Greenwich Board of Education Announces Its New Strategic Plan

At the Greenwich Board of Education February meeting a 2022-2027 Strategic Plan was approved. The previous strategic plan expired in 2020.

The plan reflects a full year of work. The Strategic Plan committee includes Michael-Joseph Mercanti-Anthony (chair), Karen Hirsh and Karen Kowalski.

The goal was to capture the spirit of the previous plan, while supporting the district in reaching new levels of excellence.

In particular, coming after the pandemic and the challenges of learning loss, the BOE wanted to make sure that clear benchmarks were set.

The plan tries to support both the literacy and math success of every child. Every student has an individual goal that the state sets based on where they currently are.

“It’s a way to makes sure we continue success post-Covid. We’ve made progress since the pandemic in closing some of the academic gaps. But the plan is a way to try to keep the focus on the achievement of every student,” Mr. Mercanti-Anthony said.

The Board of Education released the following statement this week:

Starting after the last BOE election, the board’s strategic plan committee has worked with district leadership to craft a new plan. Central to the new plan’s design is the concept of “stretch goals.” These are defined as big, ambitious, long-term goals rooted in student achievement. These goals cannot be obtained in a year, but chart a course for district leaders over the length of the plan.

Fundamentally, each goal seeks to more fully realize the Greenwich “Vision of the Graduate.” This statement of core values was adopted in 2009 after a year-long conversation across the community about what we wanted 21 st century graduates of GPS to be able to know and do. We believe the vision statement is just as relevant now as twelve years ago and that the new strategic plan builds on this solid foundation.

The new plan has six goals, each with respective annual benchmarks that set a path towards the ultimate target. Interested residents can read the full goal statement and supporting documents on the district website.

Goal 1 focuses on mastery of reading, tracking individual growth targets for every student in grades 3 – 8, using the annual state literacy exam to measure this growth. The Board recognizes that nothing is more central to students’ long-term academic prognosis than early achievement of literacy proficiency.

Goal 2 for mastery of mathematics, also tracks individual growth targets along with a goal that at least 75% of our students achieve algebra proficiency by 8th grade, and at least 80% be proficient on the 11th grade SAT.

Goal 3 is to achieve a GHS graduation rate of at least 99%. Goals 4, 5 and 6 of the plan focus on other elements of our community, including parents and staff, that ultimately feed and support student achievement.

Goal 4 seeks to improve opportunities for families to partner in their children’s education.

Goal 5 seeks to increase students’ sense of belonging in school. This was selected as a goal since we know that students who do not feel psychologically safe and connected in school are often unable to reach their full academic potential.

Goal 6 seeks to improve our staff’s positive sense of their work environment and self-sufficiency, via greater professional development, instructional coaching, and observation.

Central staff and building administrators are currently fleshing out action plans for each goal. Each building’s annual school improvement plan will be rooted in these metrics, which full reports made public each fall for the community to review.

The Board believes that the new strategic plan sets a bold vision for increased excellence while focusing the core work of the district on teaching and learning. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with all members of the community as we work to realize even greater outcomes for our students.