Two Pleasant Gardens Elementary girls at a desk

Building the Strategic Plan

Gathering Data and Collecting Input

  • Creating the new Strategic Plan, Ignite Learning, took months of work and input from more than 2,000 parents, students, school volunteers, educators, business and community leaders and elected officials. It is based on qualitative and quantitative data, which means Dr. Contreras and her team gathered information by talking to people and getting their informal input on our schools, students, teachers and programs, as well as researching and reviewing hard, scientific data, from student test scores to enrollment numbers to historic data.

    Following her comprehensive Listening and Learning Tour, Dr. Contreras established a Transition Team, which identified long-standing challenges and inequities, as well as successes. The team’s work assisted in the development of the new strategic plan, Ignite Learning, which focuses all resources in the district on the core business of teaching and learning.

The Transition Team: Data Review

  • The Transition Team used data from several sources while working through its mission. For example, the Student Achievement Subcommittee used classroom observations, in-person discussions and focus groups to gather information about student success. In addition, team members reviewed student achievement data, annual reports, reports on magnet and choice schools, North Carolina School Report Cards and the History of Education in GCS.

    The School Choice, Equity and Excellence Subcommittee reviewed policies and procedures regarding choice, including magnet schools and programs, CTE programs and student transfers; enrollment and demographic data; information about magnet themes and magnet wait lists, and admission criteria for magnet programs.

    The Talent Development Subcommittee reviewed national research into the impact of effective teachers and principals on student learning outcomes.

    The Organizational Effectiveness Subcommittee conducted focus groups and interviewed GCS staff members in several roles; reviewed Board policies, procedures, agendas and procedures; reviewed 15 school district organizational charts; conducted a high-level data and technology systems audit, and reviewed the Council of the Great City Schools KPI Power Indicators Report, as well as several reports from Schoolhouse Partners and the NCDPI.

    Click on the links below to review some of the data the Transition Team used while making its recommendations.