In December 2019, New London Local Schools elected to undertake the vitally important process of creating a new strategic plan for the district. Our leadership team has long recognized the importance of a highly detailed set of goals and objectives to guide decision making and resource allocation – it was important that we codify these beliefs into a singular document. As such, our Board of Education voted to formalize this development and, further, made it a priority to include our community stakeholders in this extensive process.
To take a step back, a strategic plan is a guiding document that acts as a roadmap. It delineates specific goal areas and identifies objectives that must be completed to attain the stated goal. Further, it assigns targeted action steps – the daily work that individuals perform to help achieve the purpose of the objective. Finally, it assigns specific individuals and deadlines to each criterion so that expectations are clear, and outcomes are somewhat predictable.
As part of the strategic planning process, the district first collected feedback from the community through an online survey and personal interviews. We also conducted in-person focus groups to ensure a variety of opinions were gathered. By the conclusion of the engagement phase, we were able to gather hundreds of unique data points to inform our plan. The next step was reviewing and making sense of all of the feedback, trends and consistent themes that would later help to build the components of our plan.
I am proud to announce that, after much hard work, our preliminary plan has been approved by the Board and will become actionable for the 2020-2021 school year. It extends through the completion of the 2023-2024 school year. Six goal areas have been established from the collected feedback including: communication, academic achievement, facilities and safety, finance, culture and climate and operations and human resources.
Maintaining a consistent focus on the many components of the strategic plan is very important as we move forward. It will drive decision-making and resource allocation now and in the future. For residents and stakeholders, my goal is to consistently communicate and provide progress updates at regular intervals. Certainly, we want to celebrate all of the successes that will come from our commitment to a dedicated plan.
In the coming weeks we will publish our strategic plan for community review. I am excited to share all of the hard work and ideas that we have created. In the face of the many challenges we currently face, and the unknowns of the future, our commitment and focus will remain clear.
As always, we are here to assist with any of your questions or inquiries. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions regarding our strategic plan.
Brad Romano, Superintendent
New London Local Schools