MISSOULA COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS STRATEGIC PLAN
At Missoula County Public Schools (MCPS), our mission is to ensure that each student achieves his/her full and unique potential.
The MCPS Board of Trustees, elected by the community, has an obligation to safeguard the public’s trust in public education, and our decisions and actions should reflect that obligation. District dollars should be used effectively and efficiently to achieve positive results for students.
The MCPS Board of Trustees bases its decisions and actions on the following set of guiding principles.
• We believe the District has a responsibility to provide students with a safe, motivating, innovative learning environment.
• We believe that all children, regardless of differences, deserve to be fully challenged and equipped to meet their individual potential.
• We believe that K-12 education should address the “whole child” and that holistic education leads to: A value for academic knowledge and competency; an appreciation for one’s broader community; a world view; and life-long love for learning.
• We believe that instructional competency and educational best practices in the classroom are critical factors in reaching individual student potential.
• We believe that physical and emotional health and wellness are important contributing factors to achieving the individual and collective goals of students and staff.
• We believe that a professional and supportive working environment is essential.
• We believe parent and adult involvement support, strengthen, and expand learning.
• We believe that a public school district has a responsibility to build community; develop partnership and cohesiveness in the community; and challenge the community to be everything it can be.
BROAD DISTRICT STRATEGIES
In support of achieving the vision and goals described in the 2007-2012 Strategic Plan, MCPS actively applies the following broad strategies:
• Use planned and sequential “building blocks” in development and delivery of curriculum from kindergarten through twelfth grade.
• Use assessment and instruction to challenge students to meet their individual potential.
• Analyze student achievement data frequently. Provide specific interventions when learning problems are identified.
• Encourage parent and adult involvement in support of academic and activity programs.
• Use school/community partnerships to better understand the needs and desires of the community regarding its public schools.
The Board of Trustees represents all citizens of the District in their stewardship of Missoula County Public Schools. To this end, the Strategic Plan includes the following vision that describes what Board of Trustees strives to provide.
- Learning Environment – MCPS provides an educational environment where all students are challenged, respected, cared for and nurtured.
MCPS is a non-judgmental, inclusive, personalized, adaptable, learning environment where individual talents are identified and explored and children are fully challenged in small learning communities with adults who care. Children are celebrated and “membership” in the school is facilitated for every child. Children have stimulating interdependent and independent learning experiences and learning is related to the outside world at all grade levels. A climate of respect exists and rules and policies are in place, understood, and consistently applied within buildings and across the District. District high schools continue to be evaluated with movement toward a model that addresses identified issues; meets the District’s vision and goals; assures equity and challenge regarding class and program opportunities regardless of building attended; encourages active involvement of all students; facilitates the flexibility (e.g., scheduling) to accommodate the diverse needs of today’s high school students; and works collaboratively with families, teachers, and counselors to successfully transition students from “feeder” Districts.
- Human Resources – MCPS recruits professional educators and support staff committed to the fulfillment of the District Vision and Mission.
Educators at MCPS are experts in their fields, critical thinkers, problem-solvers, and planners who are actively involved in accomplishing District goals and strategies. Educators’ enthusiasm, nurturing, and love for working with children are demonstrated by efforts to meet the needs and goals of individual children and their learning styles. MCPS educators creatively stimulate and challenge students with the result being children who discover they can do more than they ever imagined. All staff members successfully communicate and are competent in behavior management strategies. They value opportunities to work collaboratively to increase their individual depth and breadth of knowledge about learning as well as subject matter. MCPS educators mirror local diversity and work to understand the local community and its educational values and goals. Professional development is aligned with District vision and goals, curriculum, and assessment data. MCPS educators are publicly recognized for creative, successful strategies and their ability to teach.
- Instruction – MCPS offers a variety of instructional programs that reflect ‘”best practices” or proven “research-based practices” as facilitated by the Curriculum Department.
MCPS offers a variety of “whole child” instructional programs, practices, and literatures that are integrated rather than compartmentalized – curriculum content to content, building to building, and throughout the K-12 system. Decisions are made based on instructional goals, and best practices and processes in education are embraced. Teaching plans, aligned to learning targets, guide all classrooms. Technology is used appropriately. A number of assessment tools are used in addition to current required “testing”.
- Financial Resources – MCPS, in partnership with our local, state and federal funding sources, will strive to fully implement the Strategic Plan.
The Board of Trustees and District personnel work in partnership with the community to establish and achieve the Strategic Plan’s vision and goals, and that partnership results in continuing community support for MCPS financially and otherwise. Additionally, the District explores non-traditional revenue sources (i.e., school district Foundation; long term grants; etc.) in order to preserve the valued programs in place and expand opportunities. The District manages its financial resources in a manner that supports the vision and goals.
