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
“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.