Dexter Community Schools have a new strategic plan

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The Dexter Community Schools Board of Education moves forward with an updated strategic plan.

At its March 21 meeting, the school board adopted the district’s Strategic Plan for 2022-2027. The adoption of the plan was delayed due to the pandemic, but according to district staff, it is now ready.

DCS Superintendent Chris Timmis gave an in-depth review of the updated plan at the March 7 school board meeting.

The plan is on the district's web page.

The updating of the plan began in late 2018, when the district partnered with the national nonprofit, KnowledgeWorks, to assist with the development of the next DCS Strategic Plan. The previous plan was for the years 2015-2020.

In explaining the updating, Timmis said the process included surveys of all stakeholder groups, focus groups throughout the district, walk-throughs of classrooms in buildings and resulted in a formal opportunity analysis of the school district.

He said in his report that, “This opportunity analysis was presented publicly to the school board, parent/community groups, and internal staff/students.”

“Over the next several years, over 70 individual group meetings were held to develop this proposed strategic plan. The groups included students, teachers, staff, parents, board members, and community members,” Timmis said. “The groups ranged from those focused on a single initiative area to large groups meetings at the Creekside Innovation Room and via zoom in the evenings to create long-term strategic directions and goals.”

The strategic plan is described as a living breathing document where the strategies continue to evolve based on successes and changes in the environment.

“The strategic initiatives and goals provide direction and accountability to moving the organization forward,” the memo of the plan states. “The proposed DCS Strategic Plan routes a path to move forward beyond the pandemic as we continue to Champion Learning: Develop, Educate, and Inspire!”

The new plan has strategic initiatives for Vision, Culture, Learning Continuum, Extended Learning and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion.

Under vision, the strategic initiative states: “The Dexter Schools community will work together to DEVELOP, EDUCATE, and INSPIRE students for an ever-changing world.”

With the goal for this to be developing unified, collaborative, and supportive teams.

For Culture, the strategic initiative states: “We will foster a culture of connectedness by focusing on social-emotional needs and building trusting relationships throughout all levels of the learning community.”

To help do this, the goal will see: Dexter Schools Community working to build “trusting relationships and connectedness throughout our learning community in daily practices.”

The Learning Continuum Strategic initiative says: “We will transform instructional practices to support SEL, life skills and content that provide our students with flexible pathways for learning.”

This initiative's goals are: "The Dexter Schools Community will create and implement a P-12 learning continuum that defines competencies (in SEL, life skills and content) with common language by 2023 and share it with all stakeholders.”

“Dexter Schools’ Community will identify and define instructional strategies that support multiple pathways for students to navigate along the learning continuum. These strategies will be fully implemented by 2024.”

Under Extended Learning Opportunities, the strategic initiative is: “We will enhance the learning environment for all students by providing educational experiences within and beyond the classroom.”

The goal for this: “Establish and implement a system-wide plan for all students to experience ELOs as aligned to the DCS learner profile by September 2025.”

The initiative for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion states: “We will stand for justice and equity by promoting meaningful and sustainable actions to create an inclusive learning and working environment that embraces diversity of ideas, experiences and voices.”

The goal to help accomplish this is: “Dexter Community Schools will increase cultural competency for all staff and students, minimize peer-to-peer discrimination, and embrace diversity of ideas/experiences/voices, as measured by evidence of training and baseline survey data administered in Spring of 2023 and 2025.”

Timmis’ memo and presentation of the plan also gave some historical context to the plan and illustrated the successes that came from the previous initiatives and goals.

To see the whole plan, go to https://www.dexterschools.org/district/board-of-education.

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