A strategic plan is important to school districts, just as it is for businesses, providing the guidance to ensure the district is providing the programs and services required to prepare our graduates for success in a rapidly changing world. Since the district has not updated the strategic plan since 2009, it was time to revisit where we’re going and how to get there.
A committee of parents, students, business leaders, teachers, administrators, and board members worked with Battelle for Kids using a “backwards design” process to study the landscape shifts in the education sector and then craft a vision for student success, called “Portrait of a Graduate.” The goal was to develop Milford Schools’ vision for the optimally prepared graduate by identifying a prioritized set of competencies that will best prepare students for success now and in the future.
There were a number of changes to workforce needs as well as meta-changes in society that the committee considered during its work. Workforce shifts include moving from routine to non-routine work; the “gig” economy, where a large segment of the workforce will move from project to project vs. having a regular job; and the move to the service economy. Societal mega-changes include an increase in the pace of change and the evolution of technology; a focus on civic life; the need for media literacy; the importance of design and meaning; and the need for empathy (“tough minds and tender hearts).
While there are many competencies students will require to be successful, a prioritized set was identified as the most important.
Our overall vision is that Milford Schools’ students are empathetic lifelong learners and possess these competencies that describe our Portrait of a Graduate:
|Communication||Articulate thoughts and ideas effectively using oral, written, and nonverbal communication skills. Listen to understand others’ perspectives and decipher meaning, including knowledge, values, attitudes, and intentions.|
|Content Mastery||Develop and draw from a baseline understanding of knowledge in areas of study and successfully transfer this learning to other situations.|
|Collaboration||Work respectfully with diverse teams to make cross-cultural connections. Exercise flexibility in thinking and behavior to accomplish common goals. Demonstrate shared responsibility for the outcome, realizing that the process is as important as the product.|
|Critical Thinking||Collect, assess, and analyze relevant information about authentic problems. Reflect critically on learning experiences, processes, and the impact of solutions. Make sound decisions based on the merits of alternative solutions.|
|Creativity & Innovation||Use divergent and convergent thinking to refine, analyze, and evaluate ideas, maximizing creative efforts with originality and inventiveness. Be a resilient learner and view failure as an opportunity to grow.|
|Information, Media, and Technology Literacy||Use digital technology, communications tools, and networks to access and manage data, create new information, and evaluate multimedia critically in order to succeed in our global society.|
Of course, a strategic plan is only as good as the document unless it is implemented. Next steps are for a design team to vet the framework, identifying goal areas and rationale this fall, then to launch the plan in the winter/spring of 2019. From there, the plan will be adapted as needed.
To view the presentation, please click here: Strategic Plan Portrait of a Milford Graduate Update