Harvard Community Unit School District
2013-14 Strategic Themes and Goals
Approved August 21, 2013
Strategic Theme #1: Academic Achievement
Harvard Community Unit School District 50 will continue to expand and grow its academic program with the goal of being a recognized leader of student achievement by 2025. Recognizing that a key component to student achievement is excellent teachers, the district makes a commitment to recruit, train and retain the best teachers possible.
Goal 1: Student Growth
- 90% of students will show growth in reading each year as measured by nationally recognized district assessments.
- 90% of students will show growth in math each year as measured by nationally recognized district assessments.
- Building principals will demonstrate annually how teachers in their school differentiate instruction for students, using assessment data, classroom observation and other information.
- During the 2013-2014 school year, each building will convene an interdisciplinary team of teachers, administrators, parents and community members to evaluate current art education in the building and to develop recommendations for how art education can be further incorporated into the building curricula. At least some recommendations should be budget neutral.
- The district will work to align current curriculum with the Common Core standards.
Goal 2: Maximizing Opportunities for Students
- The district will have each 8th grade student who is transitioning to high school establish expectations and goals for their post high school career. 100% of all eligible rising 8th graders having completed a goal setting process. 100% of all eligible high school students will discuss these goals with a high school counselor or administrator in their first two years of high school.
- District 50 will provide opportunities for students to be exposed to options for continuing their education beyond high school. 2013-14 goal is that 250 high school students participate in a college or trade school tour during the school year. At least 50 individual 8th grade students will participate in some career focused programs. In addition, the district will facilitate presentations by representatives of the different branches of the military.
- District 50 will make an annual assessment of progress toward the development of trades programming in Harvard and will share that report with the Board. A part of that assessment will be evaluating potential business and academic partners in trades programming. This is reflected in the goals under financial stewardship.
- During the 2013-2014 school year, the high school principal will convene an interdisciplinary team of teachers, administrators, parents, community members and college officials (most likely MCC and George Williams College) to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of Advanced Placement courses and Dual Credit courses.
- During the 2013-14 school year, the superintendent will convene a task force of administrators, teachers, parents, community members and employers to compile a list of 21st Century Skills we want our students to have upon graduation. These could include cultural awareness and sensitivity, critical thinking, creative problem solving, computer skills, social awareness, personal physical fitness skills, etc.
Goal 3: Teaching Excellence
- The District will foster excellence in teaching by encouraging and assisting teachers performing beyond expectations to seek out and participate in leadership opportunities
- The District will foster excellence in teaching by providing professional development opportunities for teachers to improve their classroom skills. The District will provide 9 Early Release Days and 4 Full-Day in-service days to allow time for these opportunities.
- The District will encourage current qualified D50 teachers, when appropriate, to work with student teachers to foster an exchange of the latest ideas and practices in education and to allow the district to identify and evaluate excellent new teachers
- The District will encourage staff recognition programs within the buildings.
- All teachers will be encouraged to pursue National Board Certification at an appropriate time in their career. The District goal will be to have 5 teachers in the District with National Board Certification by 2018.
Goal 4: Bilingual & Bicultural Learning Environment
- By 2020, when our first class of Dual Language students graduates from High School, all eligible Dual Language students will take the Spanish AP exam before high school graduation. [Note: As the District evaluates its use of AP classes and dual credit classes, providing a capstone assessment of DL students should be a part of that assessment.]
- All K-5 traditional bilingual classes will transition to a Dual Language instructional model by 2017.
Goal 5: Explore ways to increase and enhance quality instructional time
- The buildings will report annually on actions they are taking to add quality instructional time to the school day and the school year, including, but not limited to reconfiguring the school day to increase instructional time; exploring the use of technology, non-traditional settings; community partnerships to add instructional time during non-school hours; self-funded activities.
- The Administration will prepare an assessment on the current status and opportunities to increase and enhance quality instructional time annually and share that with the Board.
Strategic Theme #2: Communication
District 50 recognizes that a good relationship with the community and with its many stakeholders is essential to future success.
