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Running head: STRATEGIC PLAN 1

Strategic Plan Analysis: Lakeview High School

Olga M. Herget

EDU515 Measurements and Metrics

Dr. Niralee Patel-Lye


STRATEGIC PLAN

Strategic Plan Analysis: Lakeview High School

Lakeview High School (LHS) is located in an urban residential community, which

serves a portion of the city of Waterbury, Connecticut. The comprehensive high school includes

grades 9-12 and the student body consists of approximately 1,774 students. The school’s 2014-

2015 self-generated profile provides general information about curriculum design,

student/teacher population, and standardized test scores. It also depicts a troubled organization in

need of guidance, reform, and a unified vision. An examination of the data in the report provides

clear evidence LHS is not meeting the needs of the current student population. The current state

of the organization must be examined to create a solid and accessible school improvement plan.

SWOT Analysis

A good technique to assess the current state of an organization is a Strengths, Weakness,

Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis. The process of creating an articulated and strategic

plan helps an organization to agree on an outcome. (OnStrategy, n.d.). A SWOT analysis

identifies problems, determines where changes can occur, and organizes information for all

stakeholders (Work Group, 2016). The report provided by Lakeview High School informs the

following SWOT chart

S W

 Experienced and dedicated teachers  CHALLENGED rating by CSDE


 Manageable class size (21 students)  Significantly performing below the
 Successful Fine Arts Program district reference group (DRG) average
 Successful Athletic Program in Mathematics and Science
 Partnership with higher education  Low graduation rate (19%)
institutions  Low attendance rate (55%)
 Limited availability of Honors and AP
course work
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 In need of technology update


 Lack of alignment between school
beliefs and school action
 Lack of evidence of fostering
community within and outside of
school walls

O T

 Provide professional development for  Increasing enrollment, no room for


teachers and staff facility to grow
 Develop a curriculum with high  Shrinking economic base
standards  State budget cuts
 Offer more Honors/AP courses  City budget cuts
 Create a stronger mentoring program
within the school
 Create leadership opportunities for
student body within the school
 Strengthen the relationship between
students and community

Issues Affecting the Organization

One significant issue affecting Lakeview High School is a clear misalignment between

the organization’s beliefs and practices. The report shares the following core school beliefs:

1. Relationships built on honesty and mutual respect create responsible and effective

communities.

2. Diversity is our strength and unity is our power.

3. Equity is the prerequisite for community vitality.

4. Everyone has worth and value and is integral to society.

5. Mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health are essential for optimal learning.

6. High expectations are required to achieve goals, hopes, and dreams.


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7. High quality education produces responsible citizen and vibrant communities.

8. Teaching and learning are essential to the human experience of growth and change.

9. Embracing change opens doors of possibilities.

10. Education is the shared responsibility of the entire community.

The school’s core beliefs depict a forward-thinking organization, which is preparing

students for a diverse and competitive world. The data provided does not support statement

number six, High expectations are required to achieve goals, hopes, and dreams. The limited

number of advanced courses available to students does not reflect a high academic expectation.

Academic rigor supports independent thinking and prepares students for higher learning (A Lack,

2011). Currently students can only take honors courses in two years of English, and a handful of

Mathematics and Science classes. Additionally, Advancement Placement (AP) courses are only

offered through the English Department. It is important to note LHS does not weight grades

received in AP or Honors courses, thus the school does not acknowledge students who challenge

themselves academically. The lack of a challenging curriculum, class opportunities, and

scholarly recognition demonstrate a low commitment to providing growth opportunities.

Another example of conflict between beliefs and actual school practice can be found in

statement number ten, Education is the shared responsibility of the entire community. Studies

show the rate of a student’s success is generally the result of three groups collaborating to

provide the best opportunities for the future—teachers, parents, and the community (Why

Community, n.d.). The report does reflect some student involvement with the community

through volunteer work, sporting events, and theatrical productions. It is a requirement for

students to complete one credit of community service to graduate. However, the report does not

elaborate on what constitutes community service, nor does it share data on the number of
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students who participate in and complete the community service requirement. Furthermore, the

school’s plan states students will have the opportunity to expand their interests and broaden

community relationships. How does the school provide these opportunities? In addition, what

protocol is in place to encourage parental and citywide community involvement with the school

community?

The second significant issue affecting the school is a lack of leadership. A

successful leader must demonstrate responsibility, honesty, and the ability to delegate (Doyle,

2017). The current low graduation rate demonstrates a lack of responsibility by the current

school leaders. An underperforming school does not happen overnight and Lakeview’s

administration should have addressed the issue at an earlier point. True leaders are able to

inspire others to work toward a common goal. They inform employees of expectations, delegate

responsibilities, and monitor the situation. In schools, well-functioning leadership and teaching

teams are essential to the continuous improvement of any learning community (Sparks, 2013, p.

