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 SDCOE Ahead of Schedule with Strategic Plan Results

As the San Diego County Office of Education began the final year of its five-year Strategic Plan recently, we have reached all but four of the 21 specific results set as goals in 2009.

“We are ahead of schedule, which is exciting,” said Michele Fort-Merrill, assistant superintendent of human resources.

The success of the strategic planning process doesn’t mean the work is done. Instead, discussions will begin soon with educators and community members to put together another five-year plan that will guide decisions and work through 2018.

The SDCOE has hired a consultant to facilitate that work, which is expected to begin early next year.

One of the newer aspects of the current plan that will also be included in the new one are built-in specific metrics that help assess progress.

“We wanted to make sure that we were making a difference and not just working to work,” Fort-Merrill said about the metrics.

The Strategic Plan was created to guide employees by sharpening and clarifying priorities and areas of focus. The document includes the SDCOE's mission, beliefs, objectives, parameters and strategies.

"We weren’t nimble and we know that great organizations are flexible,” said Leonita Cole, executive assistant to the superintendent. ”The strategic plan really helped us to do that.”

The Strategic Plan Implementation Advisory Team will hold its first meeting of the 2013-14 school year next month. The team includes employees from all divisions within the SDCOE and is led by the county superintendent of schools. Its charge is to ensure that all SDCOE operations are aligned with the Strategic Plan.

The team will begin giving monthly reports to the County Board of Education beginning in December.