Determining the type of plan your organization needs is a key first step in the planning process.

There are many benefits to hiring an outside facilitator to guide your team through strategic planning. If your organization is embarking on this journey, the first question you may want to consider is: What type of plan are you looking to develop?

At SchoolWorks, facilitated planning is achieved through a series of in-person and virtual touchpoints. A seasoned SchoolWorks planning facilitator leads the school, district, or agency planning team (up to 15 stakeholders) through a series of live planning workshops. Planning guidance, templates, and associated documents are gathered and shared with the planning team to frame the process. During sessions, participants collectively discuss and analyze data, perform root cause analysis, identify SMART goals, set milestones to assess progress toward achieving success measures, and identify strategies toward each goal. The resulting plan is then finalized remotely and (in most cases) prepared for public dissemination. In general, the number and frequency of planning sessions is determined by the duration of the resulting plan.

Differentiated Planning Options

To determine what type of planning support your organization needs, consider these common scenarios:

  • Your school has just welcomed a new school leader. In this circumstance, coalescing around a one-year improvement plan aligned to the school’s existing strategic plan can help unify staff around key priorities.

  • Your school is considering replication and/or expansion. Your stakeholders need support to make informed decisions that will impact both the short and long term. In this scenario, multi-year planning should be considered.

  • Your school has been identified for comprehensive improvement. Your school may be required to submit an improvement plan aligned to state and/or district-defined parameters. Most improvement plans are annual in nature, so a minimum one-year planning process should be employed.

  • Your school is looking for immediate next steps. In some cases, school teams simply need help identifying top priorities and the associated strategies that will create the most impact. This can be achieved by a school quality review followed by a half-day prioritization session.

Find Out More. If you’d like to learn more about SchoolWorks facilitated planning supports, or discuss your own planning needs, reach out to us at As always, we’re here to help.

Plan your work, and work your plan!

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