2011-17 Strategic Plan

The 2011-17 Strategic Plan framework document was presented to the School Board for public comment on September 8, 2011 and adopted by the Board September 22, 2011. During the 2011-12 school year, staff developed reporting tools to monitor APS progress on indicators and targets. A summary of this work was reported to the Board on June 7, 2012, with first-year progress reports scheduled for Fall 2012. This work has culminated in the development of a division scorecard, a reporting device that displays key performance indicators (KPIs), baseline status on these measures (from school years 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11), and six-year targets. In addition, data on the KPIs are available on APS Dashboard, a web-based tool that allows staff and the community to interact with the data and drill down for more details.
Strategic Plan Document (updated10-14-2016)

Development Process

The steps followed in developing this plan are detailed below.
The Steering Committee, comprising 26 members from all sectors of the Arlington community and led by Co-Chairs Kevin Clark and Ron Fecso, first met in November 2010. The committee was charged with developing the next strategic plan by the School Board and the Superintendent. Each Virginia school division revisits its strategic plan every six years to ensure that it is meeting current community priorities.
The committee began its work by holding a series of forums, from November through January, to gather ideas on four topics that Robert Ewy, author of Stakeholder-Driven Strategic Planning in Education, recommends inform any school district’s strategic planning process:

  • Greatest challenges and issues facing the district,
  • Skills and abilities students must master to be successful,
  • Measures or evidence used to evaluate the district, and
  • Financial priorities.

Based on information gathered at these forums, which were attended by approximately 250 community members, staff and students, the steering committee developed a brief survey to determine the most important priorities that should be the focus of the next plan. Available in both English and Spanish, and open for community response February through March, 2011, the survey included close-ended questions in the same four areas that were the basis of discussion at the forums, with the most frequently heard ideas as response choices for each question.
During February and March, steering committee members met with more than 50 APS stakeholder groups (e.g., advisory committees, PTAs, civic associations, student organizations, interest and advocacy groups) to provide a brief overview of the strategic planning process and administer the survey. An online version of the survey was also sent to all APS School Talk Subscribers and made available on the APS website for broader community input.
The Steering Committee met in late March to examine the survey results from 1,861 respondents, and consider previously reviewed documents that might inform the development of the 2011-17 strategic plan:

  • Strategic plans from other districts around the country, in Virginia, and in the metropolitan DC area that share characteristics with APS. Committee members identified features of these plans that they wanted to see carried forward in the next APS strategic plan.
  • An external or environmental scan, describing events, issues, and trends at the local, state, national, and international levels that APS will face over the next six years.

Draft Strategic Plan Documents

Based on this information, the Steering Committee worked on a draft of the 2011-17 strategic plan goals and priorities at sessions held in March and April, 2011. The resulting draft of the goals and priorities was translated into Spanish and reviewed at two public forums in April for additional community feedback:
2011-17 Draft Strategic Plan Goals and Priorities – English
2011-17 Draft Strategic Plan Goals and Priorities – Spanish
In early May, Steering Committee members also shared this draft at the Multicultual Parent Conference in the six languages most commonly spoken in APS (English, Spanish, Amharic, Arabic, Bengali, and Mong). During May and June, the steering committee convened four times to review input from these forums, analyze current school division data, and consider the strategies and indicators proposed by Senior Staff. These sessions resulted in a draft document that details strategies, desired outcomes, and data sources in each of five proposed goal areas:

  • Goal One: Ensure that Every Student is Challenged and Engaged
  • Goal Two: Eliminate Achievement Gaps
  • Goal Three: Recruit, Retain, and Develop High Quality Staff
  • Goal Four: Provide Optimal Learning Environments
  • Goal Five: Meet the Needs of the Whole Child

Steering committee Co-Chairs Ron Fecso and Kevin Clark presented this document, reflecting the committee’s seven months of work, to the School Board for their consideration on June 16, 2011; the public was invited to comment. The document was accompanied by a transmittal memo that detailed additional suggestions for the Board’s consideration.

Over the course of the strategic plan development process, Kevin Clark and Ron Fecso also presented updates to the School Board on March 10, 2011, April 28, 2011, and June 16, 2011; these presentations summarize much of the information above.
The School Board and Senior Staff continued to work over the summer months on the strategic plan, adding critical outcomes and the corresponding data sources. The results of this work can be seen in the strategic plan framework adopted by the Board in September 2011.

Final Document and Next Steps

The final strategic plan document includes several supporting sections:

  • An introduction that sets the context for the plan, the rationale for these five goal areas and the importance of data-informed decision-making;
  • A division scorecard that lays out the key performance indicators, baseline data, and six-year targets;
  • A glossary that defines key terms to make them accessible to the public; and
  • An appendix describing the process followed in developed in this plan.

Over the course of the plan, staff will continue to work on the development of new measures which include the addition or revision of survey items on the current Site-Based and Community Satisfaction surveys, the development of additional surveys to target specific processes, and implementation plans for new assessments (e.g., common formative benchmark assessment, international benchmark assessments).

Each fall, the School Board will receive a series of reports on the status of the indicators under the strategic plan. In Fall 2012, the Board will hear reports on the 2012 status of the indicators in the 2011-17 strategic plan.

For more information on the 2011-17 strategic plan, please email suzanne.raber@apsva.us.