Pat Farrell, North Royalton School District’s Director of Personnel, updated the Board on the District’s Strategic Plan progress at the January 7 Board of Education work session. He gave a presentation that highlighted the key areas of the plan that will direct the initiatives of the district throughout the next five years.
The plan starts at a core belief, stating that, “we believe in a culture that promotes respect and integrity; in collaboration among schools, communities and families; communication is essential.”
In a balance between interpersonal relationships and technology; All students are capable of learning and learn in different ways at different rates; In equal access for every student. It then states the vision, “Our educational community will be a model in identifying individual student needs and providing comprehensive support.” The mission, as has been for several years, remains the same: “We Inspire and Empower Learners.”
The renewal process and goals of the Strategic Plan are as follows: “Years one through three focus on the transition to the new building and collaborative spaces,” according to District officials. “Years four and five focus on data collection once we transition into the new buildings and collaborative spaces for the next Strategic Plan.”
The guiding principles of the plan are broken down in the areas of Student Achievement, Communication and Community Engagement, Professional Development and Financial. The goals, with coordinating action steps, are broken down as follows:
Student Achievement: “Align and implement standards, curriculum, programs and experiences to ensure students are prepared for college, career and life.”
Action #1: Curriculum Alignment.
Maps are completed with the exception of a few High School elective courses; conversations in different forms are taking place for vertical alignment; focusing on identifying and implementing research-based instructional practices.
Action #2: Create a positive school climate.
Leadership teams established to raise awareness of social emotional learning/mental health with meetings starting this spring; systems initiated to enhance student involvement and reinforce positive behavior while remote learning.
Communication and Community Engagement: “Develop a plan that will communicate and engage the community in the design and construction, as well as the ongoing maintenance of the District facilities.”
Action #1: Utilize the District’s pre-existing communications to update the community on the facilities project.
Constant monthly contact while monitoring view rates; include construction information in digital magazine, newsletters and newspapers.
Action #2: Conduct face-to-face meetings and speaking engagements to discuss facility updates.
Due to COVID restrictions, meetings have been put on hold.
Action #3: Plan events that promote staff, student, parent and community involvement related to the building projects.
Ground breaking, beam signing and top off ceremonies completed; as COVID conditions improve, district to schedule open-house evenings and tours.
Action #4: Communicate the maintenance plan for new, existing and renovated facilities.
Progress reports and photos posted monthly on website.
Professional Development: “Create professional development opportunities for all staff to best meet the needs of student learning.”
Action #1: Provide certified staff professional development opportunities to enhance best instructional practices.
Required and choice-based development opportunities to prepare for remote learning, aligned with district initiatives and best practices for literary development; teacher-led options available in instructional technology and book study at Middle School.
Action #2: Provide classified staff professional development opportunities to create a supportive learning environment.
Opportunities offered through technology department, such as equipment training for live streaming, email social media.
Action #3: Professional development will be focused on collaboration related to shared spaces.
Elementary staff informed of team assignments for next year in order to plan for shared space in new building.
Financial: “Develop a plan that will financially maintain, support and sustain the District’s beliefs, vision and mission.”
Action #1: Publicize, market and inform the community regarding aspects of the District’s budget and elements that impact financial status and promote fiscal responsibility.
Meetings continue with Financial Advisory/Audit Committee to review activity; share information through various media platforms; posted Comprehensive Annual Financial Report on district website in December; increased presence on Facebook and Twitter.
Action #2: Explore alternative funding sources and enhance business partnerships.
Completed Ohio Department of Education grant opportunities; work with various groups and local businesses to invest in district’s projects and secure donations; met with other district administrators to share information on vendors, contractors and Ohio School Council relationships; continue to participate in Suburban Health Consortium.
The Strategic Plan can be viewed in its entirety on the school district’s website at
Contributing Writer