When people feel involved in the strategic planning process, they are far more likely to be invested in the success of the plan. A collaborative approach serves to develop champions across the organization who understand what’s behind the planning process and support the related initiatives. They’ll work beside you to:
- Help the community learn about the strategic plan.
- Ensure that the plan aligns with stakeholders’ values.
- Identify areas of focus to make strategic goals actionable.
- Monitor and assess progress on the plan over time.
Identifying your goals at the beginning of the process sets the foundation for designing your exchange and discovering your results.
Some reflective questions that may help guide you and your team include:
- What’s the progress you would like to make?
- What stage are you at in the Strategic Planning process?
- Who needs to be included in your outreach?
- Who do you need to share the results with?
- What is your timeline?
Recommended Exchange Questions
Understanding where you’re at in the strategic planning process will help you to identify the question you should ask first. Here are some sample questions, feel free to choose and customize a question that will help you meet your goals.
Creating or updating your Mission, Vision, and/or Values
- What do you value most about our [school district] and what can we do better to prepare our students for the challenges and opportunities of the future?
- What are your thoughts about our (current/proposed) mission and vision statements?
- What are some important values or beliefs that should guide us in all we do?
Identifying the priorities of your stakeholders
- As we work together to realize our vision, what new directions and opportunities will have the greatest impact on the success of our students?
- What do our students need to be successful in school and life?
- What are the most important things our schools should consider as we work together to prepare our students for their future?
Confirming the direction you’re headed
- Does this draft strategic plan framework reflect the thinking that was shared with us during our consultation? Why?
- What are the most important ways we can ensure our shared values of _______, ________, and ________ are reflected in this draft plan?
Post-Implementation: Keeping your Strategic Plan off the shelf
- What are the most important initiatives for us to consider to successfully achieve our goal to __________?
- In order to continue to make progress on our goal to __________, what are our most important next steps?
- What are the most important ways we can continue to evolve and improve our [Title] Strategic Plan and Vision?
- What supports or information do you need to ensure success as we implement our goal of _______?
For tips on crafting your own introduction, click here.
Consider including a video introduction to make it more personal.
Dear <Parents/Guardians, Students, and Staff>,
We are excited to invite you to participate in this exchange to help us understand the things you feel we are doing well; we are also interested to hear your ideas about what we could improve or initiate that would make the biggest impact on student success in our district.
By sharing your thoughts and rating the thoughts of others, your input will help us to ensure that the programs, services, and values of our district provide our students and staff with the best possible experience and outcomes.
As students, teachers, parents, staff, and partners, your voice is important to us!
- This exchange is confidential. Your thoughts will be shared, but not your identity.
- Please be polite and respectful as you share and rate thoughts.
- If you see a thought that is rude, hurtful or identifies a person or group, you can report it by clicking in the upper right corner of the thought.
- You do not need to rate all thoughts in this exchange. It is appreciated and recommended to rate around 30 over the time the exchange is open.
Recommended Survey Questions
Survey questions can give you a better understanding of what’s important to different groups in your community and help you tailor your communication to different stakeholders.
Recognizing that you may belong to more than one of the following groups, please select the one which you feel best describes your involvement with us:
- Staff Member
- Community Member
With which [school, region, family of schools] do you most closely associate?
**New Feature! Participation Groups
Participation Groups allows you to break a potentially large conversation into demographic-specific groups. For a more in-depth explanation, click here.
If you would like to use Participation Groups, get in touch with us and we will get you set up.
We suggest keeping sign-up off for this exchange, to maximize participation.
Deciding on how to moderate depends on the specific needs of your district and community. Options include community moderation or machine moderation. If you’d like more details, check out this help article.
Discover Your Results
The Discover Dashboard offers several tools to help you dig into your results and take action. Once your exchange has closed, think back to your goals for your exchange and use those to guide what you do in the Dashboard; if you have vision and values already established, you can consider using those to guide how you theme your results.
You can do this using the theme tool. This helps you understand the conversation around your current goals, and identify gaps currently not accounted for in your goals.
Understanding your results isn’t just about the theming. Some reflective questions that may help guide you include:
- What’s the progress you would like to make?
- Who do you need to share these results back with?
- How should you share the results for that audience?
- Where is there agreement?
- Where are there differences?
- Where might you need to dig in deeper?
- What are the quick wins or next steps to move forward?
- What underlying values are apparent in the thoughts?
Sample Summary Report
When you’re ready to share your results, Summary Reports provide a fast and interactive way to keep the conversation going.