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Public education is a complex and forever-changing field. The amount of contemporary challenges and often daunting nature of the required interventions are incredibly formidable for educators. To effectively remain focused and poised to meet the total needs of all students, it is critical that districts reflect on the past, examine the present, and plan for the future to make sure they are providing the best education possible. The Board of Education for Lawton Public Schools met this challenge by engaging the Oklahoma State School Boards Association and the K20 Center for Community and Educational Renewal to lead the district in developing a five-year strategic plan. After a yearlong journey of collaborative and transparent planning and development beginning in September of 2021, the district has developed a comprehensive, stakeholder and data-driven plan for continuous improvement. Lawton Public Schools’ 2022-2027 Strategic Plan is recognized as a blueprint of transformation as it pertains to assisting the district in its goal of creating life-ready graduates.
The plan emphasizes improving academic achievement by improving the mastery of core content for all students, serving to differentiate instruction and provide authentic instruction that is relevant to students’ needs and interests. This will ensure students will construct their knowledge in a student centered classroom learning environment. Implementing ongoing and relevant training ensures that the knowledge and skills of staff stay relevant and up-to-date. The plan accomplishes this through focusing on a training and development plan for staff. This training and development plan will emphasize improving staff skill with technology to ultimately enhance student-centered use of technology in the classroom. Top-quality teaching fosters high student achievement. Currently, Oklahoma is facing a teacher shortage and has issued more than 4,000 emergency certified teachers. This creates a challenge for every school district in the state. Since teacher quality is the most influential factor that determines student success and this was the community’s top core value, this plan includes a recruitment and retention plan to deal with the obstacles faced in recruiting, hiring, and retaining personnel.
Another important core value of the community was a respectful and nurturing environment. Positive and healthy school cultures and school climates are the foundations of high-quality learning environments. In turn, these environments create the conditions for effective teaching and learning to occur. As a means to this end, the plan addresses improving student support programs, increasing parent involvement and communication, and increasing community connections with an emphasis on cultural awareness.
In order to implement the plan, consideration is given to managing and dedicating resources. The plan focuses on an ongoing facility and technology plan, improvement of student programs, and expanding opportunities for seeking outside revenue sources. This plan is the framework through which the district supports the development of each child to their potential. It will serve as the foundation for each school in the district to develop annual plans, which will be designed to support the implementation of the district’s five-year strategic plan. The initiatives and action steps will be continually monitored, and the Board of Education will be regularly updated as to the progress of the plan. This strategic plan sets the expectation that each student, regardless of ethnicity, language, disability, or income level can achieve high standards of learning. Strategies are included to ensure students will meet and exceed standards, graduate on time, and be life-ready.