Dr. Mucerino has separated himself from all of the Superintendents who have come before him in my 29 years as a member of the School Board. He identified our needs. He worked with the entire Board and all stakeholder groups to develop a plan to meet those needs. Then he operationalized the plan. All of which he did effortlessly and seemingly within the blink of an eye."
Ken Bell, Board President
Duarte Unified School District
I am an experienced facilitator who has led schools and school districts through the strategic planning process from start to finish as either a Principal, Assistant Superintendent, or Superintendent, providing coaching, support, feedback, and stakeholder and school board progress updates throughout the process. Unlike most strategic planners who are hired by districts as consultants, I have built strategic plans from the inside out. Here is an example of a district's plan driven by a North Star vision to desegregate its schools and raise the expectations for all students and staff.
I recommend all districts build their own plans from within, but I recognize that many districts do not posses the capacity to complete the task. That's where I come in as an experienced practitioner who highly values collaboration and ownership. Without a plan districts lack focus. Without a focus districts lack direction. And without direction districts don't know where they are going, as exemplified by the exchange below from Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland.
One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree. “Which road do I take?” she asked. “Where do you want to go?” was his response. “I don’t know,” Alice answered. “Then,” said the cat “it doesn’t matter.”
To learn more about strategic planning for schools and school districts, find the following series of essays on the topic here:
Is Your LCAP a Compliance Document
Don't Confuse Strategic Planning with Strategic Management
Urgency vs. Capacity Building. Plan on it.
It's LCAP Season. Plan on Doing it Right This Time Around
Whose Vision Is It Anyway?
As a professor of educational leadership at CSUF, I have taught a doctoral level course in forecasting and strategic planning for many years. My goal to build capacity for strategic planning starts with working closely with district staff to coach key district leaders and school boards throughout the process. This recent plan plan was informed by over 50,000 points of data, including historical data reported in Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP), an ethnography given past and present demographic and enrollment data, and feedback collected by the Claremont Graduate School evaluation team generated from over 4,200 survey responses as well as from 50 focus group sessions with over 500 people representing every stakeholder group internal and external to our district, including all students, parents, and staff as well as community members, city officials, business leaders, and alumni. Even families that chose to either abandon the district at one point or another, or that chose never to attend at all participated in the survey. The plan includes seven strategies that address the needs and interests of students and their families, staff, and other stakeholder groups. Each strategy includes a desired outcome, a series of action items, a timeline, and the most critical element: a cost v. benefit analysis.