Donovan Group Insights

Setting Your School’s Goals for the Next Academic Year

Every school year is a new opportunity to achieve something bigger. After finishing another fantastic year with your students, teachers, families and community members, it’s important to recognize that there’s always room to grow. Spend some time this summer developing an updated vision along with a game plan to make it happen.

Has your vision for the future changed?

The answer to this question is likely yes. It’s natural for a strategic vision to change over time, evolving alongside your audience, current hot topics and issues afflicting the world. For this reason, school leaders greatly benefit from revisiting their strategic visions at least once a year.

The most ideal time to update your school’s vision is during the summer months. Updating your vision during the summer allows you to head into the next academic year with a fresh start. This also ensures your strategic vision remains consistent throughout the entire school year.

A game plan turns visions into reality

Every success starts with an effective, well-thought-out plan. You’ve identified where you want to go—now, how are you going to get there? Work with your team to develop actionable steps that will bring you closer to your school’s vision. Actionable steps make it possible to track progress towards goals and expected outcomes.

A tactical plan will also make sure everyone is working to achieve the same vision. It can help everyone on the team stay focused on the end result while devoting their time and energy in the most productive way.

Make decisions using a SWOT analysis

A SWOT analysis (which stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) can help clear a path in the pursuit of your school’s new vision, connecting you from where you are now to where you want to be. The four components go as follows:

  • Strengths: Determine what advantages will help you reach your goals.
  • Weaknesses: Identify potential barriers within your school community.
  • Opportunities: Explore strategies and partnerships your school hasn’t leveraged yet.
  • Threats: Predict which external factors might stand in the way of your goal.

In addition to these steps, collecting data is an incredibly useful strategy for setting up a game plan. You can gather data via surveys, focus groups, research studies and records from previous school years.

Achieving your vision begins today

Don’t wait until the fall to think about what you want your school community to accomplish. The sooner you begin planning for next year, the sooner your goals and aspirations will come to life. You’ll be glad you started the process now!

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