Process Map

A high-level graphical overview of our strategic planning process appears above. The process began in early 2016 with a six-month-long “plan to plan” phase during which we began to develop a relationship with the superintendent and her management team, developed an understanding of the local context in Salem, and developed a scope of work and projected timeline for the process. This phase of the project culminated in a presentation of the scope of work to the School Committee. After receiving the School Committee’s approval, the work team meetings began. While the timing of these meetings varied across work teams, the first three meetings generally happened between July and November, and the later three to four meetings generally happened between October and February. The four Steering Committee meetings were held periodically throughout the planning process, with the first occurring in late September and the last occurring in March. 

Stakeholder engagement occurred throughout the process, starting with the first Citywide Conversation in November, followed by the Spanish-speaking version of the first Citywide Conversation in January and the final Citywide Conversation in March. Several focus groups were also held. The co-leads and members of one of the six work teams, the Teacher Leadership & Empowerment Work Team, held a series of focus groups for teachers at various schools in the district, and student focus groups were also held. A community survey was administered in early 2017. 

Once all of the work teams submitted their recommendations to the Steering Committee in March, we created a streamlined summary of the recommendations to share with the community at the March Citywide Conversation. After receiving feedback from the community at this event, we then facilitated the Senior Management Team through a series of action planning meetings to hone the recommendations according to the feedback that was received. During these meetings, we also worked with the Senior Management Team to solidify the broader theory of change for the strategic plan and reorganize the work team recommendations into categories that aligned accordingly.  We also facilitated a workshop with the School Committee to review the community feedback on the mission, vision, and values from the Citywide Conversation and develop revised drafts of same. 

Following the School Committee retreat and the series of Senior Management Team action planning meetings, we spent late April and early May writing a cohesive narrative and plan. We sent the plan to the superintendent and the Senior Management Team for review and comment. All of these steps culminated in the superintendent’s presentation of the strategic plan to the School Committee on May 15th.