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Designing our future: A five-year Community Education strategic plan

Contributed photo Rhonda Kent, a team member for strategy 5, providing family enhancement opportunities, outlined some goals with her group during a Community Education strategic planning session.

Strategic planning means determining what we want the future to be and developing a plan of action to create and design that future.

From February through May of this year, 40 community members worked on developing a vision of the future for District 206 Community Education. This committee was made up of students, parents, district staff and community members representing business, organizations, government, health, recreation and retirees.

They developed plans and processes we will utilize in shaping our future and recreating our programs toward extraordinary purposes.

The team spent two days developing a mission and determining our value systems. The mission is our unique purpose for our existence and the specific functions we perform.

Our mission is to inspire people to embrace life-enhancing experiences by providing engaging learning opportunities and innovative services, empowering them to serve and enrich the world.

The new logo fits the mission, replacing the "lifelong learning" to "learning for life," which captures the concept of learning throughout the lifespan, but also to enrich and enhance life through learning opportunities.

The planning committee also spent time studying data such as demographics; technology; marketplace and trends; local, state and global concerns and challenges; and 21st century learning skills.

This information was the basis in forming strategies, or bold pronouncements, with which we will accomplish our mission. The five strategies are:

#1. We will define and develop models of collaboration to achieve common goals.

#2. We will collaborate with youth to increase their involvement in learning, teaching, volunteering and decision making.

#3. We will create comprehensive and relevant programming that is responsive to the needs and interest of adults.

#4. We will provide family enhancement opportunities.

#5. We will align the organization and resources with strategic goals.

Result statements, with measurable outcomes, were then developed for the strategies. These were presented and approved by the school board in June. Staff and community members continue to refine action plans for each result statement, along with an implementation schedule.

This committee will prioritize actions, evaluate and monitor progress and annually report results to the community.

Change is an opportunity for growth. The strategic plan, executed within available resources, sets the direction for Community Education for the next five years. We will review our progress and update the plan accordingly.

We are committed to providing learning opportunities and partnerships that challenge individual and communities to achieve excellence through measureable outcomes.

We invite all Community Education stakeholders - which are all community members - to join in partnership with us and share responsibility for the education of all learners. We look forward to the next five years.