The William S. Hart Union High School District has made “every student opportunity ready” along with the four core values of community, caring, courage and creativity as the focus of its strategic plan for the 2022-2027 school years.
Superintendent Mike Kuhlman gave a presentation on how the district is rolling out its strategic plan, which was approved earlier this summer by the governing board.
Kuhlman said it is important for all members of the Hart district to understand there was a “very involved process that didn’t just being with one person’s idea.
“A strategic plan helps our staff, parents and students know the things that we’ll be repeatedly focused on and return to over the course of the next five years,” Kuhlman said. “When we identify what our core purpose is that allows us to anchor to that and not get distracted by the latest shiny thing that comes down through, and that we’re actually taking care of the things that really matter in the lives of our students.”
The district contracted Doug Domene, retired superintendent of Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District, as an outside consultant. Domene has experience implementing a strategic plan in his former district.
Together, the team set to engage with as many stakeholders as they could, which included teachers, support staff, parents, students, governing board members and administrators.
“That input that we received was really reflective of the community that we serve,” Kuhlman said.
“I feel very confident that if we identify something that was repeatedly mentioned, by multiple groups made up of a variety of different kinds of stakeholders, that this probably is something of importance to our district.”
The strategic plan can be encapsulated on a single page, he added. The plan consists of five areas including student learning, safety and wellness, access and equity, financial and human resources, and communication and collaboration.
Under each area, there are a number of initiatives listed in ways the district will ensure to maintain or improve these areas to better serve all members of the district. For example, under student learning and instruction, initiative 1.3 states the district will “provide a multi-tiered system of academic support to all students.”
In another example, under communication and collaboration, Kuhlman examined initiative 5.4.
“The initiative says increase opportunities for a two-way communication and collaboration between district students, staff and the community,” Kuhlman said.
One key change, he said, was that the district recognizes it has regular, monthly meetings with various groups such as a parent communications council, an administration cabinet council, and one with students.
However, the district didn’t have a certificated communication council meeting with teachers, nor a classified communications council, where representatives could meet directly with district leadership.
“So, that is one of the changes that we have made as a result of the strategic plan, we are actually eliminating the district advisory council because there is an overlap now with some of these groups, but we’re adding a certificated communications council and a classified communications council,” Kuhlman said.
Governing board members appreciated the presentation and accepted the information regarding the district’s strategic plan rollout.
In addition, Kuhlman introduced the One Hart award, which is a medallion that principals at each school site will give out once a month to a community member, student, staff member or parent. The medallion is analogous to a challenge coin of the military, he added.
“I want to echo what Dr. (Cherise) Moore said with the excellent work that went into this,” said James Webb, Moore’s fellow governing board member. “Thank you for having this tradition that we can have and how important it is to our country, and get it to people who serve in a variety of different roles.”