All school districts need to define their future direction and one way to do that is to develop a strategic plan.
The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) developed its current strategic plan in 2002 and wants to develop a new plan by May 2010. They have hired a consultant, The Gensler Group, to help them with this goal.
At the October 26 Board meeting, Superintendent Tim Cuneo presented the Board with a detailed workplan that was prepared by Gensler for their review. The workplan consists of four phases. Phase one will include the creation of a Strategic Plan Team (SPT) that will set the direction for the update process and supervise its completion.
The SPT’s responsibilities and make-up will be determined by the Superintendent with input from the Board. Three or four members from the SPT will be chosen to become members of the Core Project Team. Also during this phase,s the SPT will conduct key District stakeholder interviews and Gensler will prepare an SMMUSD/Gensler “Road Map” for the project.
The second phase will be the Environmental Scan which according District documents will be used “to measure the School District’s progress in implementing the SMMUSD Strategic Plan, potential future directions, organizational culture, management practices, strategic goals, strength and weaknesses, and issues and trends that may influence SMMUSD’s plan as it grows and evolves.”
In the next phase, Gensler will help the SPT to develop the elements for the strategic plan framework. A community open house will then be held in both Santa Monica and Malibu to gather feedback from the community for the strategic plan framework and celebrate the District’s educational successes. The SPT will then refine the strategic plan framework based on the input they received from the community. This phase will also include a Strategic Planning Advance workshop with a specific group of attendees to further refine the strategic plan framework. Their refined framework will then presented to the community at open houses in Santa Monica and Malibu for their feedback.
Lastly, the SPT and Gensler will finalize the strategic plan to include additional community feedback received and present the finalized strategic plan to the Board for their approval.
The Board will vote on whether to approve this proposed process at the November 5 Board meeting. They asked the Superintendent to make sure there would be an adequate number of District staff on the SPT. The cost for the consultant’s services is $89,943.
The Superintendent told the Mirror after the meeting that working on the strategic plan is good thing at this time “even with the fewer resources we have right now because it will help us align our resources with our values” and priorities.