Building the Trotwood-Madison Strategic Vision
The Trotwood-Madison City School District (TMCSD) proudly serves approximately 3,000 students, their families, and the greater community in our mission to prepare all of the city’s children to become productive, responsible citizens in a safe, caring, and supportive environment. The district operates five schools, including preschool, elementary, middle, and high school. Nearly all students (81.9%) served by the district are economically disadvantaged. Of the students served, 18.0% are students with disabilities, and 0.6% are English Language Learners.
Since 2010, the Trotwood-Madison City School District has been in Academic Emergency based on failure to meet state minimum targets for academic performance. During that time, there have been some modest improvements. For example, in 2016-2017, 91.9% of Trotwood-Madison City 3rd graders met the state’s Third Grade Guarantee requirements for promotion to 4th grade, as compared to a district average of 85.4% for the state’s eight urban districts and a state-wide district average of 93.4%. Additionally, while the district’s graduation rates are lower than the state averages of 83.4% and 85.6%, respectively, the 5-year graduation rate in particular has shown steady and sizable improvement over the last five years, growing from 76.9% in 2010 to 85.6% in 2017.
However, despite these modest steps forward, the district continues to face crucial challenges that cannot be ignored, and the district has much more that it seeks to accomplish. For instance, looking at student performance across all grades in 2016-2017, the district met none of the state indicators for student achievement, as measured by the percent of students scoring proficient or higher on state tests in grades 3-8 reading and math, high school end-of-course subject areas, and the Ohio Graduation Test (OGT). We must do more to support students in their academic achievement.
It was with these challenges in mind that the Trotwood-Madison City School Board (Board) embarked on a strategic planning process in the Summer of 2018. The Board recognized the need for a clear roadmap that could guide the district forward. In July 2018, the Board and TMCSD leadership, including principals, assistant principals, and deans, conducted a two-day retreat to begin to develop a district vision, goals, and priorities rooted in student achievement data.
On August 28, 2018, the Board organized six meetings to gather feedback from stakeholders to inform the district’s strategic vision. The stakeholder groups included: students, staff, parents, city officials, business leaders, and community members. In addition to the stakeholder meetings, the district posted the draft strategic vision on its website, along with a survey asking respondents to provide feedback on the plan. Both the Board and district leadership retreat, as well as the stakeholder meetings, were facilitated by Dr. Ventura Rodriguez, a national expert on school and district turnaround, and by Dr. Matthew Petersen, an Ohio-based consultant who specializes in supporting strategic planning processes for school districts and non-profit organizations.
Together, these community-wide conversations, as well as the Board and leadership retreat, formed the foundation for the following vision, goals, priorities, and metrics laid out in this document. Our strategic vision resolves around six goals:
Our educational programs will be responsive to each and every student and prepare them for future success.
We will provide the academic and non-academic supports to ensure opportunity and access to each and every student.
We will engage students, families and community organizations as advocates and partners for equity, access, and positive results for all students.
We will recruit, develop, and retain highly effective teachers, leaders and staff members committed to continuous improvement.
We will establish an ongoing system for continuously improving our learning communities.
We will continue to build sustainable financial and operational systems that invest resources equitably and strategically.
The Board and the TMCSD leaders understand that expressing a strategic vision is only the first step in the broader strategic planning process. The critical next step of implementation involves the difficult task of translating the goals and priorities into tangible actions. Goals and metrics have been established that will allow the Board, the district, and the broader community to measure progress against each priority and increase transparency into district success. Additionally, the district is in the process of identifying high-impact strategies they believe will ensure the vision laid out in this document is achieved. These critical strategies will help the district prioritize resources and will move the strategic vision from a document that sits on the shelf to concrete actions that drive student learning and achievement.
The remainder of this document will outline the goals (as well as the rationale behind each), the priorities, and the metrics that will be used to measure progress. Together, these form a broad vision for the district that reaffirms our commitment to transforming the lives of all TMCSD children by ensuring each student graduates as a responsible and courageous 21st century leader prepared for postsecondary pathways.
District Vision and Mission
Vision: Our vision is 100% student success!
Mission: The mission of the Trotwood-Madison City Schools is to graduate all students prepared to excel in a global society with a commitment to lifelong learning by guaranteeing a challenging curriculum facilitated by an innovative and dedicated staff, community participation and state-of-the-art resources in a stimulating atmosphere.
