Parents, teachers, business owners, students and senior citizens were among the 200 participants in the recent Hays CISD Ideas Summits at the Hays CISD Performing Arts Center last week.
Attendees could go to one of the day’s two summits to share their thoughts as the district launches a comprehensive, long term, strategic planning process.
“Our district is a reflection of our community,” said Superintendent of Hays CISD Dr. Jeremy Lyon. “More than 800 new students arrived at our doorstep this fall. Without a vision or a roadmap, any idea of the day can make its way into the game plan. We want our roadmap to be an expression of the values of the community of Hays CISD.”
The planning process is being facilitated by Cambridge Strategic Services.
“This school district wants to embark on a three-to-five year planning process,” said Shannon Buerke, senior strategist with Cambridge. “Today we are starting a conversation that will continue for a long time.”
A 30-member strategic planning team comprising staff and residents will be charged with setting a mission statement. They will draft a strategic plan based on the criteria of student-focused, community-based, full participation, agreed-upon actionable decisions. The draft of the plan should go to the school board by November.
Following the process, action teams of seven to 15 members will meet throughout the first three months of 2010 to draft action plans for each of the strategic plan’s objectives.
Both of the Ideas Summit groups were lead through idea sharing by Buerke who posed the question, “What are your highest aspirations for the district?”
Said Buerke, “The planning process focuses your resources on where you want to be. You have to identify where you want to be and then you can strategically abandon things that do not get you to where you want to go. You focus your resources—human and financial—back on where you want to go.”
The event is part of the three-step process initiated by Cambridge” Imagine, Design and Action Planning. The summit was the “Imagine” step, the “Design” step will be the strategic planning team’s effort, and the “Action Planning” step is the process during which the district will “organize to action, strategic abandonment and focus of resources,” she said.
Most of the summit participants filled out a “thought sheet” before leaving. The sheets will be available at every campus for community input. The survey is posted on the strategic plan link on the homepage of the district website, www.hayscisd.net.