An Overview of the Gardner Edgerton USD 231 Vision and Strategic Plan Development Process 

Organizations that move forward quickly and successfully move beyond simple mission statements to paint a very clear picture of where they want to go and how they want to evolve their current state; this is a comprehensive vision. To develop a comprehensive vision, USD 231, in partnership with G&D Associates, facilitated activities that resulted in a set of narratives that will drive priorities and outcomes over the next several years. These narratives attend to five key areas: learning, teaching, leadership, professional learning, and wider community engagement. Our comprehensive vision paints the picture of what USD 231 will look like in the near future and serves as a clear and actionable document that articulates direction, mission and a set of guiding principles. It is important to remember when reading the vision that it illustrates the “what.” The “how” will be detailed in a strategic plan. 

Understanding the needs of our students, families, community, and staff members is the foundational element of our visioning and strategic planning work. To develop an understanding of the needs of the district as well as the Gardner and Edgerton communities, we leveraged several inputs, including:

  • Existing district data, organizational structures, communications, and demographics

  • Conversations with district and school leaders

  • Data from a community survey that had 1,404 responses included:

    • 99 community members without children in the district

    • 741 parents and guardians

    • 564 employees of USD 231

    • Interviews and focus groups with 175 members of the USD 231 community, including:

    • 13 parents and guardians

    • 9 community members without children in the district

    • 63 certified staff members

    • 25 classified staff members

    • 50 students

    • 15 members of the Executive Cabinet

  • A visioning workshop with district and school leadership

 The collective information from these engagement activities provided a clear view of the USD 231 community’s beliefs, goals, strengths, and challenges, which ultimately enabled the development of a vision tailored to the specific needs of the district.

 Vision to Action (Strategic Planning)
Our strategic planning is drawn from the vision. Where the vision serves to paint the picture of where we are going, the strategic plan outlines the goals, objectives, and implementation specifics in manageable and measurable ways. A set of collaboratively created deliverables that map out what we plan to do and how we intend to do it have been developed against each statement from the vision, essentially mapping out the work over the coming years. 

Using these deliverables, we have developed a set of manageable projects aligned with district priorities. Each project is aligned to proven change management structures that utilize an 11-point planning process that includes specific milestones and success criteria in S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Manageable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound) goal format. This structure enables the district and our schools to easily align our state-required improvement plans and other reporting criteria.

 Together, the comprehensive narratives serve as the vision, mission, and guiding principles of the district, while the strategic plan outlines the goals, objectives, and implementation specifics in manageable and measurable ways. 

We look forward to regularly communicating progress toward our vision and encourage our community to reach out with questions and good things you see happening in the district.