- Facilities – MCPS will provide a safe, well-maintained, and up-to-date teaching and learning environment.
All MCPS facilities are safe, clean and inviting; age-appropriate; in good repair; wired for technology and “wireless” for information access; handicapped accessible; family-friendly; and have space for all activities. Wherever possible, buildings are designed and operated to address societal goals such as energy conservation and recycling. At the same time, the District recognizes the importance of buildings that are historical community assets. MCPS exhibits stewardship and responsible planning regarding facilities through a facilities master plan. It works carefully with the community regarding use and disposition of school buildings and appraises the real and long term value of District assets before making decisions. The District recognizes that budget and size are not the only influencing factors regarding the opening and closing of buildings and reconfiguring attendance boundaries. Facilities are considered vehicles for public education and the District uses public services to support them.
MCPS is committed to implementation of an active model for genuine community partnership and ongoing evaluation of the success of that model. Through that partnership, the District develops understanding of the needs and desires of the community regarding its public schools and charges the community with active involvement. MCPS provides access to information and facilitates two-way communication and ongoing conversations among students, educators, parents, the Board and the general public. The District’s Strategic Plan is a dynamic document and timelines and benchmarks for achieving its desired ends are shared, discussed, and monitored with the community. The District facilitates attachment and involvement and capitalizes on volunteer expertise in the community. Active involvement with stakeholders (i.e., families/parents; students; teachers; counselors, etc.) from “feeder” Districts, internal and external to District One, results in a smooth transition for students and their families.
GOALS AND STRATEGIES - OBLIGATIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES TO LEARNERS AND THE COMMUNITY
As a result of the efforts of MCPS, parents and the community, students achieve certain desired end results. Following are five specific strategies and desired ends that could be implemented to help accomplish them. Operational plans, developed in concert with the Board of Trustees, guide annual progress.
1. Demonstrate Academic Competency
Desired End Result
All students meet the requirements for graduation from Missoula County Public Schools.
Students meet or exceed District learning targets and their own learning objectives by demonstrating competency in all subject areas, critical thinking, and problem-solving. This is accomplished in a safe, challenging, personalized environment that promotes learning and addresses unique differences through interdependent and independent experiences. Students are equipped and feel confident that they can be successful at the next learning level. Individual competency is determined through assessment tools that include “testing”. District graduates know they have choices about their future.
2. Exhibit and Practice Life Skills
Desired End Result
All students learn appropriate social skills, how to be organized, how to work as a part of a team, and possess the knowledge and skills to become healthy, productive members of our society.
Students demonstrate social skills and the ability to work in a collaborative fashion with other students and adults. Well-developed study and time management skills result in students being organized; completing assignments and projects on time; having good attendance records; and demonstrating work ethic. Physical and emotional health and wellness, nutrition, and hygiene are encouraged throughout the curriculum or as part of specific classes at all levels. Students make healthy choices regarding lifestyle and support each other in those choices. The learning environment provides opportunities for all students to “wonder”, dream and explore choices beyond high school.
3. Experience and Demonstrate Appreciation of the Arts
Desired End Result
All students will be exposed to fine and practical arts as part of their curricular experience. All students will have the opportunity to create, experience, practice and perform, and appreciate the Arts.
Students display a basic understanding of, and a value for fine arts and the practical arts through creation, performance, practice, and/or demonstrated appreciation.
4. Exhibit Sound Character, Accountability and Self-Reliance
Desired End Result
Students graduate as responsible, confident and capable life-long learners.
MCPS students leave the District as life-long learners who are self motivated, curious, ambitious, and able to find and use resources. They exhibit integrity, self-discipline, and personal accountability for their actions and decisions. Their daily choices and behaviors demonstrate respect and compassion for others and self respect. They are prepared to advocate and stand up for self and others. Students have the ability to measure their own progress and connect it to successes, mistakes, and potential future options. Students have a reasonable understanding of their individual strengths and demonstrate resiliency and the ability to adapt to changing circumstances and disappointments.
5. Exhibit Community Awareness, Contribution and Citizenship
Desired End Result
Students understand their responsibilities as members of the community and society at large and participate in activities displaying that understanding.
Students exhibit constructive behaviors and actively participate in “community service” activities at all grade levels within their school and/or in the community at large. Community service experiences develop observable abilities to lead and follow. The learning environment at all levels promotes conversation about local and broader societal issues. Students demonstrate an understanding of their role as “citizen”, their responsibilities and accountabilities regarding their community and government, and their rights. Graduates are prepared to enter the broader community responsibly - with a value for altruism (concerned about the welfare of others).
Finalized August 2007