Our students will be…
prepared for future success
kind, respectful, & hard-working
proud of their schools & community
leaders & change agents
Our staff will be…
proud of their school community
role models & mentors to their students and each other
committed to personal and professional growth
innovative & collaborative
Our learning environments will be…
physically, emotionally, and academically safe
open and inviting
productive places of learning & problem solving
proud, vibrant & diverse
interactive & state of the art
Our instruction and learning experiences will be…
Our finances & operations will…
promote equity, access & opportunity
support each & every student’s learning
put customers and stakeholders first
be intentionally transparent
aligned to strategic priorities
Goals, Rationale, Priorities,
and Key Metrics
Goal #1: Our educational programs will be responsive to each and every student and prepare them for future success.
When districts ensure educators use an instructional framework to plan and deliver instruction, educators can effectively identify learning goals and adjust instructional practices to meet the needs of students.
When the district ensures differentiated instructional strategies are in place in the classrooms to address the diverse learning needs of students, teachers are equipped to deliver instruction that is responsive to a variety of readiness levels, interests and learning styles.
When there is a comprehensive system in place for academic and behavior intervention and supports for students, it supports student achievement and positive behavioral outcomes.
Curriculum and instructional resources are completely aligned to state standards, are culturally responsive, and high quality: The TMCSD will ensure a high-quality, standards-based curriculum sequence for all subjects that clearly defines what students should know and be able to do in each grade. The curriculum will be vertically aligned across all grades, horizontally aligned across programs, and be aligned with the Ohio Learning Standards. The TMCSD is committed to providing teachers and school leaders support to select and use instructional materials, tools, and assessments that are aligned to the district’s curricula and to the needs of a culturally diverse student population.
Common definition of high quality instruction and differentiation: The TMCSD will adopt a common instructional framework for use by all teachers and staff in the district. Our goal is to ensure that rigorous, high-quality standards-based curricula are taught through high-impact, developmentally appropriate instructional practices. These instructional practices will include a district-wide definition of differentiation so that differentiated instruction is implemented in all classrooms to meet the diverse needs of students.
Multi-tiered system of supports is in place in every school: The TMCSD will establish strong school-based systems for delivering high-quality core instruction (Tier 1) designed to engage and meet the needs of the varied learners in every classroom. Using information from the schools’ assessments and other student data, the district will develop strategies for strengthening access to and use of Tier 2 and Tier 3 interventions that are comprehensive, responsive, flexibly-delivered, and implemented with fidelity.
Assessment/data system accessible to and utilized by all staff: The TMCSD is committed to developing a strong culture of data use throughout the district. We will focus on creating data systems that document and tracks student data, are accessible and utilized by teachers and school leaders to review and address the most significant problems with instruction and learning outcomes. Our data systems will help uncover student weaknesses and strengths that can be addressed.
% of students with personalized learning plan
% of teachers implementing behavior systems of support
% of teachers implementing academic systems of support
% of teachers implementing instructional framework with fidelity
% of identified processes and procedures reviewed at regular intervals
Curriculum and Resource Audit Insights
Aligned stakeholder survey questions
Goal #2: We will provide the academic and non-academic supports to ensure opportunity and access to each and every student.
When districts provide access to high-quality preschool programs they utilize an important lever to develop the whole child and close opportunity and achievement gaps.
When a model to support the academic needs of students with disabilities in general education classrooms is used with fidelity, it can decrease academic barriers to enhance instructional effectiveness for teachers to greater support the academic needs of all students.
When there is a comprehensive system in place for academic and behavior intervention and supports for students, it can support student achievement and behavioral outcomes.
Expand and ensure equitable access to high quality preschool programs: The TMCSD will expand access to quality preschool programs and develop the systems needed to ensure equitable access.
Equitable access to full range of services, supports, and course offerings: The TMCSD will create a plan to ensure that all students have access to the full range of academic and non-academic services and supports offered by the district. This includes opportunities for remediation, acceleration, and enrichment programs that occur before, during, and after school. The TMCSD will examine its current processes of student assignment to ensure that they support equitable access to the full range of course offerings, including advanced placement programming and career vocational technical programs.
Greater clarity and professional development for inclusion of students with special needs: To ensure that the needs of students with disabilities are met in core instruction (Tier 1), research and evidence-based academic supports will be consistently embedded into daily classroom instruction. The TMCSD will develop clear structures and methods for the co-teaching model and will provide ongoing training and support for teachers to effectively implement the model.