Goal 1: Community Engagement
- The District will continue its series of Superintendent Community Roundtables, conducting a minimum of 3 during the 2013-14 school year. The goal will be to increase overall participation by at least 10% over last year to 25 or more participants.
- Each school in the district will conduct at least one parent listening session during the 2013-14 school year. These sessions will be designed to provide parents with a chance to meet with school officials. The goal will be to increase participation by at least 10% over last year.
- The District will formalize and implement a volunteer recruitment strategy during the 2013-14 school year.
- The District will establish a Community Outreach committee. The committee’s broad purpose is to address strategies for enhancing our community engagement and outreach. Specific goals and focus will be determined by the committee in its first meetings.
Goal 2: Communications Technology
- The District will develop an annual strategy for evaluating and implementing social media as is deemed appropriate and desirable. District Community Outreach Director will conduct an annual survey of parents to determine their interests.
Goal 3: Enhancing School Communications
- Recognizing that school-to-parent communications are essential to a good working relationship between parents and schools, the district will devote resources to improving and enhancing school to parent communications. The specific nature of the assistance will be determined by the annual parent survey and the identified needs of the school administrators.
Strategic Theme #3: Facilities and Learning Environment
The District recognizes that for students and teachers to succeed, we must provide them with an environment that is safe, secure and comfortable.
Goal 1: Update and implement the Capital Development Board (CDB) grant
- Go out to bid on all planned work under the grant for Jefferson during the 2013-14 school year and for the track and parking lots during the 2014-15 school year.
- The renovation project funded by the CDB grant will be completed by the end of 2017.
Goal 2: manage and implement a plan for Life Safety improvements and scheduled maintenance.
- The Facilities Department will develop, maintain and annually update a 5 year plan for planned facilities maintenance and life safety improvements.
Goal 3: Maintain a focus on energy efficiency
- The Facilities Department will provide an annual report to the Board on its current and anticipated energy efficiency activities. The report will include anticipated savings and anticipated return on investment (ROI).
Strategic Theme #4: Financial Stewardship
The District is committed to strengthening our financial condition in order to ensure excellence in education.
Goal 1: Develop and maintain responsible budgets that are responsive to climate conditions and educational needs.
- Maintain financial records consistent with generally accepted
- Work with Administrators and staff members to foster an understanding of the budget, the budgeting process, and how to work within the guidelines of the budget.
Goal 2: Conduct outreach to staff and the community to increase the financial literacy and understanding of our most important stakeholders.
- Hold school financial literacy classes whenever the district has all day in-service during the 2013-14 school years.
- Business Services will develop a School Finances 101 community program by fall of 2013 and pursue opportunities to offer School Finances 101 within the community during the 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years.
Goal 3: Seek out alternative sources of funding.
- Seek out and nurture partnerships that will have a positive financial impact on the district.
- Seek out and apply for appropriate grants and other opportunities to bring new sources of funding into the district.
Goal 4: Maintain and publicize the Financial Dashboard for the district.
- Continue to utilize and refine the Financial Dashboard so that it remains useful to the Board and to Administration.
Strategic Theme #5: Board Development and Effectiveness
The District 50 School Board takes its effectiveness and responsibility seriously. The Board will have goals to further its effectiveness and to set into place practices that enhance the actions of the Board as a whole.
Goal 1: Board Diversity
- The Board will encourage a diversity of community members’ viewpoints and perspectives on the School Board by working with administration to actively recruit community members that are representative of the age, ethnicity, social economic status and general demographics of the greater Harvard community to serve on Board committees (Finance, Building Trades, Policy and Community Outreach). The goal will be to identify committees appropriate for community involvement and recruit at least two community members (non-Board & non-Staff) to serve on those committees.
Goal 2: Board Member Development
- Encourage Board member participation in appropriate affiliate groups and local and regional training opportunities.
- Encourage Board member participation and involvement in district and school activities.
Goal 3: Board Outreach
- The Board will develop a Legislative Affairs committee that will serve as the district’s informal lobbying arm. The first charge of that committee will be to develop and submit for approval a structure, objectives and strategies for this committee.