Liberty schools prepare new strategic plan

Jeremy Tucker sits at his desk among strategic planning documents. As superintendent of Liberty Public Schools, Tucker's goal in the strategic planning process is to reach students where they are and maintain an equitable learning environment that promotes real-world experience for all.

LIBERTY — Superintendent of Liberty Public Schools Jeremy Tucker said developing a new strategic plan for Liberty schools has been different from what has been done in the past. The plan itself is not static or fixed.

“The plans are really just a working document,” Tucker said.

Starting with input from students, staff, parents, community members and business leaders in the area, Tucker said the plan was developed by capturing recurring themes: teaching, learning, professional growth, leadership and community.

“Within those themes, we took the feedback and started looking at crafting vision statements,” Tucker said.

After combining and compressing more than 60 original statements, the district’s plan team was able to create a list of 22 areas of focus. Each statement is accompanied by deliverables, budget areas, project title and the department assignment, Tucker said.

Being a working document, he explained, means there are steps staff will take to achieve each deliverable, and those steps may change as the vision does.

An example of a vision statement is having flexible schedules aimed at providing customized learning for students pursuing passions and interests. Tucker said a step toward this would be providing or allowing time for transportation.

Another piece developed based on stakeholder feedback is a graduate profile.

“The graduation profile will identify the types of skills we want our students to have upon graduation,” Tucker said.

According to a rough draft of the profile provided by the district, there are a handful of major characteristics each graduate is desired to have: academic skills, cultural skills, personal skills, professional skills and entrepreneurial skills.

The draft, which has not been finalized, also lists traits that help achieve those characteristics in students, such as being able to develop meaningful relationships with people of diverse backgrounds, a trait that falls into the category of cultural skills. Another example is recognizing opportunities for success, which is an entrepreneurial skill.

“So a vision statement is aspirational,” Tucker said. “From that you think of what steps will get us there, then strategic goals.”

As the strategic plan continues to be developed, equity is a key focus.

“We need to ensure we are meeting students where they are at,” Tucker said.

To achieve this goal, Tucker said they will focus on removing barriers, inform students of career opportunities and what each opportunity requires, whether it be a high school education, post-secondary or graduate level studies. The district will also partner with local businesses, professionals and colleges.

This can provide insight into the market and what it will look like when students graduate, Tucker said. “We will rethink traditional high school.”

Tucker added the goal is to provide every student with real-world experience that goes back to meeting students where they are. It aims to keep students from slipping through the cracks. Some students may do better with dual-credit coursework, while others will be better served by apprenticeships.

“They will need to know the expectations and have certain skills,” Tucker said. “But it is designed to be equitable.”

Northwest Editor Sean Roberts can be reached at sean.roberts@mycouriertribune.com or 389-6606.​

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