The five year strategic plan for the Syracuse City School District isn't called "Great Expectations" for nothing. The superintendent revealed the plan Wednesday evening. It highlights five key goals to accomplish their vision to become the most improved urban school district in the country by 2017. Our Katie Gibas gives us a breakdown of the plan and how district officials hope to achieve it.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- With 51 percent of students graduating on time, there's no question something needed to be done in the Syracuse City School District. That's why Wednesday, the superintendent revealed a five year strategic plan for the district.
"They'll notice a new curriculum, more technology, more support for them. They'll see more extended day programs in the school. They'll see their teachers are focused to a greater level," said Sharon Contreras, the Syracuse City School District Superintendent.
The plan is broken down into five goals, with strategies to achieve each. The goals are to challenge students with rigorous curriculum, develop, recruit and support effective teachers and leaders, develop infrastructure to support student success, build a culture of high expectations that rewards excellence and better communicate will all district stakeholders.
"It sounds like a good plan. I just hope we can follow through," said Meghan Doss, a Syracuse parent.
Talina Jones, a Syracuse parent and member of strategic planning committee, added, "We have to have high expectations. There's nowhere to go. There's nowhere to go but up. As long as you provide the support and the services that people need in order to help folks get where they're going, then I think it's going to be a successful plan. I look forward to where we're going to be in 2017."
But with hundreds of teacher cuts over the past several years, many are questioning if the plan is fiscally possible. District officials say "yes."
"I've been before you for six years saying there's not enough money for education in Syracuse. What we're doing is accepting that that's not going to change. We need to look at the funding that we get in the district and spend those dollars differently and make sure that we target every dollar to the classroom and the supports for the teachers and the students to improve student outcomes," said Suzanne Slack, the Syracuse City School District's CFO.
Even though it was difficult to draft the five year strategic plan, district officials say it's going to be even tougher to implement it, but they've already started taking steps to ensure its success.
"We're starting to design the work plans because, as you know, many districts have strategic plans and they sit on the shelf. We want to make sure this is a living document," said Contreras.
The work plans are the action steps the district will take to make sure each goal is reached. Those are being implemented immediately.
To view the full plan, visit www.syracusecityschools.com .