“Remote” Strategic Planning with CSI

As the first engagement of our ongoing work with Charter School of Inquiry (CSI) of Rochester NY, The Learning Collective partnered with CSI to create its two-year strategic plan. We at The Learning Collective are particularly proud of this work because it was all conducted remotely during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The customized strategic planning process included these three stages:

STAGE 1: WHERE CSI IS

Adam of TLC conducted a remote two-day school quality review of CSI based on TLC’s school quality review process. The rubric utilized during the remote school quality was based on NYSED’s Charter School Performance Framework and best practices of authorizers nationally. CSI board members, school leaders, teachers, parents and students participated in the school quality review. CSI instructional leaders accompanied Adam on Zoom-based classroom observations. Adam then wrote a report based on that school quality review.

STAGE 2: WHERE CSI WANTS TO BE

In this phase, the entire school community defined the school’s preferred state. Facilitated by Adam, and informed by the TLC Remote School Quality Review Report and the school’s latest student assessment results, the school developed CSI’s updated vision and mission. Through online document editing (Google Docs) and Zoom video conference focus groups with board members and school leaders and teachers, Adam helped define the elements that were, and should stay, unique to CSI while keeping an eye toward continually improving student outcomes. The updated mission was succinct and clearly understandable by all stakeholders (including students in the upper grades); the finalized mission statement should pass the “t-shirt test” by being printable and legible on a t-shirt.

STAGE 3: HOW CSI WILL GET THERE

Facilitated by Adam, CSI determined the desired outcomes and action steps to meet CSI’s updated mission. Specifically, through Zoom video conference focus groups and online document editing, CSI determined SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timebound) Goals. To support the SMART Goals, CSI’s stakeholders (board members, school leaders, teachers, parents and local community leaders) considered a range of Action Steps (through online surveys, online document editing and Zoom video conferencing). Adam coalesced the recommendations into a draft document that the board and school leaders studied, and provided input on, leading to Adam delivering a cohesive final version of the strategic plan.