Shrewsbury School Committee unveils strategic plan

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Shrewsbury Public School logoSHREWSBURY – The School Committee unanimously approved a strategic plan for the district effective from 2023 to 2027 during their April 26 meeting.

The School Committee seemed pleased with the plan. 

“I believe that this strategic plan lays out key areas for improvement, important strategic priorities, and provides a framework for a flexible, year-to-year approach that will focus our resources, our attention, and our energy to make our schools better than they are today,” Superintendent Joseph Sawyer said.

How it was developed

Focused Schools, a group committed to “ensuring every student has access to a learning environment that helps them to grow and achieve,” developed the plan for the School Committee. 

Work on the plan dates back to October 2022. Throughout the process, Focused Schools conducted 22 focus groups with students, staff, family and caregivers, and various other stakeholders. The group also frequently worked with the School Committee and district leadership and analyzed data to develop a new set of strategic goals. 

“I thought it was a very thorough process that engaged hundreds of our stakeholders in different ways… I thought it was a very thorough look at where we are as a school district,” Sawyer said. 

What the plan contains

The new plan has three main pillars: educational excellence, enhanced well-being of all and optimization of resources. Each pillar has several strategic priorities, and each strategic priority has sample action steps designed to help the district improve. The action steps are intended to be measurable but also flexible and able to adapt to any issues the district faces on a year-to-year basis.

The 14 strategic priorities include plans to ensure high-quality teaching and learning, address learning gaps, advance technical education, promote student and staff wellness, improve facilities to address overcrowding, and hire and retain a high-quality, diverse staff.

Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) is also a central part of the strategic goals. Whereas DEIB work was included in the old priorities, the new plan integrates the practice across the strategic goals. 

“Rather than being stand-alone, diversity, belonging, inclusion, and equity are addressed specifically and strongly through all three commitments,” Focused School’s presentation reads.

Much of the plan is building on the work that is already happening in the school system.

“We’re not reinventing the wheel, but we’re tweaking things that need to be tweaked. We’re adding things that need to be added,” School Committee member Sandra Fryc said.

“This is a document that, as we move forward in this process, I would encourage the members of the community to consume because I do believe – in spite of all the detail – it is structured in such a way that I think members of the community can really engage with this document and really appreciate what we’re trying to do,” said then-School Committee member Jason Palitsch said during a March 29 meeting. 

To view the draft of the new strategic plan, which includes the full list of strategic priorities and action steps, visit https://tinyurl.com/mr3y29rr.

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