Board of Education launches Public Consulting Group for strategic planning

The Board of Education, in collaboration with the superintendent and Greenwich Public Schools Staff, has launched a year-long strategic planning initiative within town.

The Board of Education selected the Public Consulting Group (PCG) through a competitive RFP process as the strategic planning facilitator. A high priority in the initiative will be broad involvement and input, transparency and regular communication.

PCG will be working in partnership with the Greenwich Public Schools to facilitate the development of a strategic plan. This includes defining organizational goals and developing action plans with recommended measures of success.

PCG will provide an interactive, transparent approach in which members of the community will help to shape a positive future vision.

According to the company, “Working closely with educators, administrators, students, families, and community members, PCG will support the development of a plan that meets the unique needs of our schools and community, builds on existing strengths, and draws from best practices. At the end of the process, they will have a set of district strategic goals and priorities, supported by action plans, measures of success, and opportunities for further reflection in which action and outcomes are directly connected.”

PCG will begin the first phase of the work in December 2014, collecting data in which values, beliefs and expectations are explored to shape and refine a clear, positive future vision and mission for the district through focus groups and surveys. The data will help to identify emerging priorities and those areas in which there are common concerns, interests, and/or desire to enhance the Greenwich Public Schools.

December 2014 will consist of data collection through an online  survey, community forum and focus groups held over a five-day period. Subsets of all stakeholder groups will be invited to specific focus groups during December.

A community forum was held on Dec. 2 and there will be full coverage in the Dec. 11 edition of the Post. An online survey will be announced during the month as well.

January 2015 will bring about data analysis, during which key themes and priorities will be identified and ranked. During February 2015, priorities will be narrowed during the data review. Gap analysis will take place in March 2015 examing within each priority, identified policy, budget and curriculum changes.

From March 2015 to May 2015 there will be action planning specific work to be completed, along with another community forum. In May and June 2015, the final strategic plan will be compiled into a final document for a community presentation.

A leadership committee, representative of key stakeholders, will work with PCG on the design and implementation of the strategic planning process.

The committee members are: BOE Chairman Barbara O’Neill, BOE Vice Chairman Jennifer Dayton,BOE member Peter von Braun, Superintendent William McKersie, Deputy Superintendent of Schools Ellen Flanagan, PTA Council President Lisa Harkness, BET Chairman Michael Mason, GOSA Co-President Angela Schmidt, GEA President Carol Sutton and First Selectman Peter Tesei.

While students are not directly represented on the Leadership Committee, they will be included in focus groups and surveys.

Dr. McKersie also will connect the process to GHS students through the GHS Student Government, with which he meets monthly.

A dedicated section of the GPS Website has been created for this initiative at Greenwichschools.org/StrategicPlan.

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