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School seeks input on strategic plan

By Scott Smith, Superintendent, Cedar Springs Public Schools

Cedar Springs Public Schools is excited to share that we are preparing to launch a community-driven strategic planning process. Our ambitious goal is to present the Board of Education with a draft of a comprehensive three-year strategic plan for their review in July. A final version of the plan would then be presented to the Board for their approval in August. We need your help to make this happen.

To create a community-driven strategic plan, we must first identify and engage with the people who call Cedar Springs Public Schools home. For us, community starts with our students and families. It is also essential that we reach out to District staff, community and business leaders, and residents in this process. The Board of Education is committed to listening to the ideas of our community to clarify the focus of our efforts over the next three years.

The gathering of community input will first come in the form of five focus group conversations. These meetings are scheduled to take place in late January. We will have one focus group for students, one for staff, two groups for parents, and one group for community members and business leaders. The focus groups will include 25-30 representatives from each category. In some cases, individuals will be invited to participate in a focus group. In other cases, we will randomly select participants from a pool of individuals who have expressed interest in helping us with this process. The discussion at these meetings will center on two primary topics:

*What do you like the most about Cedar Springs Public Schools?

 *What can Cedar Springs Public Schools do to improve?

The feedback gathered from the focus group conversations will then be used to generate questions for a comprehensive survey that will be sent out in late February. Each student in grades 6-12, all parents of students grades PK-12, and all District staff will receive a survey via email. Community/business leaders and residents of Cedar Springs will be able to submit a survey electronically through a link on our website.

Post photo by J. Reed.

The next step in our process will be to review the District’s current strategic plan relative to the feedback collected from our community. A team of students, parents, staff, and community/business leaders will work together to create a draft of our three-year strategic plan in June. This draft will be presented to our Board of Education for discussion at their meeting in July. Our goal is to present a final version of our strategic plan to the Board for approval in August.

Thank you for your ongoing commitment to Cedar Springs Public Schools. We look forward to learning from the ideas you share during these essential steps in our strategic planning process. Together, we will make clear our District’s priorities for the next three years.

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