Strategic Plan Rationale
The Case for Change
Douglas County is 850 square miles and includes communities ranging from small rural to large suburban.
Our schools are assets of our community–pillars of learning and energy where we cultivate the potential of our county. When our students and schools flourish, so does our community.
We heard a strong message during our strategic planning process that student success must be defined by more than academic skills. Our community expects students to find personal growth and fulfillment, in a safe and supportive environment, that develops not just academic skills but also the skills to ensure social, emotional and physical well-being.
Our students will have a wide variety of options after graduation, all of which can lead to economic stability and personal fulfillment. Our community expects students to explore these possibilities as of equal merit and with the same level of intentional support, whether they lead to an industry credential, military service, college completion, or an entrepreneurial venture.
Our community values choice for families and students in their education. At the same time, our community expects all students to be prepared through an aligned curriculum, and to have equitable opportunities for programs and activities. In order to accomplish this, we must ensure that our community benefits from the most capable teachers, staff and administrators.
Meeting our community’s expectations will require all of us, growing together, to leverage the opportunities of the future and thrive.
Douglas County School District’s new strategic plan was driven by our community. From the outset, we have been committed to listening to those invested in our schools. We wanted to know what was working, what wasn’t, and what was envisioned for the future of DCSD.
In March 2019, we began the process of gathering feedback by facilitating conversations with approximately 300 community members and 500 staff members. We used their responses to craft an online survey that dug deeper into this feedback. Over 30,000 teachers, leaders, staff, community members, and students completed the survey and their responses helped outline the priorities in this strategic plan.
These priorities were then crafted into a draft strategic plan framework. Thirty sessions were held, with stakeholders including parents, students, members of the general community, and all categories of employees. Session attendees provided input on the draft strategic plan framework and offered ideas for implementation. This input was reviewed, coded and categorized by external, objective experts.
The DCSD Board of Education considered the stakeholder input, and accepted the recommended revisions to our strategic plan framework in June 2019. From there, school district teams utilized the input to craft objectives and strategic initiatives to drive our work over the next five years. During this strategy development phase, additional stakeholder input was gathered to generate and test ideas.
While we are confident that our strategic plan represents the expectations, interests and ideas of our community, our stakeholder engagement efforts are not complete. Throughout the Strategic Plan implementation process, we will continue to gather ongoing input and feedback.
Measurements for Success
How Will We Know the Strategic Plan is Working
Our strategic plan is directed toward four priority student outcomes:
Promote student engagement and well-being.
Prepare all students for post-graduation success.
Improve academic achievement and growth for all students.
Provide all students equitable access to a high-quality education.
We will assess progress on these outcomes over the next five years. While our school district excels in many areas compared to the nation and the state of Colorado, given the strengths of our community in economic, educational and workforce indicators – we should excel to the highest levels. When compared to other, economically successful communities with similar characteristics our performance shows room for improvement. By Growing Together, we will reach higher levels of success for all students.