New strategic plan offers Bexley community a voice in future of the school district

A new three-year strategic plan aimed at improving the school district for the 2023-2024 school year is in progress after the Bexley Board of Education voted to pass the plan Wednesday, Sept. 14.

Superintendent Dr. Jason Fine, who is a contributing member in creating the new strategic plan, explained that the goal of the plan is to identify the most important areas for improvement. Those areas will be identified through the results of the discussions and focus groups being held now through December, he said.

“The collaborative and result-based process we will walk through will help assess and identify our areas of focus and goals,” Fine said. “We want and need input from every stakeholder group, including students, to develop a plan that guides our district forward together.”

The planning process will be split into three phases, each with different goals and timespans, he said.

The first phase will be focused on the collection of data and information, the second phase will include conversations and studies on the areas identified in phase one and the third phase will focus on outlining the goals the district has decided to address and what actions they will take to achieve them, Fine explained.

He added that the district will be working with Big Questions Institute, an organization that collaborates with schools to further professional learning, to help develop the plan that will be delivered to the school community in May 2023.

“The BQI team will be conducting focus groups and doing small group/individual interviews with diverse groups of parents, students, teachers and others to identify the strengths of the Bexley schools, challenges and obstacles that might stand in the way of growth and opportunities for moving into the future,” Fine said.

Fine added that BQI stood out among a group of experts when presenting their proposal, and that they have proven themselves to be highly capable leaders.

“Their past clients are located in both the U.S. and across the globe, and their work has earned them an international reputation as leading thinkers about education and the larger world,” Fine said.

The most recent plan that was implemented covered the years 2018-2021, and Fine said that revisiting the practice of utilizing a strategic plan will help create new opportunities and allow the school to learn from the previous plan.

“As an educational institution, we believe strongly in learning from the experiences of the past and embracing new innovations and ideas that can enhance or refocus our efforts for excellence,” Fine said.

Chief Academic Officer Casey Cosgray said that one of the main goals of the plan is to give more support to everyone who is a part of the school district by focusing on the areas most identified for growth.

“We want to provide the best educational opportunities for our students while providing the resources for our staff to facilitate the teaching and learning process,” she said.

Cosgray added that Bexley City Schools intends to prioritize being inclusive throughout the process in order to make more voices heard.

Fine explained there are multiple ways in which they plan on prioritizing inclusivity.

“We are working to create several opportunities for feedback and community input to inform the final action-oriented plan that will lead and guide the district forward into its future,” he said.

Fine also said that the plan creates an opportunity to use new ideas and methods in order to benefit students.

“The current state of our world means that schools can no longer ‘do better.’ Rather, we must ‘do differently,’” he explained. “We have to look at our teaching and learning practices, our systems and structures and develop clear steps to support the needs of our students.”

Cosgray said that the end goal for the plan is to create an environment with more opportunities for development and learning within the school district.

“I hope to see happy, healthy and successful students and staff who are supported by the entire Bexley community,” she added.

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Alina Lacki
Alina Lacki is a senior at Bexley High School and is a feature editor on The Torch. Outside of the Torch, she plays softball and is involved in the Environmental Club.