Wake County Public School System is undergoing a systemic change.
That was the message from Vision 2020 Strategic Plan Co-Chairs Karen Hamilton and Beth Hodge to the WCPSS School Board at a recent work session. That change is coming in every area of operation and planning in the school system.
Adopted by the school board in January 2015, Vision 2020 is composed of six core beliefs, five main objectives, and puts a focus on the 4 C’s – Creativity, Communication, Collaboration and Critical Thinking. All of these components drive the school system towards a single goal of graduating 95 percent of students by 2020.
Hodge and Hamilton shared the first of what will be monthly progress reports on the progress and evaluation of the implementation of the strategic plan in each of the five objectives. The report demonstrated what the committees have done to date and what they plan to do in the near future.
Some of the work of individual planning committees is already being presented to school board members for information or for a vote.
Most recently, the folks from the Human Capital objective’s subcommittee on Talent Management presented a plan to expand teacher leadership options within the school building. The goal is to give teachers the chance to remain in the classroom for a majority of their work day, but to spread into other areas of school leadership without completely becoming a school-based administrator.
As an example, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Doug Thilman told board members that a teacher might wish to serve as a classroom teacher to students, but also use part of the workday to teach other teachers.
These career pathways, as they are called, allow teachers to take on more responsibility and leadership without having to step into supervisory roles such as assistant principal or principal.
Another example might be a teacher who is a curriculum expert who either has many years of experience and deep content knowledge, or a teacher who comes to education from a high-demand private sector field such as biology and can offer professional development to other biology teachers in the school building.
The school board was supportive of the work and encouraged the team to continue moving forward.
Other plans have been presented already and more will come before the school board as well, because there are subcommittees in each of the five objectives of Human Capital, Learning and Teaching, Achievement, Balanced Assessment, and Community Engagement.
Ultimately, the strategic plan is more than just a vision. It is a framework for the future of Wake County Public Schools.