Alternative opportunities for disengaged students/families: The TMCSD will make a concerted effort to re-engage disconnected or at-risk youth, to bring them back into the school system, and provide them with academic and other necessary supports. This includes students at risk of dropping out, such as those with high absence rates.
Positive behavior systems prioritize increased access to learning environments: The TMCSD will review and revamp its current approach to disciplining students, including its protocols, structures, and programs. The district will clarify positive behavioral expectations and will develop alternatives to out of school suspension to ensure that students can safely access learning environments, including the use of restorative justice practices.
% of students meeting growth goals (MAP Assessment), disaggregated by subgroup
% of students on grade level in reading/math, disaggregated by subgroup
4 and 5 year graduation rates, disaggregated by subgroup
Attendance/dropout data and discipline occurrences (per 100), disaggregated by subgroup
English Language Learners (ELL)/Special Education (SPED) participation data
# of high quality early education seats
% of student services/course offering participation, disaggregated by subgroup
Service audit insights, Course audit insights, and Policy audit insights
Aligned stakeholder survey questions
Goal #3: We will engage students, families and community organizations as advocates and partners for equity, access, and positive results for all students.
When the district collaborates with community agencies to address students’ academic, behavioral, and social and emotional needs, it promotes student growth and achievement.
When the district has practices to support family and district communication and engagement that focus on student achievement, non-academic barriers will be reduced and student growth and positive behaviors will increase for all students.
Families, schools, and community organizations focus their collaboration on supporting student learning and healthy development in all settings (including home, school, and community) and provide regular, meaningful opportunities for children to strengthen the knowledge and skills needed to be effective 21st century citizens.
Families, schools, and communities respect and value the uniqueness of each child and are empowered to advocate for all students to ensure that they are treated equitably and have access to high-quality learning opportunities.
Display ongoing transparency in our outreach and communication: The TMCSD will become a district where families and school staff engage in regular, meaningful dialogue about learning, high academic expectations, achievement, and healthy development of students. We are committed to systematically sharing information and soliciting input about school goals and initiatives with the broader community.
Increase engagement with community partners: The TMCSD will ensure that families and school staff collaborate with community partners to connect students and families to expanded learning opportunities, health and nutrition resources, and community services in order to support achievement and civic participation.
Learning spaces are welcoming and inviting: The TMCSD will ensure the creation of safe, healthy, and welcoming learning environments for all stakeholders, including students and families, school staff, and community members, in all its schools and in district buildings. Our goal is for stakeholders to feel valued and connected to each other in support of high academic expectations, achievement, and healthy development.
Develop clear channels and opportunities for student, parent, and community input, outreach and education: The TMCSD is committed to ensuring families, educators, and community partners have access and voice in informing, influencing, and creating policies, practices, and programs affecting students and families.
% of stakeholders that know the district mission and vision
Number of schools hosting 2 parent activities per month
Average # of agencies supporting each school
Attendance totals/percentages at identified yearly activities (i.e. Open House)
# of structured opportunities for parent feedback per year
Aligned stakeholder survey questions
Goal #4: We will recruit, develop, and retain highly effective teachers, leaders and staff members committed to continuous improvement.
When the district consistently collaborates or works with teachers to develop and conduct professional development, teachers are equipped with the tools to improve their practices as educators.
When the district provides resources for the professional development of school administrators, it enhances their capacity to be instructional leaders in their schools.
When the district provides consistent coaching or other job-embedded support for teachers, it expands teachers’ instructional skill sets.
When the district establishes policies and practices to recruit and select qualified teacher candidates, it supports the district’s efforts to place highly effective teachers in all classrooms.
Common definition and consistent delivery of high quality coaching for teachers and leaders: The TMCSD will provide a coaching model that is ongoing and site-specific with job responsibilities directly tied to improving teacher instructional practices, teachers' development of effective strategies to impact student learning may increase.
All staff engage in developing cultural competence, empathy, and relationship building: The TMCSD will support students and staff to develop competence in multiple areas, including academic, social, emotional, and cultural. In order to improve relationships and trust in the learning community, the district will provide developmental experiences to ensure skill-building in cultural competencies, and provide greater perspective on the community of learners.
Professional development aligned to staff needs: The TMCSD is committed to providing and facilitating professional development that is ongoing, job embedded, and targeted at alleviating academic barriers for students and enhancing teachers' instructional practices that improve student learning.
