Lynden Board Adopts Strategic Priorities

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Lynden Board Adopts Strategic Priorities, Creates Focus for Growth
Posted on 05/18/2022

Turning a school district's strategic plan from a document to a tool allows an entire system to work toward the same goal. The board of Lynden Schools adopted a new Strategic Priorities plan in fall 2021 and now features that plan to center the work of the district through 2024, creating goals and objectives all stakeholders and staff can identify. 


"Strategic plans are only as valuable as much as you focus on actionable work," says Mike Stromme, Lynden Schools interim superintendent. "We were able to identify high-level goals and specific target objectives within each of those goals to work on over the course of the three to four years of the plan." 


Approved by the board, the Strategic Priorities, with the mission that "All students graduate college, career and citizenship ready" and a vision that "High quality instruction and learning for every child, every day in every classroom" notes four main areas of focus:


• Safe and supportive learning environment that creates a caring environment where every child is known by name and need


• College and career ready graduates so all students are prepared for life after high school


• Family and community partnerships that nurture and build relationships with families and stakeholders to fully participate as partners in every child's education


• Culturally responsive and inclusive learning environment ensuring every student is included, feels welcome and is treated with dignity


Within each of those areas of focus comes foundational beliefs and core commitments that drive actionable goals and objectives. In January 2022 staff reported to the board on the progress of those goals and objectives, highlighting the focus the entire Lynden Schools system places on the Strategic Priorities. 


"We really have an opportunity to launch this work and create an environment where this is the focus of the work of the system," Stromme says. "The decisions that we make are anchored in that strategic plan, the lens we look through to move the system forward and create academic programs and supports for students and families that ultimately get our kids to graduation and ready for life, career, and college." 


Using the new Strategic Priorities framework, principals can now review their goals and target objectives, giving concrete weight to the plan and provide the ability for the board to review progress and highlight ongoing success from one school year to the next. 


Stromme says that while the plan has four areas of focus, they don't stand independent of each other. "These are integrated, and they overlap," he says. "That is really important. You don't get to a highly successful career and college ready graduate unless you have established a safe and supportive learning environment, created family and community partnerships and offered a culturally responsive and inclusive learning environment. If we take care of these pieces and provide the support, we will lift students to where they will need to be."