D65 finance committee recommends Detroit cabinet prepare a draft five-year strategic plan for the district
In a memo to the school board on June 7, Superintendent Devon Horton said the administration recommended that the school board award the strategic planning contract to Resolute Educational Solutions (Resolute). At its June 7 meeting, the Finance Committee decided to recommend Resolute.
If approved by the school board on June 14, Resolute will prepare a district profile and a draft five-year strategic plan for the district.
While Dr Horton and several board members have said that input from teachers and the community is essential, there is no plan yet on how to collect community feedback or how that feedback. will be used in the preparation of the strategic plan.
Dr Horton’s June 7 memo said the district had issued a request for proposals for the strategic planning contract. He said five companies responded to the tender: Battelle for Kids; four points; HYA Associates; MGT Council; and Educational Solutions Resolved. Dr Horton said the Cabinet team reviewed the submissions and presentation on May 24 and June 1 and decided to recommend Resolute.
Resolute’s offices are located in Detroit, Michigan. Under this proposal, Dr. Caldwell will lead the Resolute team. Rajah E. Smart, vice president of strategy, will be the director of technical assistance and the project manager. Meaghan Polega, M.Ed., is a junior clinical research assistant on the project.
Plan proposed by Resolute
Dr. Caldwell told members of the Finance Committee that the work proposed by Resolute is “essentially based on two principles. One is equity and the other is quality management systems.
“Our process is very mission-driven, so we don’t come here to give you a standard product, we really are a thinking partner. He said Resolute would analyze “the challenges that you are trying to overcome and the things that you say you want to achieve. Our role is to help you improve in these areas in the direction of fairness, promoting justice, fairness and equity for the children and families you serve. He said it is an “equity-focused strategic planning process” and consists of three phases.
Dr Smart said that the first phase is the “facilitation of quality assurance”, the second phase is the “quality assurance management process” and phase three is “the review of the quality assurance process”. , which consists of four stages defining the scope and planning of the project; specify the basic system of what we want to accomplish; build that real product; and the delivery of that product. … And these products include a strategic plan focused on equity as well as a professional learning advisor.
“The possible system deliverables we mentioned include a fairness audit, where we look at many variables that could impact the strategic plan,” said Dr. Wood. “It’s about discovering new patterns and themes that support or act as obstacles in this process. It is actually delivered to you as its own product. “But we also include what’s called integrative reporting, productive analysis, and tracking hosts. Dr Smart said this is a standardization of data that can be used in the future.
Dr Caldwell posted a screenshot of a report Resolute provided to another school district as an example. He said the report would include a district profile.
“The interesting thing about the profile is that there’s no new data we’re trying to flood your community with, we’re basically trying to galvanize the information you already have that we can then build on, to identify gaps and things like that that Dr Smart suggested. And then when it’s time or need to fill a gap, we can suggest something to central office staff, something like a focus group or a But we don’t recommend these things out the door, they are more tools in our tool belt.
Dr Caldwell added that the sample report provided key conclusions.
“And so that’s really what a plan looks like, having very strong but visionary goals to achieve. And then below that, we would have various goals, objectives, and then the resources to get there… ”
Dr Caldwell summed up: “Your data profile is not an indictment of where you are. It’s just a way for us to better understand the context of where you are and where you want to go. So that’s the deliverable. And then the draft strategic plan is the second deliverable of that process that you get. And it’s a process of about six months, give or take.
The proposal suggested that Resolute would close the process somewhere around December. He said the fees would be around $ 76,500.
Board member Joey Hailpern asked if an out-of-state business could do as well as an Illinois-based business.
Latarsha Green, deputy superintendent for District 65, said Resolute had worked with another school district [Shaker Heights] who was a member of [Minority Student Achievement Network] and with school districts that are committed to equity, especially racial equity. She added that Resolute “has been very mindful of the idea that we are undergoing a massive settlement plan, a student assignment, we have a district improvement plan that we are also operating. So it was also essential for us that we had someone who could understand our boots on the ground in the work that we do, and not overload and flood our community with excessive polls etc.
When asked if it would be desirable to start the project this summer, as it might be difficult to get information from the community and teachers during the summer months, Dr Green said Resolute would be in. able to go through district data and reports and begin to archive this information and fill in the gaps by interviewing 12-month-old employees. She said any 10-month employee interviews or surveys could be collected later.
Mr Hailpern said he was just reviewing the strategic plan Resolute had prepared for Shaker Heights and much of it seemed to be looking at “where the district is.” He asked if the plan prepared for District 65 would include goals related to finances and indicate where the district wanted or needed to be in five years in terms of finances and a roadmap indicating year by year what the district needed to do to get there. arrive.
Dr Caldwell said the Shaker Heights plan had specific goals and objectives that were written into the plan from Resolute’s work.
He added, “So the metrics will be there based on what your data suggests you want to achieve and what your district decides to consider reasonable and fair for the children and families you serve.”
“This is a partnership,” added Dr Smart. “So the partnership will basically dictate what the metrics will look like, what the direction will look like, what the scope will look like going forward.”
Council chairperson Anya Tanyavutti said she hopes the district will coordinate community information gathering for all current district efforts so that there are no surveys or community forums in place. double. She said she felt that the tolerance of families and the community to provide additional stakeholder input might be low, but added: “It is also very important that we have stakeholder input.”
She asked, “Is there a vision in mind of how we make sure we are effective with how we ask our community and family stakeholders to engage in this process.” She said she envisioned the strategic plan “consolidating” all the work done by the district.
Dr Horton said that is exactly what he is doing. He said, “The strategic plan is like the mecca for collecting all this data,” and that it was important to take all other elements into account when preparing the strategic plan. He said the district didn’t need to start all the projects at the same time, but could stagger the start times to make sure the district was able to get feedback from the community and the community. have other elements in place.
Mr Hailpern said it is important “to make sure that we can talk to families in their native language, where possible, that we can invite families to places in their neighborhood to participate in focus groups. , to also add a special education lens to this work. … And we have to have a financial component. We have to have the school performance component, but it’s through several lenses. And I want to make sure that we look at that, and that it’s the board document, this strategic plan, that it’s our touchstone for success over the next few years as a ‘organization.
Board member Sergio Hernandez said he understands Resolute puts fairness first, but asked if they really have experience working with bilingual or ESL students and what they really had experience involving the community.
Dr Caldwell said: “I would like to stress that we are not suggesting to you in this proposal, polls and / or focus groups. … We are ready to look at you, and what information you have today, to use that information in an authentic way as a third objective to say, here are the results linguistically, socio-economically, racially, that you said you wanted to achieve and if that is in this direction you want to go, we will show you that direction.
“If there is a discrepancy, for example, when we publish the data profile, we say we want to get feedback from the community, that would really be the first point of contact, if you really want to go back and get new information. A second point of contact that we have made in… is that we do a public comment period when information is released. So then you can, you don’t poll anyone, you just ask for their feedback or their input on this material. So I just want to let the Council know that we are not trying to inundate the community in any way by harassing them for new information that they haven’t already provided.
The finance committee has decided to recommend that the strategic planning contract with Resolute Education, as the most qualified bidder, be presented to the full board for approval.
The qualifications and proposals made by the other bidders were not presented or discussed at the Finance Committee meeting.