28). The report shares basic teacher staff information including years in teaching (14.6 years),

level of education (79.4% hold a Master’s Degree or higher), and number of mentors or

cooperating teachers (32%). The report also indicates a low level of teacher absences (6.3%) in

the previous school year. The data depicts Lakeview High School teachers as dedicated,

experienced and well educated. It is clear the teaching staff at LHS is fully capable of providing

students with multiple opportunities to grow personally and academically. The reports does not

share evidence of how teachers at the school prepare students for future educational and career

goals, nor does it share specific roles teachers play within the organization.

. Data Needed to Support Goals of Lakeview High School

In the report, Lakeview High School states four goals for the organization:
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 Fifty percent of all students will meet state graduation test requirements.

 All core departments will have CCSS aligned courses, lessons, and CFAs (monthly

department meeting to analyze data)

 Increase proficiency rates (as measured by classroom grades and standardized tests) in

mathematics by 15%

 Increase graduation rate to 70%

These goals will not be achieved without an accessible and organized strategic plan.

The report provided by LHS share very little information about who the students are, where

they come from, and where they see themselves going after high school. LHS must collect

four types of data to understand the current state of the organization. The four types of data to

collect and use as indicators of school success and progress are as follows: achievement data,

demographic data, program data, and perception data (Guide to Using, 2004, p. 7).

It is evident administrators at LHS are aware of some demographic factors affecting

the student body. The report mentions economic hardship and forecasts an increase in

free/reduced school lunch participants within the next ten years. However, the report is

lacking many details of the community where the students live. Demographic data that

would inform the strategic plan include (p. 11):

 Suspension activity (in and outside of school)

 Retention activity

 Class Failure activity

 Enrollment numbers for special programs (ELL, Gifted, etc)

 Neighborhood Characteristics
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 Level of parental involvement

Program data is also lacking in the report. The student performance section of the

report only relates in which courses current graduates earned credit. It does reflect

students taking advantage of vocational courses and world language. However, it does

not reflect how well students did in these courses. In addition, there is no information on

the senior class members who did not graduate.

Finally, Lakeview High School needs to acquire perception data. It is important to

gather data from all community members including teachers, students, parents, and Waterbury

residents. Data should be collected in a survey or poll. Learning Points Associates (p. 12) share

sample questions to ask of all stakeholders

 How do the members of our school community feel about our school and district?

 How satisfied are school community members about our educational programs?

 What do the members of our school community perceive to be the strengths and

needs in our school?

By asking these questions, the leaders of LHS will be able to gauge how the school is perceived.

Do the students see diversity as the school’s strength? Do parents agree the school promotes the

value and worth of all students? Does the outside community feel education is a shared

responsibility?

Conclusion

Lakeview High School faces many challenges. Much data must still be collected to

inform a strategic plan that is both achievable and beneficial to all stakeholders. Once designed,

all stakeholders must be informed of the plan, given attainable goals, and monitored for level of

success.
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References

A Lack of Rigor Leaves Students 'Adrift' In College. (2011, February 9). NPR. Retrieved from

https://www.npr.org/2011/02/09/133310978/in-college-a-lack-of-rigor-leaves-students-

adrift

Doyle, A. (2017, June 8). Top 10 Leadership Skills. The Balance. Retrieved from

https://www.thebalance.com/top-leadership-skills-2063782

Guide to Using Data in School Improvement Efforts. (2004). Learning Point Retrieved from

http://wvde.state.wv.us/schoolimprovement/documents/guidebook.pdf

OnStrategy. (n.d.). How to perform a SWOT Analysis [Video file]. Retrieved from

https://onstrategyhq.com/resources/video-how-to-perform-a-swot-analysis-a-whiteboard-

video/

Spark, D. (2013, April).STRONG TEAMS, STRONG SCHOOLS. Learning Forward. Retrieved

from https://learningforward.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/strong-teams-strong-

schools.pdf

Why Community Involvement in Schools is Important. (n.d.) Pride Surveys. Retrieved from

https://www.pridesurveys.com/index.php/blog/community-involvement-in-schools/

Work Group for Community Health and Development, University of Kansas. (2016). SWOT

analysis: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Retrieved from

https://ctb.ku.edu/en/table-of-contents/assessment/assessing-community-needs-and-

resources/swot-analysis/mail