Strategic Planning in DoDEA
In 1995, DoDEA developed its first Community Strategic Plan (CSP) under the direction of Director Lillian Gonzalez, in concert with representatives of all its stakeholder groups. This plan, which guided DoDEA activities for the years 1995 through 2000, ensured that all schools work towards reaching the same priority benchmarks on the road to achieving their goals.
The first CSP identified ten goals in 14 benchmarks designed to support optimal student learning in areas as diverse as academic performance in specific subject areas and organizational development. Subsequent strategic plans refined previous editions, targeted goals for improvement based on evolving priorities, focused on both student achievement and organizational performance needed to support teaching and learning.
All the plans contained common elements essential to the strategic planning process including, vision and mission statements, core values or beliefs, organizational goals, strategies, benchmarks and associated performance measures.
The plans were developed for a five year period. The plans are monitored and updated annually or as needed, published as numbered volumes, alignments or updates.
Strategic planning demonstrates DoDEA’s commitment to continuously improve in its efforts to educate and prepare military-connected students. An additional rationale for strategic planning is to increase collaboration with and accountability to its most important publics: military families and military communities.
DoDEA has published periodic accountability reports to communicate information to the public and to address progress in student performance, as well as resource allocations and demographics.
The current Blueprint for Continuous Improvement, under the direction of Director Thomas Brady, represents DoDEA’s next step as a learning organization. Continuous improvement is a research-based, ongoing process intended to increase overall effectiveness and make a positive, measurable impact on all stakeholders, primarily students, by focusing on and implementing three essential elements: learn and share, examine and plan, and act and evaluate. For DoDEA, this means setting and working towards ambitious goals, learning from our successes and challenges, and making improvements every day to benefit military-connected students.
Today, the practice of monitoring and updating has evolved into a process called “analyze and adjust.” A team of senior leaders carefully review data from across the school system, identify necessary adjustments, and collectively agree upon and publish appropriate adjustments in successive volumes. The adjustments in each volume are the direct result of a comprehensive assessment of DoDEA’s current environment, documented progress towards meeting the established goals, and responsiveness to DoDEA’s evolving needs.