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Strategic Plan

No other school district in America is undertaking the far-reaching 21st century transformation of K-12 education like DCSD.

We are reinventing the system because we know that century-old system was built for a different time, a time in which most students were being prepared for factory jobs. Our economy and our students have changed. It is only logical that our approach to education must change too.

“Game changer.  Risk taker.  Innovator.  Collaborator.  These are just a few of the desired traits sought by the nation’s largest employers. Unfortunately, for the last 100 years the American education system has been geared toward outcomes suited more for the assembly lines of the Industrial Revolution rather than the economy of the future.  Our goal is to prepare our students to compete on the world stage for the college or career pathway of their choice.”

Nearly three years ago, Douglas County School District (DCSD) embarked on a transformational journey to completely and systemically reinvent itself. Inspired by the research and work of Tony WagnerYong ZhaoMarc PrenskyJay McTigheGrant WigginsJim CollinsStephen CoveyPeter SengeCarole Miller LieberWillard DaggettTodd WhitakerAnnie E. Casey FoundationOECDATC21sMark TuckerNorm AugustineMichael FullanKen Kay, Howard Gardner and many others, we built a high-level plan for change – a plan that sets the stage for change based on the convergence of literature and research; a plan that empowers great teachers and leaders to transform American education for our students.

In March 2011, the DCSD Board of Education unanimously approved our proposed strategic plan, “New Outcomes for a New Day,” and set us on our journey to reinvent our profession and to reimagine our craft. For the first time of which I am aware, professional educators came together to redesign, and in some cases, completely reinvent our outcomes, assessments, teaching strategies, and evaluations simultaneously. Instead of well-intended legislation dictating the means of change, those closest to the students built the systems and components that have come together to create a model for the future of American public education.

Nearly three years later, it is time for a new three-year plan – a plan that will guide our work from 2014 to 2017. Then, we are looking forward to DCSD 2020.

This new plan does not chart a new course. Instead, it stays the course – building on what we have learned and imagining our priorities forward. One of the frailties of education is instability – not staying the course long enough. Leaders are often tempted to jump from one new idea to another. It is imperative that we not do that, no matter how tempting, so this plan continues our work on our three priorities of Choice, World Class Education, and System Performance. It takes each of those to the next level of implementation.


DCSD has long said that Safety is our number one priority. That is absolutely true and we have demonstrated this by leading the nation in designing and implementing the most innovative school safety strategies anywhere.

With this plan, we believe that it is time to move Safety forward as our first priority, bringing the total number of priorities in our district (and in our plan) to four. 

Department Strategic Plans

DCSD's departments aligned their priorities to the Strategic Plan, as outlined in these department plans:

Business Services
Community Relations
Development & Innovation
Information Technology
Human Resources
Legal Services
Nutrition Services
Personalized Learning
Strategic Sourcing
System Performance & Assessment
World Class Education