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Two appointed to help with strategic plan

Original post made on Dec 21, 2007

To help Superintendent Kevin Skelly review proposals from outside firms about how to draft the Strategic Plan, the school board appointed Camille Townsend and Melissa Baten Caswell.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, December 21, 2007, 3:12 PM

Comments (4)

Posted by Parent, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 21, 2007 at 7:44 pm

Do I hear undertones of contention?

Maybe this Board does have a good cross section of ideals and perhaps we will move forward on this one.


Posted by Paul Losch, a resident of Community Center
on Dec 22, 2007 at 6:15 pm

Having been involved in numerous strategic planning exercises, I detect the typical, normal discussion about approach and desired results that comes at the start of a strategic planning effort.

Having an outside consultant is a very good idea for this endeavor. There are disciplines to doing strategic plans effectively, and those who are the "content" experts (PAUSD Board and Administrators) will benefit greatly from someone who can put together a process that is designed for this particular group at this particular time.

While there are certain common elements to any strategic plan and its process, they are not "cookie cutter" in approach going in, and once they get under way, the issues and ideas that surface are entirely unique to the matters at hand. An outside consultant can be dispassionate about the content, but can help the thinking along as things develop.

And a good strategic planning process requires a great deal of pre-planning before the actual strategic planning begins. It sounds like Kevin, Camille and Melissa are on point for that, and they will have their hands full working with the consultant to "set the stage" for what comes next.

There have been opinions, including mine, about the rigor that went into the last strategic plan, and whether it really was a strategic plan, or something other than that. This report suggests that the District leadership is keen to develop this time a strategic plan that truly fits that defintion.


Posted by OhlonePar, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 23, 2007 at 5:55 pm

Hmmm, I'm with Parent on this one, there sounds like there's a certain amount of jockeying for control. Baten Caswell who's been on the board for a handful of meetings is already taking a strong stance on how things should be done. And it's in conflict with Townsend--who, of course, was running last year's meetings on *that* topic.


Posted by Terry, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 23, 2007 at 6:59 pm

Fun to watch, since Skelly is pretty up front about wanting to drive things, to the point of shooting his mouth off from time to time. Managing the Board is a big part of his job, we'll see how he does.


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