Over the past several weeks, the Boulder Valley School District’s held a number of well-attended Feedback Forums on the Strategic Plan.
During the input sessions and via an online form, hundreds of students, parents, and staff had the opportunity to provide feedback on recently proposed Long Term Outcomes and Strategic Themes, which will become the foundation for the new strategic plan, currently under development. As a result, the feedback gathered will help guide the path of the district for years to come.
“This is a chance to let our voice be heard. If you're not doing it at this level, you’re missing an opportunity,” said Mike McGill, a parent of a current freshman and two graduates of Centaurus High School.
“Having kids in the system, I want to ensure that my voice is being heard and their voice is being heard, because it is going to impact them in the future,” said BVSD teacher and parent Leslie Gaiser.
Gaiser’s two sons, who attend Broomfield Heights Middle School and Kohl Elementary School, also participated in the Broomfield Strategic Plan Feedback Forum.
“I think they need to see how processes work. I think they need to see that you can have a voice,” Gaiser said. “They may feel like they are a little fish in a big pond, but I want them to see that you can have a voice, that it can be heard and they can see the impact as they go through their schooling.”
During the events, participants had the opportunity to review a portion of the data reviewed in the strategic planning process, including information on the achievement gaps within the district.
“It is not a pretty picture,” said Bernardo Padilla, a Fairview High School graduate and parent of two sons at Casey Middle School.
Padilla, however, was reassured by the fact that Superintendent Dr. Rob Anderson is not shying away from the problem.
“The fact that the superintendent has taken the time to acknowledge that this is a problem and the fact that he has taken our opinion into consideration for bettering this problem is a huge step. It is something that in the 10 years we’ve been in the district we have not seen. This is huge for us,” Padilla said.
Following all of the feedback, staff have updated the Priority Student Outcomes:
PSO #1: All students benefit from challenging and relevant educational opportunities
PSO #2: Reduce disparities in achievement
PSO #3: Every student graduates empowered with the skills necessary for post-graduate success
And the Strategic Themes:
Strategic Theme #1: Ensure all instruction is challenging, engaging, relevant and meets the needs of all students
Strategic Theme #2: Provide schools and educators with responsive and customized supports to best serve students
Strategic Theme #3: Harness the talent and passion of our community and families through communication, empowerment and partnership
Strategic Theme #4: Cultivate a positive and inclusive culture throughout BVSD that promotes well-being of students, families and employees
BVSD has formed specialized teams of employees that have just started brainstorming objectives and will then work to identify strategic initiatives over the next two months. They will be considering the initiatives suggested during the Feedback Forums.
Regardless of what is decided, the participants said they are optimistic the new Strategic Plan will achieve its objectives.
“I honestly want to see a result ... I want to get better,” Padilla said.
“I hope that it is something that can be achieved. I hope that it is something that is measurable. I also hope it is something we stick to for a while,” added Gaiser. “I’ve been in the district for 19 years, so this is superintendent number five or six. Every time one comes in, we start a new thing, so I’m ready for something to kind of stick and kind of work and move forward for the kids.”