A Board’s strategic plan is developed keeping Ontario Ministry priorities and direction in mind, as well as Board specific strengths, priorities and areas of growth. For example, the Ministry document “Achieving Excellence” sets a broad context provincially and outlines several areas that Boards are expected to focus on including: achieving excellence, ensuring equity, promoting well-being and enhancing public confidence. Specific to student achievement, the Ministry has been clear about several defined areas that require school board attention, including achievement in mathematics, special education, equity and well-being and students in applied pathways in secondary schools. These provincially defined priorities are considered with local board priorities and areas of need in the creation of a board’s strategic plan.
The plan, once developed, should influence Board decisions on budgets, the allocation of resources and day-to-day operations. While the plan may include several targeted areas e.g. facilities, human resources, budget and finance, health and safety, the constant challenge is to ensure that each area of focus has a direct impact on our core work of improving student achievement and well-being. The plan acts as a road map over the 4 year window, and should be reviewed, discussed and communicated on an ongoing basis, as it drives the daily work of the Board. Annual operational plans are developed each year, aligned with the multi-year plan and each year progress is assessed and strategies modified as needed to ensure continued progress in the identified areas.
The Director and Chair of the Board initiated the development of this plan in January, 2016. The development of the plan occurred with the acknowledgement of the successes and accomplishments that occurred through the Multi-Year Plan 2012-2016, while looking forward to priority areas and changing needs. The process occurred over several months with the goal to involve a variety of stakeholders so that a diverse range of ideas could be considered. This document provides an overview of the process for development of the plan, key components of the plan and why the plan is important for the work we do as a learning organization.