Known as The Pathway to Excellence, the strategic plan for the Highland Park School District lacks the tragic/comic quality of some of the proposals coming from the state and national political theater. Nonetheless, it is “huge,” as far as the future of Highland Park and its students.
On June 28 and June 29 in the high school cafeteria, School Superintendent Scott Taylor and the other members of Highland Park School District Strategic Planning Steering Committee brought together community residents to discuss the future of the schools. More than 60 members of the community and the steering committee members had an in-depth and thoughtful discussion identifying goals and action plans for the district to be implemented over the next several years.
The strategic planning process, which started in February 2016, represents an important goal for Dr. Taylor. When he was being vetted for the job of superintendent, he told the board members that if appointed, he wanted to carry out a strategic planning initiative within the first 90 days of his term.
Considering the comments of more than 400 citizens who filled out the strategic planning survey, the 11 members of the committee – which comprises all socio, economic and ethnic groups in the community – came up with four areas of focus for the district.
- Creating engaged global citizens with knowledge of social justice and fighting prejudice;
- Individualizing learning experiences and improving quality of education;
- Expanding field and service experiences though local and regional partnerships;
- Providing equal opportunities for all students and promoting students social and emotional well being.
The next step for the superintendent and the strategic planning leadership team is to define more precisely the language in the strategic plan and put timelines on implementing the plan’s priorities. The next “more refined” version of the strategic plan will be discussed at the Aug. 22 board meeting.
“I do not want to say ‘final version,’ because there will be no final version. This is a living document that will be continually responsive to the community’s needs. The basic infrastructure of the plan will be finalized. But the details of implementation will continually be revised, according to the recommendations of the newly formed action-planning teams,” said Dr. Taylor. An action-planning committee, composed of about 20 individuals, was established for each of the four broad strategic plan priorities. For further information see: