New strategic plan soon to be rolled out

New strategic plan soon to be rolled out

Photo credit: Alyssa King

By Alyssa King and Gabe Goode

The Grosse Pointe Public Schools Strategic Plan has been in the planning process since September 2021, and was recently presented to the Board of Education. 50 members of the community, including staff and students, came together to brainstorm ideas to improve instructional pathways, curriculum development and student learning.  

As a special education teacher and member of the Strategic Planning Committee, Sonya Townsend witnessed how having members of the Board of Education partake in the committee improved the planning process. 

 “I believe that their participation furthered the likelihood of the plan’s approval,” Townsend said. “Especially since they were involved in, and observed first hand, the collaborative and thoughtful process behind the plan.”

She also thought that the attention to detail and careful planning will make the plan better for the vast majority of students. 

“I think the plan’s commitment to, ‘flexible and multi-sensory learning environments and spaces for all students to learn and grow’ will create multiple pathways for student success at graduation,” Townsend said.

After being invited to join the committee in early October to offer a student’s perspective, junior Gabrielle Dalmacy quickly realized how important having a voice on the committee truly was. 

“As I started going to [the meetings], it seemed important to me, because there wasn’t a vote for students. These adults have good morals, but they didn’t really get the students’ perspective,” Dalmacy said. “And they weren’t really getting what we felt, they were sort of just putting their opinions on it. So, it felt important to be there.”

She thought that the plan was a strong community effort and that the plan would help the whole district.

“I think the biggest aspect will be that they’re going to try to [provide] better education for everybody and not just one side of Grosse Pointe,” Dalmacy said. “And then also try to involve everybody and make it One GP.”          

Dalmacy believes that the plan will be representative of everyone equally.

“I think it will be improved, because they had more students come in to talk about it and not just adults,” Dalmacy said. “I also think they had more people who were representative of the community [at large], instead of just [it] being the white community.”

However, Dalmacy pointed out that while the committee had diverse representation, it was still difficult to be heard at times. 

“I think like me, and my sister’s goal specifically was trying to get our voices heard, especially from minorities, since we are mixed,” Dalmacy said. “And we were really trying to get more experiences like ours into that conversation.”

As a community member and former Board of Education member with a student in the district, committee member Kathy Abke was selected to contribute to the goal of having equal voices on the Strategic Planning Committee. 

 “All committee members had an equal voice,” Abke said. “The district administration team took our suggestions and polished it into the strategic plan on the website.”

  The overall flexibility on the district’s part impressed Abke, as well as the community’s voice in the process. 

“The most interesting thing about the plan is that it grew out of the feedback and ideas of many different shareholders,” Abke said. “It will go to them for approval after the superintendent finishes getting community feedback.”

Townsend believes the committee created the plan in a way that will allow updates and improvements to ensure effectiveness as the community continues to change.

“There are accountability checkpoints built-in to ensure continuous oversight,” Townsend said. “The fact that these measures were built in from the start says a lot for the future of its implementation.”

All committee members had an equal voice. The district administration team took our suggestions and polished it into the strategic plan on the website. ”

— Committee member Kathy Abke