Of all the firsts I have experienced in my ten months in Upper Arlington, I am most excited about the opportunity that stands before our school district now. During our community conversations, many residents encouraged us to use a private-sector planning model. We are excited about our innovative process, but we know it cannot be successful unless it is done in partnership with our community.
We are about to journey down a path paved by the expectations and desires of our community. This was an intriguing idea, and our Board of Education reached out to experts in the strategic planning field to learn more. During the next three months, each team will take a deep dive into one area of our roadmap and prepare briefing papers to present to the Board of Education by July.
Each step of the process will include one or more opportunities for community involvement or feedback.

Most importantly this journey will enable us to focus on making positive, measurable changes and helping us ensure we are meeting the individual needs of each of our students. After many in-depth, frank discussions about the current state of our district and our future direction, we realized that we needed to try something totally new. In the second phase of the process, our strategic coordination group will use those briefing papers to draft a three-year strategic plan that is focused, agile and contains measurable goals that directly benefit our students.
We will provide regular public updates on the process of our work teams throughout the spring through columns like these, presentations at Board of Education meetings, the district website and social media outlets. As always, feel free contact me if you have any questions, concerns or suggestions about our schools. Our partners at Battelle for Kids, a nationally known nonprofit that specializes in school improvement, have helped us to do just that.
Within several weeks, three clear themes had emerged: efficiency, accountability and results.

Together we have crafted a hybrid approach that brings together the best from the public and private sectors. Our process will be focused and results-oriented like a private-sector model while remaining rich with opportunities for community engagement and feedback like a public-sector model.
Efficiency, accountability and results - we began calling this our roadmap for the future, and we kept that roadmap firmly in mind as we began to explore options for our strategic planning process.

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