Comprehensive Planning Process & Purpose
South Butler County School District
The Pennsylvania Department of Education Strategic Planning framework is designed to create opportunities to reflect upon the needs of our student population and community. The comprehensive planning process includes several layers of effective organizational and educational practices that will lead to improved student performance. The South Butler County School District Comprehensive Plan provides a blueprint for the students, staff, and community members to provide a clear focus on the goal of supporting the unique learning needs of each student within the South Butler County School District.
The Pennsylvania Department of Education Comprehensive Planning Framework incorporates many familiar processes found in the works of Dr. Victoria Bernhardt, W. Edwards Deming, and the Baldridge Criteria for Education, and was modeled on Pennsylvania's design for Continuous School and District Improvement Planning (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/estrategic_planning/8949). The planning tools outline nine key indicators of high performing school districts. Shannon and Bylsma (2007) conducted research regarding factors that make schools great and summarize their work in the Nine Characteristics of High-Performing Schools. The South Butler County School District Comprehensive Plan has been designed to address these nine key indicators:
- Clear and Shared Focus
- High Standards and Expectations
- Effective District Leadership
- High Levels of Collaboration and Communication
- Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Aligned with Standards
- Frequent Monitoring of Teaching and Learning
- Focused Professional Development
- Supportive Learning Environment
- High Levels of Community and Parent Involvement
All nine indicators require a commitment from the administrative and instructional staff to minimize or eliminate the barriers that impact student learning. A commitment is also required of the community to support the students and staff for a successful future.
Strategic Planning Development Process
The South Butler County School District has utilized the strategic planning process as an opportunity to engage our community in a discussion to chart the path for the future of the District. Discussion with the SBCSD School Board began in February of 2018, and the District began to solicit staff and community participation in March of 2018. A posting on the District website and Facebook page was created to engage staff and community participation. Nearly 50 community members expressed interest in being a part of the Comprehensive Planning Committee. All interested parties were asked to join the Steering Committee and become active members of the Subcommittees.
The South Butler County School District held a Steering Committee Comprehensive Planning meeting on April 17, 2018. This meeting involved participation of all members of the Comprehensive Planning Committee. The framework for discussion was built around the need to create subcommittees to focus on specific aspects of the strategic planning process. At the April 17th meeting an introduction to strategic planning was provided, and committee members were grouped based upon areas of interest and expertise. The entire Steering Committee discussed and agreed upon the purpose of the subcommittee structure, expectations for the group, and time frames for completion of the work. Throughout the process of developing various components of the Comprehensive Plan, the South Butler County School District Board of Directors and Strategic Planning Committee members were updated via email.
The April 17, 2018 committee meeting began with an overview of the process and by focusing on the vision and mission of the South Butler County School District. All committee members provided input and representatives of administration, teaching staff, parental and community volunteers collaborated for the development of a meaningful plan. District administration representation also provided oversight for leading the work of the small subcommittees. The six subcommittees were Academic Achievement, Budget and Fiscal Affairs, Operational Services, Special Education, Staff Services, and Student Services.
Subcommittees met periodically between the April 17th meeting and early September prior to the start of the 2018-2019 school year. Also, on September 27, 2018 an elementary group of teacher volunteers met in the morning and a secondary group met in the afternoon to discuss the specific components of the plan and the need for resources to meet the goals and expectations presented both within the PDE Comprehensive Plan framework and the local goals and action steps within the local plan. Upon completion of the work within each of the subcommittees, a presentation was given at the October 3, 2018 Board Meeting. Representatives from each of the six subcommittees discussed the process of reaching the goals and action steps.
- Academic Achievement- To plan the direction for curriculum, instruction, and assessment for the District.
- Special Education- To examine transitioning procedures for our students throughout the District for post-secondary opportunities.
- Staff Services- To develop structures that support the education of staff members throughout our District.
- Budget and Fiscal Affairs- To evaluate current funding sources and assess solutions for sustainable services throughout the school district.
- Operational Services- To increase utilization of technology and to ensure that our buildings continue to be welcoming learning environments.
- Student Services- To create systems where students are empowered to pursue interests and goals while managing lifelong learning.
Mission and Beliefs
South Butler County School District Mission Statement
The mission of the South Butler County School District is to provide a quality education for all students to become productive members of society.
In order to equip all students for successful futures in an ever-changing society, the South Butler County School District bases its programs and services on the following core beliefs that all members of the school community (teachers, administrators, parents, students and community members) support and share responsibility for:
- Improved student achievement is the District’s first priority.
- High expectations for all schools throughout each area of the organization are necessary for
- Students will become mature and responsible citizens.
- The learning environment will be free of disruptive and destructive behaviors.
- Staff members will partner with families and community members to support behavioral and
academic growth of all students within the instructional setting.