City Schools of Decatur new five-year plan approved

City Schools of Decatur (CSD) has launched a new five-year strategic plan that officials said will “center on the whole student’s social, emotional and cognitive development.”

The plan received unanimous support from the CSD Board of Education. It was adopted and approved at the board’s March 14 meeting.

Maggie Fehrman, CSD superintendent, presented the plan at the meeting before the vote where she said “a pandemic and rapidly changing social landscape” necessitated an updated strategic plan for the district.

“We haven’t had a strategic plan for CSD in many years,” Fehrman said. “This new plan is community-inspired and encompasses everyone. It will bring out the best in our students, teachers, parents, and community.”

The plan, titled “All In Decatur,” was developed through a yearlong process led by school and district leadership, stated officials.

According to Fehrman’s presentation, “The plan is focused on four strategic accelerators that leverage the strengths of the community to improve CSD’s areas of growth while also taking advantage of the many opportunities in the community.” They are:

  • Building and sustaining an engaging and inclusive culture
  • Organizational effectiveness and excellence
  • Cultivating and retaining quality professionals
  • Success for students in all areas

Fehrman also stated that “equity will be woven into the fabric of everything across the district and is no longer an isolated initiative.”

“We are reimagining what school looks like to meet the needs of all students,” said Fehrman. “Inclusion for all students is central to these efforts. We are creating a space where every student, regardless of grade level, race, gender identity, ability level, or interests, will feel included and feel like they belong.”

According to district officials, “All In Decatur was developed with intentional inclusion of all stakeholder groups while centering historically marginalized voices throughout the process.”

During the development process, the Georgia School Boards Association and Georgia Leadership Institute for School Improvement facilitated community engagement meetings and a community survey to collect information from all stakeholders regarding CSD’s strengths, opportunities, weaknesses, and threats. A planning team convened to review the data and build a strategy. Then, an action team began developing performance measures, initiatives, and action steps. Fehrman said she also met with a student advisory group throughout the process to review the plan and ensure the student perspective was at the forefront of the plan.

“To achieve priority student outcomes, CSD will cultivate scholars to become leaders in their community who live healthy, self-sufficient lives, become life-long learners, participate in productive civic engagement, and feel fulfilled in their careers,” stated officials. “Additionally, CSD will improve opportunities, access, and classroom environments so all scholars can achieve high academic results, equitable representation in advanced classes, and equitable discipline outcomes.”

Regular updates on the progress being made toward the implementation of the strategic plan will occur during regularly scheduled board meetings or work sessions in November and next year in February, May, and August, stated officials.

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