The Office of Professional Research and Development in the School of Education at Syracuse University will be undertaking the strategic planning for the Carmel Central School District to help district leaders make informed decisions that will benefit district children, families and staff.
Strategic Planning Timeline
- Conduct initial conversations with the Superintendent and key leaders (e.g., Administrative Cabinet) and document findings (field notes).
- Review these stakeholders' intent for this work to address desirable outcomes, understand their previous experiences with such planning studies and review potential protocols/frameworks and next steps.
- Identify (with these leaders) benchmark studies (comparable districts, for example).
- Review all planning materials from prior studies or those otherwise used within the district and in comparable districts (benchmarks)
- Follow up with individuals who conducted the studies if any clarification is required.
- Review benchmark studies from regional schools to consider what, if any, aspects of those studies might be useful for Carmel Central Schools.
- Amend protocols if aspects of other studies are high value to BOE/Administrative Cabinet.
- Conduct a 5-year review of BOE meeting minutes and video (as available) and a 10-year review of student achievement data available, including historical performances of subgroups.
- Interview BOE members to provide context and encourage study ownership and buy-in.
- Schedule Zoom meetings with BOE members over the course of a week. Key areas of inquiry include: the district's historical and current strengths and weaknesses, points of leverage, how the study will quantify or describe student achievement (what will "count").
- Share field notes with each interviewee and reconcile any confusion between researcher's documents and BOE member perspectives.
- Protocols and the study timeline must be updated at this point to incorporate barriers and opportunities for robust participation in the study and accurately represent the Carmel Central Schools and the communities is serves.
- Conduct a 10-year review of achievement data based on previous metrics and findings - e.g., "what counts."
December 2022/January 2023
- Over two days on-site:
- Conduct a focus group with key instructional stakeholders. Discuss historical and current strengths and weaknesses and points of leverage.
- Share proposed teacher and study surveys with key teacher leaders to discuss intent/fine-tune the instrumentation.
- Interview key community stakeholders as identified by BOE (e.g., employers, local politicians, industry leaders).
- Meet with parent representatives purposefully chosen to represent all grade levels, demographics and extracurricular activity involvement. Ask these parents to review the parent and student surveys and share any feedback helpful in fine tuning the instrumentation.
- Meet individually with each administrator and ask them to review all survey instruments and share any feedback.
- Work with stakeholders (and analyze data gathered to date) to make decisions about the best formats in which to present data and emerging findings.
- Create "Study Teams" - determine composition, membership, roles and responsibilities.
- Administer School Climate surveys to parents, students, and staff, and analyze results. Note that the teacher survey is anchored in the Diagnostic Tool for District and School Effectiveness and will shed light on where instructional practices and related support may be improved, whereas typical "school climate" surveys cannot.
January 2023 - August 2023
- Utilize Study Teams (departments, building level groups of teacher leaders, or parents, for example) will be involved in responding to findings, providing additional context, and offering solutions.
- The Syracuse University-based team will provide drafts for review and formats within which teams can provide feedback and related timelines/deadlines for such feedback to be offered.
- Consensus building will be key (recommendations/action steps) to develop reports of findings, related materials and action plans that serve the district and community at large.