Dysart board approves new strategic plan

By Jennifer Jimenez, Special to Independent Newsmedia

The Dysart Unified School District Governing Board unanimously approved the 2017-2020 Strategic Plan as presented during its lone meeting this month.

The wheels on the strategic plan were put into motion last spring when the district reached out to community members to engage in the revision process for the district.

Dysart Superintendent Dr. Gail Pletnick said the revision plan occurs every three years to ensure the district’s plan reflects the learning needs of their district’s students and provides a clear roadmap to achieve those outcomes.

“Thousands of community members were included in this work,” she said. “Through our community survey, action teams, the 3R summit and profile of a graduate task force we have drafted a strategic plan. The strategic plan represents our contract with our stakeholders to provide vital education services and obtain the results our Dysart community identifies as critical to the growth of our students.”

Within the strategic plan there are four specific goals, which were specified in the video presentation.

Goal A said each Dysart student, through personalized learning, will develop the knowledge, skills and dispositions as defined by the Dysart’s Profile of a Graduate that ensures 21st Century success. The measures of success include requiring all Dysart schools to demonstrate academic improvement as measured by multiple items including for high school, the number enrolled and percentage at or above average grade in Core Honors classes, Algebra ¾, Dual Enrollment class, Advanced Placement, CTE completion, standardized assessments, suspensions and expulsion rates and graduation rates. For K-8, AzMerit Scores, Attendance, suspensions and expulsion rates, promotion rates and Cambridge. Other additions would also take place in the 2018-19 school year.

Goal B, is We Are Dysart, which is a culture of shared leadership advancing student success with open communication, innovation, ownership and empowerment. The measure will include results of surveys and focus groups that indicate a level of satisfaction in the areas of community, innovation, empowerment and ownership.

Goal C is to demonstrate consistent processes to ensure digital safety of students and staff as Dysart effectively utilizes technology to transform the learning and business environment. This will be measured with student and staff assessments that indicate satisfactory level of awareness related to digital safety.

Lastly Goal D identifies and maximizes available resources to support the Strategic Plan.

Dr. Pletnick said the feedback made available through an URL or telephone number did not suggest any changes. She explained half of the remarks expressed approval or support for the strategic plan.

There were two items of feedback which included accusations of the district being too liberal and a request to not teach diversity, both of which were not substantiated by any examples or specifics.

“There were areas were more clarification was requested,” she said. “In the area of personalization, this person wanted to know if that meant every student would have an Individualized Education Program (IEP), as well as understanding what resources we would have available.”

Dysart Governing Board President Jennifer Tanner said the strategic plan has worked so well for Dysart and she is excited to see the progress and the path that is moving the district forward. District public relations director Zachary Fountain said all of Dysart school’s staff was emailed the link to the strategic plan and 70 percent viewed it via email.

“One hundred and ninety-seven views came from the YouTube channel, however many more views happened through our social media outreach,” he added.

The strategic plan can be viewed on the district’s website www.dysart.org.

Editor’s Note: Ms. Jimenez is a Peoria-based freelance writer.

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