Nestled in the southwest suburbs of Chicago, Community Consolidated School District 146 serves approximately 2,500 students from Pre-K through 8th grade. To continue providing the best educational experience possible for its students, the District surveyed its stakeholders using questions drawn from representative groups of the district’s larger populations. The District then took that feedback and developed a strategic plan aligned to the values held by the community.
District leaders needed a way to clearly present their strategic plan both to the district’s staff and to parents and community stakeholders.
To help monitor the progress of their strategic plan and to inform the community about said progress, the CCSD 146 superintendent and school board sought out the right tool for their needs. In an interview with the Illinois Association of School Administrators podcast, CCSD 146 Superintendent Dr. Jeff Stawick noted that the district experimented with several different tools before arriving at ECRA’s Strategic Dashboard.
“It does a really nice job communicating and articulating what your school board values, what your community values and the types of leaders you have,” Stawick said.
ECRA’s dashboard offered the customizability necessary to include both Illinois Report Card data along with metrics aligned to the district’s broader strategy. Using the goals and objectives from the district’s strategic plan, the CCSD 146 strategic dashboard now acts as an analytics platform that helps the district track its progress toward accomplishing its strategic priorities.
Accordingly, the dashboard shows metrics that the district is proud of alongside areas where the district plans to improve. For every performance indicator, there exists an action plan for how the district plans to improve. All of these statistics and strategies are available on the dashboard for district staff and community stakeholders to view anytime throughout the year.
“The Strategic Dashboard does a really nice job
communicating and articulating
what your school board values,
what your community values
and the types of leaders you have.”
The dashboard has also helped impart the importance of the strategic plan on the district’s teachers. Stressing the importance of school leaders’ familiarity with key indicators, Stawick argued that being grounded in the data regularly helps keep everyone’s attention on organizational improvement.
“When you’ve got [the numbers] all in once place, you’re constantly reminded of your current condition, which I think is a really healthy thing for school leaders,” Stawick said.
While the district intends to use the Strategic Dashboard as a main communication tool, Stawick admitted that they aren’t there yet. “I don’t think it’s a place that parents or other stakeholders are accustomed to going, yet,” Stawick said. “But I think it will be.”
Ultimately, though, Stawick believes that the District’s strategic dashboard will have the greatest utility as an analytics tool and as an archive of historical school improvement efforts. Down the line, district leaders will be able to leverage the data provided from years past to continue improving and creating a more robust learning environment for all its students.
ECRA Group is an approved IL-Empower professional learning partner. Should you have any questions regarding how ECRA Group can assist your school or district through the IL-Empower network, please email: IL-EMPOWER@ecragroup.com.