We are fast approaching the launch of an exciting roadmap
for the future of Indianapolis Public Schools! We unveil our new Strategic Plan
in August. That plan will contain concrete goals, objectives and strategies
that will spur on even more progress, achievement and growth throughout our
district.

The Strategic Plan is the result of the hard work of three
Strategic Plan Drafting Committees formed back in March after a series of
community meetings (one for each goal area—Teaching and Learning, Efficient
Operations and Family and Community).

Involving the community in drafting the plan was integral to
the approach Superintendent Dr. Lewis D. Ferebee, the administration and the
Board of School Commissioners wanted to take. They ensured a fully
collaborative process to map out this plan, one where everyone in our district
had an opportunity to have a voice in the process.

“Community participation is crucial to creating a Strategic
Plan for our district,” said Dr. Ferebee as the committees were being formed.
“Our stakeholders know this community well, and we know incorporating their
ideas will help IPS flourish.”

Le Boler, Chief Strategist for the district and the member
of core leadership charged with overseeing the Strategic Plan process, is now
drawing together the work of those committees into the final draft of the plan.

The plan Boler and the drafting committees worked so hard on
isn’t going to be some vague, idealistic document either. It will be an actionable
plan with clear goals that are achievable through measurable objectives and
concrete strategies.

For example, a sample goal like “IPS will enhance financial
transparency by conducting third party auditing practices annually and sharing
an annual report in an effort to bolster financial and in-kind support (a
baseline must be established)” would be accompanied by an objective that would
specify quantitative aims and be supported by specific strategies that would be
implemented and tracked in order to drive us toward the intended results.

Boler indicated that was by design. “All committee members
had to agree on a set of goals that are SMART (Specific, Measurable,
Attainable, Relevant, Timely),” she said. In short, we’ll be able to truly
assess how we’re doing against the plan every step of the way.

Boler also noted this plan is about long-range
visioning. However, the committees identified several important needs that are in planning or will
soon become operational. The district intends to act swiftly on many aspects of the
plan.

Strategies from the Teaching
and Learning
committee for immediate action include:

  • Increase advanced course offerings to increase
    student access to rigorous instruction.
  • Implement and enforce a districtwide code of
    conduct to improve school safety.
  • Implement a comprehensive graduation initiative.
  • Develop an expansion plan for early education
    opportunities.

Efficient Operations committee strategies for immediate action include:

  • Implement a pay raise to better compensate
    teachers.
  • Implement baseline technology standards to
    ensure all schools have access to modern equipment and software.
  • Create a transition plan for expanding
    contracted services.
  • Implement a plan to reduce energy consumption to
    reduce the district’s carbon footprint.
  • Develop a real estate strategy for all of the
    owned properties of the district to maximize use and leverage value.
  • Report operating income and expense functions
    quarterly to promote financial transparency.
Immediate action strategies from the Family and Community committee include:

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  • Develop and implement a comprehensive communication
    plan with marketing tactics to ensure messaging reaches all stakeholders.
  • Establish Superintendent advisory and ambassador
    councils.
  • Develop in collaboration with stakeholders
    community outreach methods that encourage families to engage in cultural competency
    trainings and workshops hosted by IPS.
  • Expand partnerships with local businesses to
    enhance relevance of learning.
  • Empower all schools to cultivate community
    relationships to maximize volunteerism and garner resources that will
    contribute to students’ success.

Keep watching for more details about the community-wide launch
of this exciting plan coming in August and then look for the goals, objectives
and strategies that you can help put into action!

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