Millsap ISD is in the beginning stages of updating its strategic plan.
This process has included meetings this week to gather input from parents, students and school board members, Superintendent Deann Lee said. The plan is to gather information from a variety of stakeholders, including district staff and community members, over the course of the next few months. Next month, common themes from the feedback will be established, and then committees will be formed to give more detailed input.
Right now, the goal is to submit the strategic plan updates to the board of trustees for approval in February, though that could happen earlier, Lee said.
Districts and campuses are required to have improvement plans that contain details about what the district is mandated to do, Lee said. Strategic plans are not required by the state and are usually much shorter than improvement plans.
“The district improvement plan is more for the very finite details of what goes on on a day-to-day basis, but the strategic plan is really what allows you to dream,” Lee said. “What possibilities are there for the future? What do we want Millsap to become? Without parameters, without guidelines, what’s the dream?”
Strategic plans are updated after a few years when enough of the plan has been accomplished, Lee said.
“Enough of the plan has been accomplished that we feel like it’s time for an update because we don’t ever want to get stagnant in our growth,” Lee said.
Board member Jon Hartman recalled being part of creating the strategic plan four to five years ago. A strategic plan allows the school board to focus on what’s best for the district, he said.
“It takes personal agendas out of it and keeps us focused on the best plan for the district, which is ultimately the best plan, we hope, for our students,” Hartman said. “That’s our heart and our desire is to make the best things for our students and staff.”
As the strategic plan is updated, the district and school board need to develop strategies for students to be successful, Hartman said. Success can include a variety of options, such as college, workforce careers or military enlistment.
“We want to make sure that as our kids grow that we develop plans and strategies that make sure those kids are getting the things that they need to be successful in life, no matter what avenue that they choose and making sure those things are put into place and helping pick the right administration to do so,” Hartman said.
Some of the themes Lee has heard so far relate to preserving the district’s culture, valuing the whole child and considering facilities.
Board President Dene Herbel said his biggest takeaway from the school board strategic plan work session is about working on infrastructure and using staff and administration to engage parents.
“We’re going to try to be more proactive of engaging parents to come to the school and be active in the school,” Herbel said. “Therefore, by engaging the parents, we’re engaging the kids.”