Strategic Planning 2021 Task Force Begins!

  • The district is excited to share important information about our strategic plan development and the wide range of stakeholders that will participate in the process. As the Superintendent and Chief Learner, Dr. Roberson will be working collaboratively with stakeholders to evolve our district’s strategy so that all students experience Birmingham Public Schools in a way that allows them to reach their greatest potential academically and socially-emotionally. To accomplish this, we will engage in the strategic planning process through five phases:  

    1. Process Design- Develop a process and timeline 
    2. Community Engagement- Solicit a wide range of stakeholders to participate in committees, facilitate focus groups, administer community wide survey
    3. Learning Phase- Analzye data 
    4. Strategic Plan Design Phase- Author foundational statements, core values, priorities and action plan
    5. Communication Plan- Share strategic plan with community  

    This process will be inclusive and involve input from all stakeholders.  Working with Hanover Research Group we will facilitate two, parallel conversations between a Core Design Team and an Advisory Committee.  Further, there will be a Review Committee that will review and provide feedback on all draft documents before they are finalized. These three groups make up the BPS Strategic Plan Taskforce. Additionally, focus groups will be held to further provide data and feedback from our community. Below is a description of each group and their primary purpose.

    Core Design Team: This team will consist of key decision-makers responsible for planning the design of the district plan process. This group will finalize recommendations from the Advisory Committee, incorporate feedback from the Review Committee, and author the action plan designed to achieve the strategic plan goals.   

    Advisory Committee: This group is comprised of 29 key stakeholders such as school administrators, teachers and parents. The committee will work together to draft and recommend key foundation statements, district priorities, core values, goals, and action steps. 

    Review Committee: This group is comprised of 31 key stakeholders such as school administrators, teachers, parents and community members. The committee will work together to review draft documents produced by the Advisory Committee and recommend revisions and enhancements to the Core Design Team. 

    Focus Groups: These groups encompass multiple stakeholders in various sessions. Focus groups include students, staff, full community, affinity groups and parent and community partners. These groups provide feedback through guided discussions around current and future work within Birmingham Public Schools.  

Community Engagement & Learning Phase

  • Advisory Committee

  • Review Committee

  • Focus Groups

  • Strategic Plan Diagnostic Survey

The Untold Stories of Strategic Planning

  • Priorities and Aims, Oh My!

    Posted by April Imperio on 4/2/2022

    Image of people talking.

    On March 16th, 2022, there was a small but mighty group of advisory committee members convened at the Education and Administration Center for three hours. That group split into smaller groups of 3 or 4 and conducted a SWOT analysis, developed priorities and aims for the following topics: 

    • Community Dynamics 
    • Financial Factors 
    • Human Resources 
    • Physical Resources 
    • Academics
    • Whole Child Factors 

    Fueled by delicious salad and turkey rolls, the group powered through a dynamic session centered in collaboration, providing thoughtful feedback that resulted in a strong set of priorities and aims related to each of the topics.

    Differentiating Priorities and Aims  

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  • March Madness

    Posted by April Imperio on 4/2/2022

    March Madness 

    March has been a busy month for strategic planning in Birmingham Public Schools. Due to the predictable mid-west March snow storm, the third advisory committee meeting was rescheduled to March 8th. Kathy and Matt from Hanover Research had an ambitious plan for the three-hour virtual meeting, which included:   

    • Review and Collaborate on Core Values, Vision, and Mission 
    • Analyze Gaps through Data Review 
    • Conduct SWOT Analysis
    • Draft Priorities, Aims, and SMARTIE Goals 

    The committee was able to review a synthesis of feedback provided by the review committee on the draft core values:  

    • Combine Equity and Inclusion? Combine Equity, Inclusion and Community?
    • Achievement – including a component around striving to meet their full potential.
    • Community – perhaps “cooperation” instead of “partnership” in definition.
    • Perseverance – perhaps “resilience” instead of or in addition to?
    • Incorporate home/parent connection in all values?
    • Embed “Perseverance” and “ integrity” with all four other values?
    • Being more specific with language – i.e., “authentic assessment;” “all” – change to “every;” “shared responsibility.” 

    After reviewing the feedback, the committee engaged in a discussion about what they agreed with in the feedback. The committee will spend an entire homework session in the month of April revising the draft vision, mission, and core values after they have deeply analyzed and considered the focus group and strategic plan survey data.  

    The remainder of the session was designed to model for the committee how to conduct a root cause and SWOT analysis and draft priorities, aims and SMARTIE goals.  

    Graphic of Contextualizing Priorities

    At the end of the session, the committee had an initial understanding of the task ahead for the homework session and they had brainstormed some big bucket priorities such as: Improved Academic Outcomes, Providing Students with Advanced Curriculum, Allocating Human Resources Based on Need, Mechanisms for Equitable Support Resources, Teacher Workload/Wellbeing, Strengthening Home/School Relationships, Equity for Learners, and Inclusive School Communities. Further, the committee decided that moving forward we would meet in person. 

