ACSA Board adopts new Strategic Plan

September 13, 2018 Staff Writer

ACSA has completed a framework that will guide the work of a new strategic plan for the next three years. The work of ACSA will focus around the association’s new mission statement:

The Association of California School Administrators is the driving force for an equitable, world-class education system, and the development and support of inspired educational leaders who meet the diverse needs of all California students.

ACSA last developed a strategic plan five years ago. With the completion of that plan, it was time to develop and adopt a new plan to lead the association forward.

“As an organization, ACSA must strive to stay relevant as times change,” said ACSA President Holly Edds. “So we must continue to work to meet the diverse and ever changing needs of our members, supporting them so they can do the critical work of providing an education to California’s 6.2 million students.”

The planning process was one year long, and featured intense collaboration with a Core Planning Group of member leaders, as well as the input of hundreds of ACSA members.

“We are grateful to the many ACSA leaders who were trained to facilitate the strategic plan work and are confident their extensive ACSA training will positively impact their schools and districts statewide,” said ACSA Past President Lisa Gonzales, whose leadership was instrumental in the planning process.

The group conducted research, facilitated dialogue and drafted foundational language for the plan. They utilized input from regions, as well as committees and councils, in developing a draft Strategic Framework (mission, values and impact statements and long-term goals).

Regions were engaged multiple times to facilitate discussion and provide feedback. They utilized tools such as discussion guides and handout forms to provide feedback. In addition, all ACSA members were invited to provide input through an online survey and an interactive forum. A dialogue and work was also done with the ACSA Leadership Assembly. During this entire process, member input and region involvement has been essential to crafting a successful plan.

Tom Teagle, executive director of ACSA Region 18, said the collaborative process was outstanding.

“I have been a member of ACSA for 37 years and have been involved with a number of strategic planning processes during that time span,” Teagle said. “When you involve an organization as large as ours in a strategic planning process, it is impossible to meet everyone’s needs and expectations. However, I believe that our ACSA Plan Facilitators Jim Delizia and Chief Operating Officer Scarlett Vanyi did an outstanding job of executing the process, with the desired end result of developing a plan that reflects the input of the majority of stakeholders involved. Hats off to them and everyone else involved in the development of our 2018 Strategic Plan!”

Gonzales noted this collaboration was a key component to the planning process.

“Throughout this process we kept reaching out to members for input, via our regions, our committees and councils and our Leadership Assembly, as we want this plan to be member-driven,” Gonzales said. “It’s been a long, thoughtful process, and I think in the end, we have a plan that reflects what our members want ACSA to be.”

First-year focus

Overall, the plan identified 37 milestones to accomplish over the next three years. ACSA will focus on the following nine milestones in Year 1.

Membership Development and Support

• Leadership development: A strategy is developed to identify and support personal and professional leadership development in a career pathway – from credentialing through retirement.

• Professional development – delivery and reinforcement: ACSA members will have access to a wide range of delivery formats to learn in the manner and pace preferred.

• Member networking and collaboration: Multiple platforms exist to facilitate networking and collaboration among members.

Advocacy and Influence

• ACSA in a leadership role: ACSA is leading a collaborative effort to increase school funding in California.

• Grassroots advocacy and influence: Each region and charter understands the importance of and is fully engaged in local advocacy efforts.

Organizational Development and Sustainability

• Organizational alignment and accountability: A process is in place to identify on a regular basis shared state, region and charter goals, complementary roles in achieving them, and a system for reporting and accountability.

Clear roles, expectations, operating guidelines and suggested practices are in place for regions and charters.

Committees and councils are supporting implementation of priorities in the Strategic Plan within their areas of expertise.

• Member outreach and engagement: Recommended approaches for engaging new, existing and retired members are developed and updated regularly with input from regions.

ACSA will be working with member stakeholders preceding and during the upcoming Leadership Assembly in Los Angeles Oct. 11-12.

“One of the things that will drive the success of this strategic plan is the unwavering commitment by ACSA leadership and staff to make this a plan for the entire organization,” Delizia said. “The outreach to every facet of the membership and the opportunity at each step of the process for regions, committees and councils to provide feedback has generated a set of shared goals and priorities and a strong commitment to work together to achieve them.  This is truly a plan by members, for members.”

ACSA’s new Strategic Plan will guide the association into the future, poised to best serve all ACSA members. The plan will allow the association to remain vital and relevant.

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