The Mission of the Schools
The District will nurture, educate, and graduate students
who are civic-minded and prepared to make ethical decisions;
who are confident, competent communicators,
skillful in problem solving, capable of creative thinking;
who have a career motivation
and a knowledge of our global and multicultural society.
In 2009, the Board of Education and administration launched a major strategic planning initiative to establish the vision for the Shaker schools. The planning process quickly evolved to include extensive feedback from residents, parents, staff, and students from every part of the community.
More than 900 interviews were conducted as part of the community engagement project known as Imagine Shaker, providing vital input to the planning process. Taken together with data on student performance, survey results, and other information, the themes derived from the interviews helped identify key priorities for developing the Strategic Plan.
The planning process addressed four fundamental questions:
1. What do we want for our students?
2. Where do we want our schools to be in the next several years?
3. How will we get there?
4. How will we know we were successful?
The resulting Strategic Plan is organized around three major focus areas:
- Build relationships among faculty, staff, students, and their families that foster the belief within students that they can achieve excellence and advocate for their own success.
- Provide a safe learning community that is welcoming, inclusive, respectful, and engaging, which embraces diversity and fosters enriched learning experiences for all.
- Ensure that the District offers academic, enrichment, and co-curricular activities that are diverse, relevant, and accessible to all students.
Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment
- Provide ongoing support for collegial collaboration and consistent use of best research-based teaching practices.
- Develop a globally competitive curriculumand employ best research-based practices for instruction and assessment that reflect high expectations for all students.
- Employ an integrated set of instructional strategies and learning opportunities to remove race, socioeconomic status, and disability as predictors of achievement.
Collaboration, Communication, and Involvement
- Engage all parents as active partners in student success.
- Engage the Shaker community as partners in student success.
- Build community confidence and pride in our schools through effective communication.
Each of the focus areas has associated performance objectives and detailed work plans. Supporting all of the goals are "integrated themes": technology, organizational efficiency, professional development, and data management.
Progress toward goals will be audited annually.
In addition to the goals and performance measures that were formally approved by the Board, the Committee's full report contains background and recommends action steps to facilitate attainment of goals. To read the report, select Strategic Plan in the box at right.
About 'Imagine Shaker'
Imagine Shaker was initiated by the Board of Education to involve residents in planning for the future of the Shaker schools. A Design Team made up of members of the Board, administration, faculty, parents, and community played a crucial role in selecting consultants to guide the process, identifying an "afffirmative topic," developing and testing interview protocols, and recruitment and training of interviewers. Guidance was provided by Dr. Ronald Fry of the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University and Dr. Charleyse Pratt of Cleveland State University.
Imagine Shaker employed a technique called Appreciative Inquiry, pioneered by Dr. Fry and colleagues at Weatherhead. Appreciative Inquiry has been used by corporations, public sector organizations, and nonprofit organizations around the world to create positive change.
Appreciative Inquiry involves personal contact with many individuals to hear their stories and from their stories derive themes, priorities, and ideas that will drive the design of a strategic plan for the District. The resulting plan, drawing also on the District's pre-existing Strategic Framework, will position Shaker for the future.