Volume II established DoDEA's immediate strategic direction, focusing the DoDEA community on our school system's most essential strategic imperatives: 1) establishing an educational system that progressively builds the college and career readiness of all DoDEA students; and 2) establishing the organizational capacity to operate more effectively and efficiently as a model, unified school system.
Volume I establishes the foundation for the organization's strategic plan. It provides the strategic plan's enduring, foundational elements that define the desired levels of organizational reform. The foundational elements include DoDEA's mission and vision statements, core values, and strategic goals.
Together, the volumes provide the framework for putting the desired standard-driven reform in place in DoDEA.
More than one year ago, DoDEA set upon a journey to chart a direction for achieving higher levels of excellence. To this end, a team of DoDEA and community senior leaders engaged and led the DoDEA community in a strategic planning effort. Community input and key stakeholder participation were maximized to ensure the process represented an organizational consensus on how DoDEA would pursue its commitment to improve the quality of education for all military-connected children. The community wide effort resulted in the development of the strategic planning approach designed to provide long-term direction and solutions. The effort culminated with the establishment of the plan’s foundational elements that broadly state the organization’s aspirations—the vision, mission, core values and strategic goals. The strategic planning process encompasses the four-step approach summarized below.
DoDEA developed and implemented a research plan to capture the community’s view of DoDEA’s organizational strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges. The research methodology included the review of an expansive collection of DoD, DoDEA and state and local education agency studies, reports, surveys and other documents; the completion of 75 group and individual interviews with DoDEA and stakeholder organization key personnel; and the completion of surveys by stakeholder groups throughout DoDEA’s community. The research findings created a common understanding of DoDEA’s current state and uncovered common themes from across the DoDEA community, which contributed significantly to the development of the CSP strategic planning framework.
The Director of DoDEA assembled a group of DoDEA and community senior leaders to serve as the architects for the strategic planning framework. More specifically, the senior leader team led a community effort that served a two-fold purpose: 1) create a customized strategic planning approach; and 2) develop the CSP’s foundational elements of the plan—the vision, mission, core values, and strategic goals. The foundational elements served to focus the planning effort on one overarching objective: to achieve new standards of excellence in military-connected student outcomes. The vision statement embodies DoDEA’s philosophy for achieving academic excellence while serving the unique needs of our military-connected children. The mission statement is aligned with the vision, establishing that the organization’s primary purpose is to educate and serve military-connected children. The core values reflect the belief that all our activities should improve the success of military-connected students, thereby influencing and guiding the behavior of all members of the organization. Lastly, the goals define five areas in which standards of excellence will be defined and pursued: student achievement, school performance, talent management, organizational effectiveness and community outreach. The senior leaders socialized the foundational elements with the DoDEA community to ensure that the elements reflected and supported the views of the entire organization.
With the establishment of DoDEA’s goals, the planning process moved to the development of the goal implementation strategies—the plans for achieving the goals. To facilitate the process, DoDEA established goal teams consisting of staff and faculty from throughout the organization. The teams worked through a deliberate process to first determine the outcomes that define success for each goal. Initiatives critical to achieving the goal outcomes were then identified and aligned within each of the implementing strategies. For each initiative, action plans will be created that highlight key developmental and implementation milestones/outcomes and performance metrics, identify current and future resource requirements for the initiative, and delineate responsibilities for the development and/or implementation of initiative essential tasks to organizational components. As such, the action plan framework constitutes a monitoring and accountability system for each initiative. At the school level, similar continuous improvement strategies will be developed to meet the unique needs of each school’s students, faculty and community. Upon implementation of the strategic plan at the beginning of school year 2013/14, there will be constant monitoring and, as needed, modification to ensure continuous progress towards goal achievement.
DoDEA will perform a formal review of the strategic plan at the end of each school year to measure the extent initiatives critical to goal success are progressing. The annual review serves to validate progress and determine the extent the plan must be modified to ensure continued progress toward the achievement of each goal. The review process facilitates the analysis of external environmental factors having a material impact on DoDEA operations and execution of the strategic plan. An annual accountability report will be published at the conclusion of each review. The report will highlight the progress made in each goal area, explain the reasons for and the extent of the modifications made to the implementing strategies, and provide the organizational priorities for the next school year. Together, the review and reporting processes support our need and desire to be transparent and accountable to those we serve.
Thanks to all of the members of the DoDEA community who assisted in completing Volume I of the Community Strategic Plan for school years 2013/14–2017/18. The plan’s enduring framework established in this volume is largely the product of the thoughtful insights of the many contributing parents, faculty, staff, union officials, Service partners and other key stakeholders. Their participation in the original research effort that resulted in the completion of the CSP Background Report and subsequent contributions to the strategic planning process ensured Volume 1 is reflective of community views. Clearly, the interest in and commitment to making DoDEA a nationally acclaimed school system is as widespread as the global geography of its schools.