriculum program, the new assessment program, the new professional development program, and the new technology program, as well as the operating and capital budgets.

In each instance, personnel from the school system have worked closely with stakeholders, including parents, students, teachers, principals, employee organizations, and business and community leaders. For these various initiatives and plans, stakeholder input has been received through public hearings, community meetings, and other communication that has helped inform and mold the plans.

Identification of Clear Objectives

Among the other features of the draft plan is the identification of clear objectives, measures, responsible offices, and supporting offices. The plan recognizes the historical continuation of the “Milestones” from the Success for Every Student Plan of the early and mid 1990’s, as well as emerging new standards and expectations. The alignment with the state’s Bridge to Excellence goal is identified throughout each component of the plan, which is divided into four main chapters that frame the initiatives that emerged from the Call to Action in 1999 and continue today.

The draft strategic plan builds on the highly detailed planning, evaluation, and assessment under way in each school and office. Moreover, the Board of Education’s recent action to update its “academic priorities” provides the continuing framework for the strategic plan.

Board of Education’s academic priorities

* Organize and optimize assets for improved academic results.

* Align rigorous curriculum, delivery of instruction, and assessment for continuous improvement of student achievement.

* Develop, expand, and deliver a literacy-based pre-kindergarten to Grade 2 initiative.

* Use student, staff, school and system performance data to monitor and improve student achievement.

* Foster and sustain systems that support and improve employee effectiveness, in partnership with MCPS employee organizations.

* Strengthen family-school relationships and continue to expand civic, business, and community partnerships that support improved student achievement.

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