Surpassing Expectations and Inspiring Excellence
in Every Student, Every Day
The first strategic plan for Sunman-Dearborn Community Schools was created in 2012. Due to various reasons, including the superintendent leaving in 2014, an interim superintendent serving during the 2014-2015 school year, and the reconfiguring of the elementary schools also during the 2014-2015 school year. the strategic plan was not the focal point of the district.
During our AdvancEd accreditation on-site review in 2016, the on-site review team noted the lack of a “guiding light” for the school corporation. In their words, we were a “system of schools, not a school system.” They called for the creation of a new strategic plan.
During the 2016-2017 school year, we embarked on the creation of the 2017-2022 Five-Year Strategic Plan. The purpose of the plan was to provide a “guiding light” as called for in the AdvancEd accreditation on-site review, while at the same time being straightforward and easy to follow and understand. The strategic plan was succinct, easily communicated and understood, and monitored.
As we came to the end of the 2017-2022 Strategic Plan, we embarked on the creation of the 2022-2027 Five-Year Strategic Plan. As before, the best strategic plan is one that is followed. The strategic plan is once again succinct, easily communicated, and understood.
Our strategic plan contains the following five elements:
Core Values and Core Value Statements
The five elements combine to set a direction and course as we continue to improve our schools and provide a top-notch education for our students.
2022-2027 Strategic Plan Dashboard
Vision, Mission, Core Values, and Core Value Statements
Before working on the specific goals and objectives, the committee began reviewing the foundational aspects of our organization. We considered our Vision, Mission, Core Values, and Core Value Statements. These items had been previously determined during the 2017-2022 Five-Year Strategic Plan, so many of these foundational aspects of our organization remained the same. However, with the many changes we have experienced over the past five years, it was time to review these again.
Inspiring confidence and success in Every Student, Every Day
Our mission is to educate and to facilitate growth in all students, preparing them for productive and responsible citizenship
Core Value Statements
Each core value statement starts with “We serve students…” During the second and third sessions, the team developed the vision and mission.
We serve students by being good stewards of the public resources and making all decisions in an honest, ethical, and transparent manner.
We serve students by using data and research to set high goals, maintain high expectations, make informed decisions, and strive for continuous improvement.
We serve students by collaborating to develop learning opportunities that coordinate activities K-12, home to school, between and across all programs.
We serve students by continuously seeking ways to provide a safe, inclusive, and equitable environment.
We serve students through our commitment to provide the most relevant, innovative, safe, and challenging climate that prepares students for their future goals.
Goals and Objectives
During the third and fourth sessions, the committee used various data to develop the following goals and objectives.
You will note that during the process Academic Achievement was changed to Core Instruction. There are two primary reasons for this. First, in the last strategic plan, we measured academic achievement through the state assessment system. At that time, it was ISTEP+, now ILEARN. During the five-year span, the state assessment system was changed in some manner each year - new delivery system, new assessment system (ISTEP+, then ILEARN), hold harmless on school grades multiple years - once due to low state-wide scores during the transition to a new assessment system and twice due to COVID. The current state assessment system lacks reliability and validity. Second, academic achievement is a direct measure of student learning. Based on the body of research regarding student learning, quality teaching and core instruction have the largest impact. Therefore, the committee decided to focus on core instruction, which is the foundation of student learning and academic achievement, when considering our goals and objectives.
Deliver quality instruction through consistent implementation of research-based best practices.
Provide state-of-the-art facilities, equipment, and technology to develop and strengthen students’ abilities, preparing them for their future goals and aspirations.
Balance financial responsibility with providing diverse and effective programming for our students, competitive wages and benefits to attract and retain quality employees, and continuing to invest in our facilities.
Maintain a strong culture of respect and appreciation of all students and staff by providing a safe and inclusive learning community in which all students can achieve.
Empower all students and staff to develop servant leadership skills to positively impact local, regional, and global communities.
Our objectives are much more specific and targeted, in support of our goals. During the committee meetings, we used the SMART acronym to develop our objectives - Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timebound. Each objective follows a similar pattern where it begins with the date on which the objective will be achieved, the metric that will be measured, and the instrument used to measure.
♦ By the end of the 2023-2024 school year, the Teacher Evaluation Rubric Effective Instruction Doman score will increase by 0.25 points compared to baseline data from the 2022-2023 school year.
♦ Beginning in the 2022-2023 school year, quarterly targeted professional development provided for all teachers specific to the Teacher Evaluation Rubric Effective Instruction Domain will receive a session evaluation survey score of 3.0 or higher, out of a total score of 4.0
♦ By January 1, 2027, 85% of all staff will report they have the facilities and equipment to provide students with an excellent learning environment as measured by the annual school climate/culture survey.
♦ By January 1, 2027, 100% of teachers who are not at the top level of the technology self-assessment rubric will advance at least one level in the effective use of technology.
♦ Throughout the five-year strategic plan, the combined cash balances of the Education Fund, Operations Fund, and Rainy Day Fund will be between 30% and 35% of the calendar year expenditures.
♦ Throughout the five-year strategic plan, and in order to retain and attract highly qualified personnel, we will have the highest compensated staff in the southeastern Indiana region, as reported on the Indiana Classified Survey and report on the Indiana Gateway Collective Bargaining Report.
Culture, Climate, and Safety
♦ Throughout the five-year strategic plan, 100% of employees will be ALICE and CPR trained.
♦ Throughout the five-year strategic plan, the Cognia Family Survey will be administered to all parents. The overall score will improve compared to 2022-2023 school year baseline data.
♦ By the 2023-2024 school year, and throughout the remainder of the strategic plan, 100% of staff and students will receive integrated instruction and opportunities to identify community needs and develop plans for servant leadership.
♦ By the 2023-2024 school year, and throughout the remainder of the strategic plan, 75% of staff and students will document community service participation.
Members of the Strategic Planning Committee believe we have the students, parents, staff, teachers, and administrators to become one of the top-performing school corporations in the state of Indiana. Our plan is concise, forward thinking, and aggressive.
Most importantly, our plan is student-centered. “We serve students...” And through our service to our students, we will become one of the top performing school corporations in the state of Indiana.
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Strategic Planning Team
Stakeholders from all school buildings, including parents, staff members, teachers, principals, board members, and central office administrators donated their time to meet and develop the strategic plan.