Superintendent's Message

Dr. Sweeting

Updated strategic plan sharpens focus to prepare students to be lifelong learners 

A top priority this year was to review the current strategic plan and provide recommendations for revisions that will support our work into the five to seven years. The Advisory Council for Education (ACE) – which is a board-commissioned committee
comprised of parents, staff and community members – and representatives from higher education and the business community spent the year reviewing and revising the strategic plan. The plan was last updated in 2010.

The ACE Plus members have engaged in a year-long process to revisit the APS Strategic Plan. An outside consultant, Shari Campbell, facilitated this process. ACE Plus Committee members reviewed components of the current Strategic Plan including the mission, vision, and goals. The committee analyzed data from multiple sources in order to identify strengths, areas for improvement/enhancement, and confirm priorities for the next five to seven years.

A survey was sent to parents, staff and community members this spring to determine what priorities the district should be focusing on. This feedback helped guide the discussion of the committee as it worked through the process of updating the plan.
The updated, proposed mission for the district is:

Arlington Public Schools educates all students, preparing and inspiring them to graduate and seek their full potential as lifelong learners.

This is similar to the previous mission. However, it includes “to graduate” as a gateway to future opportunities. The inclusion of “lifelong learners” was also important since reaching your full potential is different for each person and learning is continuous.

The Goals have also been updated.

Goal 1: Student Learning & Achievement
• Students will engage in learning that is rigorous, research-based and focused on
successful grade transitions leading to graduation and further pursuits.

Goal 2: Safe and Caring Environment
• We will cultivate and maintain a safe and caring environment that supports a positive culture to increase student achievement.

Goal 3: Resource Stewardship
• We will align all resources (people, time, money and property) to support the District’s mission.

Goal 4: Parent and Community Partnerships
• We will engage and encourage parents and our community to partner in the education of students.

The board will consider approval of the updated strategic plan at its board meeting on July 10. I would like to thank the ACE Committee for their work this year. I would also like to thank everyone who took the time to complete the survey. Your feedback was incredibly helpful as we reviewed and updated the plan. This plan will direct our actions, align our efforts, and bring accountability to our efforts to educate, prepare and inspire each student.

Dr. Chrys Sweeting