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Community feedback sought during creation of school district's new strategic plan

The Estacada School District's new strategic plan will incorporate ideas for the next five years, but also have a vision that looks beyond that time frame.

The title of the plan, Envision Estacada Schools 2030, is a reference to when this year's first-graders will graduate from high school.

"It's a five-year plan, but we want to think longer than that," said Maggie Kelly, communications coordinator for the district.

The process of crafting a new strategic plan began earlier this year and the finished product is expected to be implemented this fall.

The creation process for the plan is "very open to change," Kelly said. Current focuses of the plan are student success; community engagement; up-to-date buildings and facilities; sustainable finances and accountability; and strong organizational culture.

Community feedback will be an integral part of the process. There is a community survey on the plan's website, envisionestacadaschools.org, that asks participants about what they value about the school district, the district's strengths and weaknesses, challenges facing the district and elements of the district they would like to enhance.

"It's important for people to be able to open up, so we can preserve and protect what the community values about the school district," Kelly said.

In February, there will be a Vision Summit that will allow attendees to give their feedback on the plan thus far.

"It's an opportunity for the community to come together and see where we're at," Kelly said. "It's a calibration tool. Are we on the right track?"

She noted that the last plan, which was implemented in 2014, provided the district with a valuable focus on student learning.

"There was a great focus on student success that we saw internally at so many meetings. If we're spending money, is this going back to student success?" she said. "We want to keep the same similar focus in the next plan. We're used to using that laser focus (on student success) to make decisions."

She also emphasized the role that community feedback will play in the creation process of the new plan.

"There's really space and opportunity for everyone to get involved, whether they want to come to a meeting or fill out an online survey from home," Kelly said.

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