Strategic Planning In High Performing Districts

Where does a District focus their efforts when there are no obvious leverage points?

School districts of all sizes and performance use strategic planning to respond to changes in local conditions as a result of new federal or state mandates, a change in board/ superintendent leadership, or a change is student demographics, in addition to achieving broad goals for student achievement, operations and finance, climate and culture, and community engagement to name a few. But what if the district is already high performing?

Strategic Planning in high performing districts is focused on incremental change based on a shared vision with its community and alignment of school improvement and personnel evaluation to the strategic plan. Strategic Planning provides an opportunity for the district to tell its story and define its success while energizing its community to support systemic improvements that keep pace with our changing world. It is an opportunity to innovate and trail blaze.

Alignment and innovation was the focus in Barrington 220 School District in Barrington, Illinois. Already a high performing district, the leadership used the Engage phase to envision future success and focus on innovation. The implementation phase was an opportunity to ensure alignment between the Strategic Plan, Superintendent and administrative evaluation and School Improvement Plans. Embedding the Strategic Plan in personnel evaluation and improvement work, helps the administration (and SIP committee members) understand and realize their role in achieving the goals of the district. For more information about HYA’s work in Barrington, please visit their website:

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