From April 12 through May 31, a collaborative group of over 60 teachers, administrators, students, and family and community members have been gathering to consider where the Arlington Public Schools are today and where they need to go in order to best prepare our young people for the future. Skilled facilitators from L&P Educational Services, LLC led the group through a visioning process that involved analyzing data to identify strengths and opportunities for growth and improvement. Throughout the process, participants were able to articulate and discuss the community’s values and priorities for the schools, and develop an understanding of the educational experience desired for Arlington’s students.
This work has resulted in new Vision and Mission statements and four Strategic Priorities, approved by the Arlington School Committee, that will be used as the basis for the development of a five-year strategic plan for the district.
- Vision Statement
The vision of the Arlington Public Schools is to be an equitable educational community where all learners feel a sense of belonging, experience growth and joy, and are empowered to shape their own futures and contribute to a better world.
- Mission Statement
The Arlington Public Schools focuses on the whole child to create inclusive and innovative learning opportunities for all students, values diverse identities and ways of learning, prepares all staff to maintain high expectations while providing necessary supports, and sustains collaborative partnerships with families and the community.
- Strategic Priorities
- Ensuring Equity and Excellence
The Arlington Public Schools will ensure equity, excellence, and access to rigorous learning experiences for all students. All graduates will be prepared to achieve their choices of post-secondary education, career, and community contribution.
- Valuing All Staff
The Arlington Public Schools will recruit and retain an excellent and diverse workforce by creating a collaborative and supportive culture for all staff; providing high-quality and relevant professional development; expanding opportunities for leadership and shared decision-making; and prioritizing representation, diverse perspectives, and expertise.
- Improving Infrastructure, Operations, and Sustainability
The Arlington Public Schools will maintain a system of schools that is safe, well-maintained, sustainable, and fiscally responsible, with the appropriate tools and resources to support best educational practices and an optimum teaching and learning environment.
- Sustaining Collaborative Partnerships
The Arlington Public Schools will partner collaboratively with families in meeting the educational needs of all students; facilitate consistent two-way communication; and provide timely, transparent, relevant, and accessible information to all stakeholders.
The next phase, which will continue through the summer and into the fall, involves mapping out the five-year action steps, outcomes, benchmarks, and financial needs for the district. A process for drafting and gathering feedback on the draft plan will be established in the fall. Final approval of the document is planned for the end of December 2022 with implementation beginning in January 2023.
This work has been made possible thanks to a generous grant from the Arlington Education Foundation and the dedication of the volunteers who came forward to spend countless hours looking at data, drawing conclusions, comparing and contrasting possibilities, and thinking about the future of education in Arlington. Their teamwork and commitment to our students is to be celebrated, and the district moves into the next phase of the work with a solid foundation upon which to build.