Positive stories, identifying strengths, talking about hopes nd dreams and big ideas. Those have all been a part of the OPS Success II - our Strategic Planning process. We've been asking our students, staff, parents and school community to share their stories of success at OPS to help guide the district.
Their input is revealing what they'd like to see for the future of our school district, which gives us a guide to place our focus. That's how Otsego Public Schools uses its Strategic Plan.
Our last Strategic Plan 2015-2020 outlined focus areas for early childhood education, relationship-building, individualized learning, 1:1 Technology and more project-based learning opportunities to name a few. In that time, we found a way to build a brand new Early Childhood Education Center, bring 1:1 technology to all buildings, started a STREAM school and increased STEM opportunities for students at all levels and re-energized our Capturing Kids Hearts efforts with both students and staff. That CKH focus resulted in two schools being named National Showcase Schools and this year, three schools are National Showcase Nominees (results are presented in April.)
With this document serving such an important role at OPS, we've been bringing as many stakeholders together as possible to help us create the next one using a new method - Appreciative Inquiry. This method focuses on building upon our strengths through stories. It is purposely positive and asks participants to share how OPS has impacted them in a positive way, share their hopes and dreams for the future of the district and present big ideas to make it happen. Instead of focusing on weaknesses and what’s missing, the deliberate positive conversations identify opportunities and yield deep discussions about “what could be” with smiles and hope. “It has been incredibly rewarding to hear stories and the dreams people have for our district. It makes me excited and hopeful for what’s yet to come in Otsego’s future,” says Superintendent Jeff Haase.
If you did not get a chance to attend one of the parent sessions, we’d still love to hear from you. Fill out the Strategic Planning form to share your thoughts! The deadline for this form is April 30th.