Over the past several years significant changes and events, from internal senior leadership to a global pandemic, have necessitated changes to the ways in which the Peoria Unified School District Governing Board and Administration establish strategic vision, direction, and plans. In February of 2018 the Peoria Unified Governing Board directed the newly appointed Interim Superintendent to begin development of a new Strategic Plan and process to provide clear strategic direction and to institutionalize strategic planning within the district. As an important first step in development, the Board and district leaders established these four Strategic Perspectives, which collectively are the lens through which the community judges the district’s performance:
- Student Success
- Safety and Well-Being
- Stewardship of Resources
- Community Connection
The principles that follow from the Strategic Perspectives are at the core of the work the district has done to develop its strategic planning program, including this 2022-2024 Strategic Reset Plan.
Recognizing that the nation, our local community, and indeed the challenges facing PK-12 education overall have permanently changed the education landscape, the Superintendent and Cabinet began considering how the district would best approach post-pandemic challenges and lasting changes in PK-12 education, especially as they will impact Peoria Unified. In that process the team clearly recognized that while recovery from learning disruption is essential, recovery cannot simply mean returning to where we were as a district prior to the pandemic’s onset. Thus, the Superintendent challenged his leadership team in February of 2021 to transform Peoria Unified into a district that can “claim its seat at the head of the table for state and national leadership in PK-12 education”.
Given that challenge, the Superintendent and his leadership team subsequently embarked in March of 2021 on development of a new Strategic Reset Plan that addresses the need to both recover and execute a major reset of the district’s vision and direction. The Superintendent’s vision for getting on a “new trajectory” and ultimately achieving the goal of national PK-12 leadership comprises the following six components:
- We will make student-centered, data-driven, and shared decisions.
- We will be a highly effective professional learning community.
- We will ensure that every student and employee is known, valued, cared for, and challenged.
- We will be a highly trained and modern workforce.
- We will communicate effectively.
- We will be recognized as a community, state, and national leader in PK-12 education through greatly increasing levels of student achievement.
With that vision in place, district leadership established two high-level goals for the new Strategic Reset Plan:
- Develop and obtain approval for a three-year plan that will achieve the following:
- Recover from COVID-19 academic and operational disruptions.
- Transform Peoria Unified to a new, re-imagined state that will meet the post-pandemic needs of our 21st Century students and community.
- Develop and implement ongoing processes for:
- Progress monitoring and oversight to ensure successful execution of the plan.
- Annual updates and appropriate adjustments to the plan.
Commencing in March of 2021 we began execution of a four-phase strategic planning process that ultimately involved dozens of staff and considered input from literally thousands of community members. The four phases of the process are:
- Reflect: Discuss and determine what has transpired during the pandemic and prior years, what we have learned about our strengths and weaknesses, what the new year and beyond will bring, and how we should approach planning for that future.
- Re-Imagine: Envision and design a new Peoria Unified that is fully recovered and transformed into an institution able to meet the post-COVID demands of the 21st Century.
- Restart: Develop a three-year plan for implementing the strategies and initiatives designed to create our reimagined future. Develop a progress monitoring process and an annual plan revision process that is integrated with our existing Budget Development and New School Year processes.
- Rebuild: Successfully execute those strategies/initiatives and annually review and revise the plan as part of the annual new year planning cycle.
With Governing Board adoption of the Strategic Reset Plan, we complete Restart and enter the Rebuild Phase.
Parent Engagement Forum Feedback
Earlier this fall Peoria Unified hosted both in-person and virtual Parent Engagement Forums to present current progress on the Strategic Plan and to gather feedback from our community. Listed below is what we heard and how we are responding to that feedback.
Stewardship of Resources
Teaching & Learning
Safe & Welcoming Schools
Facilities Master Planning Program
Watch the Presentation of the Strategic Plan to the Governing Board (October 14, 2021)
View the Slide Deck From the Governing Board Presentation
Listen to Part 1 of Our Strategic Thinking Series on Trending Peoria (Episode 006, June 20, 2021)
Listen to Part 2 of our Strategic Thinking Series on Progress Report (Episode 001, October 19, 2021)