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  • The Review Committee's Feverish Feedback

    Posted by April Imperio on 2/24/2022

    On February 2, 2022, there was a flurry of activity happening during our virtual review committee meeting! As our partners from Hanover Research walked the committee through a series of activities designed to capture the committee’s initial reactions to draft core values, vision, and mission statements, I was visualizing steam rising from each of the 34 participants' computers as they typed furiously to keep up with our pace. In the end, the committee provided insightful feedback. For example, the review committee shared the following related to the draft core values: “Could the core values be personalized to Birmingham with fewer buzz words?”  You know how much educators love our buzz words! This reflection will lead to more personalization of our core values, which will only strengthen our educational community. 

    The core design team leveraged feedback to update the vision and mission statements, which will be shared and revised again by the advisory committee. A key recommendation shared by the review committee was to ensure that our vision is “simple, not so wordy and includes the community.” Further, the advisory committee will consider enhancements to the core values during their workshop #2 after reading the feedback from the review committee.  

    Although we were able to glean unbelievably valuable information from this exhilarating experience, we also learned we might need more than an hour for our future review committee meetings. What do you think review committee members should we extend our next meeting to 1.5? 

    Hands typing fast

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  • Workshop #1 Homework Complete!

    Posted by April Imperio on 1/26/2022

    Over the past three weeks, the Advisory Committee has been hard at work completing three tasks. Two tasks were completed as “homework” and the third task was completed during our virtual session on Monday, January 26, 2022. These three tasks are outlined below:  

    Task #1: Core Values   

    Our Core Values are the ideals for which we refuse to compromise as we conduct our mission in pursuit of our vision. Each advisory team member participated in an exercise that encouraged them to reflect on the emerging core values that were considered during Workshop #1. Using an online resource called Padlet, they participated in a virtual conversation related to three key questions about each of the potential core values.  

    • What are three behaviors that support this core value? 
    • What are the behaviors that are detrimental to this core value? 
    • What is an example of a time when BPS (Birmingham Public Schools) has fully embodied this core value? 

    Committee members authored their own response to each question and were able to comment on other member’s postings.  

    Task #2: Vision Statement 

    Next, the committee used IdeaBoardz to respond to thought provoking questions that would inform the development of a draft vision statement.  

    • What is our ultimate destination as a district? 
    • What are some aspects of our current vision that we refuse to compromise?
    • What are the main components you would like to include in a new Vision for BPS?
    • Upon your reflection on answering these questions and upon reviewing other districts’ vision and mission statements, are there missing elements that you might consider this round in the strategic planning process? 

    Also, members were invited to share a draft vision with the committee.  

    Task #3: Develop a Working Draft of Core Values and Vision Statement 

    To accomplish this task, the team met on January 24, 2022. During the virtual workshop, the committee came to consensus on potential core values and authored initial working drafts that define what those core values mean to BPS. Further, the committee reviewed draft vision statements that were authored as a part of Task #2 and voted on their potential to be a launching point. The committee then went into breakout groups to develop five different potential vision statements.  The dedication and commitment of the members of the Advisory Committee continues to be inspiring! 

    The core design team met this morning, January 26th, to review the drafts and consult with Hanover, who shared three key recommendations to improve upon the drafts and move the work forward. On February 2, 2022, the Review Committee will review the draft documents and provide initial reaction and feedback, which will then be shared back with the Advisory Committee during Workshop #2. At that time, the Advisory Committee will begin to review strategic plan survey data and focus group data, which they will use along with the Review Committee feedback to further refine and enhance the draft core values and vision statement. They will also begin working on the mission statement and thinking about key priorities that will help BPS achieve our vision. Stay tuned for an update on how the Focus Groups are going!  


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  • Advisory Committee Workshop 1

    Posted by April Imperio on 1/11/2022 12:55:00 AM


    On January 5, 2022 between 5 and 8 PM there was a buzz at the Education Administration Building as over 30 key stakeholders gathered to begin the exciting work of strategic planning for Birmingham Public Schools.  Our partners, Hanover Research along with our Superintendent, Dr. Roberson planned a robust evening of collaboration focused around four essential questions: 

    1. What steps and actions are indispensable to successful strategic planning? How can Birmingham Public Schools ensure it completes these steps with fidelity?
    2. How does the district’s standing vision and mission for education drive iterative cycles of strategic planning? How are strategic goals derived from and built upon vision and mission statements?
    3. Which environmental and contextual factors will impact Birmingham’s strategic planning process the most?
    4. How should each stakeholder group be involved in the strategic planning process? How, and when, should the district communicate and invite contributions and feedback?

    Participants were oriented to the stages of the process and their specific role as the advisory committee. After breaking into small groups, the committee reflected on previous strategic planning practices, considered potential core values and dissected current vision and mission statements while learning how to develop and re-develop the mission and vision for BPS.  The collaborative time together ended with "homework" assignments for the committee that included:

    1. Core Values - Confirm and define initial top 5 Focus Values. 
    2. What is our Vision? – Craft a draft Vision Statement. 
    3. Create a roadmap for how we will reach our Vision – this will serve as our draft Mission.

    At this time the committee is working diligently on their homework, which will be completed before the next consultation with Hanover Research and the Core District Leadership team.  Stay tuned for continued updates as we move through the strategic planning process as a community!

    Group working

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