STRATEGIC PLAN PROGRESS 2015 updated June 8, 2015
Following a year-long process of community visioning and planning meetings during the 2013-2014 school year, Roaring Fork Schools adopted a new mission statement and strategic plan. At community behest, the district increased its commitment to ensure all students have the knowledge, skill and character to thrive in a changing world; that schools be more welcome and engaging for students, teachers, and parents, that students have a broader range of supports for their academic and social-emotional learning, and that students engage in more real-world learning than can be measured by traditional tests. Over the past year, a lot of work has been accomplished in all five strategic pillars –- academic excellence, character development, talent development, community partnership, and strategic use of resources – of the plan.
Academically, teams of teachers and administrators have been working hard to articulate the necessary knowledge and skills to best prepare students for future learning, and best engage their minds as lifelong learners and citizens. Not wishing simply to defer to state tests to define the most important learning for our students, teams of math, English, science, and social studies teachers have articulated the common outcomes we wish all students to master regardless which school in the district they attend. The district adopted new graduation requirements affecting the class of 2018, increasing an emphasis on college readiness and providing more flexibility to meet the needs of each student. The class of 2018 will also be expected to complete capstone projects, which engage their interests and passions, challenge them to find and solve problems outside of the prescribed curriculum, and bridge learning between the school and the outside world.
Character development is already apparent to parents who received, for the first time this year, feedback on their children’s progress within five Habits of a Scholar, in addition to traditional grades on report cards. In the fall, all students will start the year as members of a crew – a team comprising 15-20 students with a teacher as their crew leader, to build positive school culture, provide at least one place where all students belong, develop character, and provide more counseling and academic advisement.
Developing talent entails offering the right working conditions and competitive compensation packages, as well as providing the support, resources and training, to ensure a high quality teacher in every classroom. The Human Resources department conducted an in-depth survey of compensation and benefits of districts around the state, and is proposing a multi-year plan to provide competitive compensation packages for all district employees. Meanwhile, for current teachers, increased emphasis was placed on high quality, targeted professional development. A key to increasing professional development was the adoption of a new school calendar, with early-release Wednesdays providing time for teacher professional development concurrent with engaging enrichment opportunities for students. According to the recently released TELL surveys of staff satisfaction, Roaring Fork teachers are now reporting greater satisfaction with working conditions than their peers in other districts; one of the greatest improvements was in professional development. The multi-pronged emphasis on making Roaring Fork Schools a great place to work, offering competitive compensation, and providing high quality professional development will continue as a core strategy for several years.
This year was a transitional year for community partnership. Following on the intensive engagement process last year for strategic visioning and planning, this year was focused more on building internal systems and capacity.
Supporting the other pillars is the strategic use of resources – facilities, technology, and overall funding – to create the conditions for success. The district engaged in a community-wide facilities planning process this year, analyzing current needs and anticipating future demands on the physical spaces where our students learn. The work of finalizing plans and securing funding will continue over the summer and fall.
A final area of strategic investment over the past year has been in the Chromebook initiative. As the digital learning environment increasingly becomes essential to accessing information and materials, producing new knowledge, and collaborating with others, the district has a three-year goal of providing access to a device for every student. In addition to providing hardware devices, the district has ramped up professional development and customized support for integrating technology into the classroom.
Next year will see a continuation of most of these efforts, with an increased emphasis on college advising and counseling, parent and community engagement, and character development.
Our students will…
- graduate with the academic, social and character skills to enter a college or career of their choice.
- be critical and creative thinkers and problem-solvers.
- develop resilience, determination and the belief that they can succeed.
- be self-motivated, passionate, and responsible for their own learning.
- be engaged, thoughtful, productive members of their community.
Our schools will…
- create a safe and caring environment.
- maintain high expectations for effort, learning, and achievement.
- provide meaningful, engaging, experiential learning opportunities.
- support and challenge every student.
- attract, develop and retain the best teachers and leaders and empower them to teach and lead.
- inform, engage, and work in partnership with families and the community.
Our district will…
- provide teachers and schools the tools, resources, and services they need for all students to succeed.
- establish clear definitions for success on a broad set of indicators, set ambitious goals, and manage toward their attainment.
- communicate transparently our successes and challenges to others within the district and to the broader community, and provide opportunities for the others to communicate with us.
- foster a culture of trust and respect among all stakeholders.
- create an atmosphere of high-quality customer service.
- create an exceptional environment in which to work and go to school.
A Community Vision for Our Schools
Encouraged by our community members, the Roaring Fork School District embarked on the task of working with students, staff, parents, and community members to develop a shared vision and clear plan of action for our district and schools. During the 2013-2014 school year, through the combined efforts of over 1,400 community members, students, parents, teachers, and staff engaging in more than 30 community meetings, we identified a mission and ambitious plan of action. This plan will guide our efforts to become an outstanding school district that is well regarded across the state and country as a place where students are engaged and empowered through a high quality educational environment.
On June 11, 2014 the Board of Education affirmed this vision endorsing the Mission and RFSD Strategic Plan Overview’ and ‘RFSD Strategy Summary’. The Plan and Strategy Summary are accompanied by an action plan that serves as a fluid document defining tasks and identifying those responsible for successful implementation. These documents will guide our district’s work over the next 5-7 years as we work to ensure that every student develops the enduring knowledge, skills and character to thrive in a changing world.
Download the final report “A Vision for Education in the Roaring Fork School District” here.
For the Civic Canopy presentation, shown at the 1/22/2014 BOE meeting click here.