Strategic Plan: another great year of progress

Deb Henton

Deb Henton

About six years ago or so, North Branch Area Public Schools put together a group representative of the community and the school district. They were tasked with creating a five-year strategic plan. We are now in our final year, and will begin work soon on a subsequent plan.

When a plan such as ours is created, it always comes with the fear that it won’t have any real meaning, and may just sit on a shelf somewhere. That has not been the experience here at NBAPS. The document created at that time instantly became a beacon for our district, and it has provided our focus for the last four and a half years in very direct ways.

Following each year, I report to the school board on the progress we have made with the strategic plan. Though it is I who stands at the podium, annual strategic plan progress is the result of the hard work of every staff and school board member at NBAPS, and for that work I am very grateful.

Many wonderful things have resulted from the strategic plan, including World Language K-12, technology in our schools, providing the ACT test on site, Patron Tours, and so many other initiatives it would be impossible to list here.

The strategic plan contains 130 “action steps”—things we want to accomplish, ranging from achievement to communication. As I reported to the school board last Thursday, there were 857 activities that represented progress toward those action steps during last school year. In fact, only 5 percent of the action steps in the plan did not reflect activities last year. That means there was progress over 95 percent of the plan.

It is a staggering amount of work, and I would like very much to thank Finance and Human Resources Director Randi Johnson, who does an amazing job ensuring all those activities are entered into our strategic plan monitor.

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