Steamboat schools’ new strategic plan is nearly done

Board of Education set to approve the plan on June 13

The Steamboat Springs School District's new strategic plan includes a graduate profile of what skills students should have when they leave the valley.
Steamboat Springs School District/Screenshot

The new strategic plan for the Steamboat Springs School District includes three focus areas, a profile outlining skills graduates should have when they leave the Yampa Valley and a variety of measurable goals to ensure the plan is working.

While not entirely complete — there may be some minor changes to the plan ahead of school board approval — the plan is based on comments from nearly 200 members of the community.

The school board is set to approve the new strategic plan on June 13.

“I am just really excited to have a community-driven plan to guide the board,” said school board president Katy Lee. “It’s always hard to gather input and decide where the best way to go is and now we’ve had this big process that actually helps to that.”

An effort to rewrite the district’s strategic plan started in 2019, but was that was put on hold at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was picked back up last fall when the district hired Denver-based nonprofit Colorado Education Initiative to facilitate the planning.

The first focus area is “learning experiences that support students to reach their fullest potential.” One goal for this area is to have at least 90% of students meeting or exceeding academic growth in all schools using the district’s various assessments by June 2027. The district will also give all teachers cultural responsive training by 2027 to ensure schools are inclusive of diverse cultures, identities and experiences.

“There was a lot of compliments and a lot of praise about where our students are and our current outcomes,” said Jay Hamric, director of teaching and learning for the district, about feedback from the plan’s steering committee. “(The steering committee) would like us to continue to improve and to see greater growth.”

The second focus area is “building skills for student’s lives and futures.” The first goal in this area is to have a comprehensive mental health system that uses data collected from a universal screener to identify challenges students deal with while developing social and emotional skills.

The other goal in this category focuses on career readiness. The plan says by June 2027, 100% of students in the district will have access to curriculum and experiences to get them ready for whatever career they want to pursue.

“(We want to) really look at our programs and make sure that there is a lot of structure so the students can be confident and ready for the future outside of high school,” Hamric said.

The last focus area is “thriving educators and community.” A goal in this area is to ensure that the district has a positive culture of trust and transparency, which will be measured by responses on the Colorado Department of Education’s survey. By June 2026, 90% of teachers and staff would recommend the district as a good place to work to meet this goal.

Hamric also said the plan outlines a strategy for expanding local partnerships that create opportunities for students to experience learning in different ways that are still tied to the curriculum.

“Our schools already do an amazing job of connecting with our community,” Hamric said. “But we feel like we could do more.”

In the fall, the district will form three teams to implement the various goals in each area. In June 2023, district leaders will meet to revise the plan if needed and the process of assessing goals and reviewing the plan will occur each year.

“I really like that you have a way of measuring metrics going forward to actually go back and review this so it doesn’t just sit and gather dust,” said Board Member Kim Brack. “It’s really important to me that we’re succeeding to meet some big goals, but I think they are doable if we keep on it.”

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.