Now that the Strategic Plan Community Interest Meetings are over, the goal area committees are deciding on meeting times and styles and looking forward to the drafting process ahead.

Already the Family and Community goal area is inspiring passion from everyone.

Gabriela Gaytan, the parent of a 5th grader at Wendell Phillips School 63, stated that families and the community have to be at the heart of the process. “A plan involves a group of people, and if it’s about school, who better to have than parents and the community to help draft the plan? Our children, our community, our school, our children’s needs, our voices. In working together we can hope to make a better change for our children, our future,” she said.

Those from the district on the Family and Community goal area committee are Board of School Commissioners President Diane Arnold, Commissioner Mary Ann Sullivan and Deputy Superintendent for Operations Scott Martin. They all agree with Gaytan on the significance of the work.

President Arnold has indicated that she personally chose this area because she knows “about the importance of the relationship between our community and our schools.”

Commissioner Sullivan chose to be on this committee because she wants “to help people understand our strategy and connect that strategy to measurable indicators of success.”

For Deputy Superintendent Martin, family and community are at the core of a central question driving the strategic plan, “How can we best deliver service to the students and community members of IPS?”

Chief Strategist Le Boler, who is guiding the strategic plan drafting process for all three goal area committees, said, “It is amazing to see a continued high level of engagement around ensuring that we serve our families in ways that they deem most helpful. The strategic plan development process – including the assignment of immediate and short-term priorities – will address the needs of our students and families, reflect the voices of our stakeholders, and represent the core commitments and beliefs established by our Board.”

Finally, parent Brianna Merrill, who has three students, two 1st graders and a 4th grader, in Stephen Foster School 67, sees this goal area as a vital one if the strategic plan is to succeed. “It’s important to involve the community because kids need someone to believe in.” For her, the work of the Family and Community goal area will help ensure schools, families and the community are all providing positive examples and support to students, empowering them to make good choices.

With the passion and commitment on display so far from everyone involved in this process, we know together we can take the step from imagining such goals to achieving them!