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Work continues to develop new goals and strategic priorities for new Foundation for Excellence

The district's strategic plan, called the Foundation for Excellence, was adopted in 2013, and has guided the work of our employees and the overall direction of the district since that time. In 2016, the Foundation was extended for an additional three years with an added fifth goal—Facility Improvements—to capture the myriad work that is taking place throughout the district.

Superintedent Collins talking with high school students
Superintendent Collins talking with elementary students

Since last spring Dr. Collins and his leadership team have been working to review and revise the Foundation to ensure that it captures where we are, and where we strive to be.

"Our Foundation for Excellence is a living document that truly guides the critical work we do in our district to ensure that we are inspiring excellence for all students. I've genuinely enjoyed this process to revitalize this plan, as I've had the opportunity to collaborate with our employees and students—the best part of my job as superintendent," said Dr. Collins.

In June our employees, families and community members provided feedback on the Foundation for Excellence in two Thoughtexchange surveys by answering the question, "What are some important things for us to consider as we develop our new goals and strategic priorities?"

Employee feedback from Thoughtexchange Employee feedback from Thoughtexhange
Family feedback from Thoughtexchange Family feedback from Thoughtexhange
Student feedback from Thoughtexchange Student from Thoughtexhange feedback

Nearly 500 thoughts were shared. The top five themes that emerged from our employees were: Safety, Equity, Student Behavior, Class Sizes and Student Mental Health. The top five themes that emerged from our families and community were: Facilities, Student Mental Health, Equity, Class Sizes and Safety.

This fall, Dr. Collins met with employees from each school to determine what they would like to see in the new plan. Employees vocalized their thoughts and also captured them in notes that were thoroughly reviewed.

In an ongoing effort to authentically engage our students, and to hear their first-hand experiences, challenges and celebrations, Dr. Collins visited each of our schools and hosted student listening sessions. Middle school, Cavelero and Lake Stevens High School students participated in a Thoughtexchange at the conclusion of their listening sessions.

They were asked, "What are some things we should stop, start, or continue to do in our district?"

In total, 142 secondary students participated and shared 149 thoughts.

The top five themes that emerged from our students were: School Spirit, Support Systems & Opportunities for Students, Caring & Supportive Employees, Effective Teaching & Learning and Welcome & Sense of Belonging.

The feedback from the Thoughtexchange surveys will be shared with our Board of Directors as they work to further define our goals and strategic direction. We will continue to provide updates about this important work, as well as further opportunities to participate in the process.