Brian Hill won’t officially step into the role of School District 51 Superintendent until July 1, but with his predecessor, Diana Sirko, ending her tenure by using her remaining vacation days, he assumed the position at Tuesday night’s Board of Education meeting at R-5 High School.
Hill, currently the assistant superintendent, provided an update to the school board about the district’s strategic plan, an initiative that began in 2019 and was approved this spring.
The three-year strategic plan, the first the district has adopted since its previous one expired in 2017, begins this fall.
He reiterated some information about the plan, such as its strategic focus areas of prepared and supported students, prepared and supported staff, and engaged and supportive community partners.
Each strategic focus area has one-, two- and three-year goals, tools to measure growth and success, and has aligned initiatives to reach the goals.
Some of the slides on Hill’s slideshow displayed core tenets of the plan, such as “Our organization is perfectly designed to get the results we are currently getting,” “We deal with people’s two most prized possessions: their children and their money. We have to be good stewards of both,” and “The Strategic Plan sets the banks of the river so that we can support and get out of the way.”
“One major reason why we have a strategic plan is to have a clear plan that builds trust through transparency and accountability,” Hill said. “We want to make sure that we’re transparent throughout this whole process for the next three years of this plan and also hold ourselves accountable for the work that we say that we’re going to do.”
Since the strategic plan was adopted, the district has focused its efforts on building plan awareness, developing a common language and coordinating for schools and departments to plan for this school year and the ensuing few years with the plan as the centerpiece.
During fall 2021, the Colorado Education Initiative (CEI) conducted five listening sessions (three in English and two in Spanish) with the District 51 community, including parents, teachers and administration.
These sessions built upon the listening sessions conducted by district staff last spring.
CEI data team staff members used a collaborative analysis approach to ensure that the process was transparent, surfaced multiple interpretations and allowed for checks on analysis.
The team identified a set of codes/themes prior to analysis, aligned to the core categories guiding the strategic plan’s development.
CEI will continue to assist the district in implementing its strategic plan from this August through May 2023, with in-person support from Vice President of Implementation Alex Carter, Implementation and Partnership Director Paul Beck and Data Analysis Project Lead Jaren Smith.
For information about the Strategic Plan, visit d51schools.org/about_us/strategic_plan_.