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On June 17, the District 65 School Board took an initial step toward preparing a new multi-year strategic plan. The Board appointed eight persons to a Strategic Plan Steering Committee: Candance Chow (School Board member); Richard Rykhus (School Board member); Hardy Murphy (Superintendent); Jim McHolland (principal of Chute Middle School); Paula Zelinski (incoming president of the District Educators Council, the teachers union); Therese McGuire (a District 65 parent, professor at the Kellog School of Management, and former member of the District’s ad hoc budget committee); Sylvia Rodriguez (a District 65 parent and former literacy advocate); and Jonathan Webb (a District 65 parent, former educator and health care professional, with experience in strategic planning).

The Committee will be co-chaired by Ms. Chow and Mr. Rykhus.

Ms. Chow said Penny Sebring will be included on the Steering Committee as an ad hoc advisor. Ms. Sebring is a founder and co-director of the Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research at the University of Chicago.

Ms. Chow said the Steering Committee “will be guiding the strategic planning process and the deliverables, ensuring we have a balanced approach and are engaging appropriate stakeholders in the community.” The Steering Committee will recommend a facilitator for the process, subject to approval by the School Board.

According to an outline presented to the Board on May 20, there will also be a Planning Team of 25-30 members which will define or refine values, beliefs, the mission and strategic priorities and goals. In addition, there will be Action Teams of five to seven members (including members of the Planning Team and other experts and educators) which will flesh out performance objectives and targets in each of the strategic goal areas.

The outline proposes that research and planning be done this summer. The Planning Team will meet in October – December. The Action Teams will meet in January and February 2014. The Strategic Plan will be submitted to the Board for approval in March 2014. 

The District’s current five-year strategic plan was adopted in March 2009, and covers the school years 2009-10 through 2013-14. One of the three-year goals adopted by the Board in August 2011 is to prepare a new strategic plan to commence with the 2014-15 school year.

Larry Gavin

Larry Gavin was a co-founder of the Evanston RoundTable in 1998 and assisted in its conversion to a non-profit in 2021. He has received many journalism awards for his articles on education, housing and...