Expanded recruitment/outreach to recruit a diverse workforce: The TMCSD will establish strong relationships with colleges and universities, national partners, established teacher-development programs, and other recruitment network to aggressively recruit and hire talented and diverse individuals to work in the district.
Evaluation systems for staff will be aligned across the district. In order for staff to develop, the evaluation structures provided by TMSCD must be reliable, valid and aligned with our vision for our students. We will undertake an effort to align evaluations to district priorities and frameworks, and develop trainings and ongoing coaching for evaluators to increase reliability across evaluations.
Number of teacher vacancies at the beginning of the year
% of teachers/leaders retained who are performing at a high level
% of new-to-career teachers with a mentor in their building
Staff attendance rate
% of teachers providing effective instruction
Recruitment pipeline data
Aligned stakeholder survey questions
Goal #5: We will establish an ongoing system for continuously improving our learning communities.
When districts partner with key stakeholders in the collaborative development of a district improvement plan, there is support for the successful implementation of a plan designed to improve student outcomes.
When the board of education uses the district improvement plan and progress data to guide decision-making, there is focused leadership, guidance and the support needed to successfully impact student improvement.
When the board systematically evaluates key instructional programs for effectiveness in meeting improvement goals per Ohio Revised Code 3301-35-11(B)(1), students have access to the evidence-based tools to impact learning.
Systematic implementation of a common improvement process: The TMCSD will utilize the Ohio Improvement Process (OIP) with all district stakeholders, including educators, parents, the school board, and community partners, to create, implement, monitor, and revise a district improvement plan. The district will utilize the feedback loops imbedded in the OIP to solicit input from all stakeholders throughout the process and to use student and adult data to evaluate and modify the improvement plan.
Continuous monitoring of program effectiveness and impact: The TMCSD will conduct comprehensive program effectiveness reviews as part of the district improvement planning process. Our goal is to measure the impact of priority programs on student achievement and to make modifications, deletions and additions based on the results to ensure program effectiveness.
Data drives decision-making and resource allocation: TMCSD leaders, educators, and staff will analyze a wide variety of student and adult data to develop goals, Priorities, and strategic action steps for school improvement and to make key adjustments in improvement strategies throughout the school year. In order to support this, the district will develop clearly defined and commonly utilized systems and structures for collecting, accessing, and analyzing student and adult data to drive decision-making and resource management.
Ongoing review of board policies: The TMCSD school board will conduct an initial comprehensive review of its existing policies to ensure that they support the successful implementation of the district’s priorities. Particular attention in this review will be paid to how the school board’s policies support full student access to district programs and services. Additionally, a plan for yearly review of policies will be established.
% of students meeting growth goals (MAP Assessment)
% of students on at grade level in reading/math
4 and 5 year graduation rates
Student and staff attendance data
Aligned questions on staff surveys
% of teachers implementing improvement priorities
Individual program impact reports
% of employees whose performance can be monitored using a data system
% of departments that successfully participate in a data-driven Monthly Performance Review
Goal #6: We will continue to build sustainable financial and operational systems that invest resources equitably and strategically.
When our most disadvantaged and vulnerable students are provided increased opportunity and access to academic and non-academic educational experiences and programs, we can expect that their learning will increase commensurate with opportunity given.
By strengthening family and community engagement in finance and operations, districts are able to fill gaps they may have in knowledge, resources, and funding and fully tap in to the strengths of the greater community.
When districts have a system in place to allocate grant dollars to ensure resources are spent within the grant period, they are able to develop new programs or expand existing programs for student achievement.
Maintain clean, safe, and healthy facilities: The TMCSD will have a fully funded maintenance plan to prolong the use of its major facility assets and ensure that educational and program facilities are ready for use to meet the needs of students.
Increased communication and input from community stakeholders. The TMCSD will ensure that all families, educators, and community partners have access and voice in informing, influencing, and creating policies related to operations and finance.
Strategic priorities guide resource allocation. The TMCSD will analyze funding and expenditures in order to spend less on areas that have low impact on student learning and spend more on those items that are aligned to the priorities. The district will arrange a budget review, compare expenditures to plan priorities, and ensure inconsistencies between plan and current budget are resolved in order to align with district priorities.
Funds are distributed to ensure equitable funding for students and schools. In addition to aligning to strategic priorities, TMCSD will work to ensure that funding is commensurate with student and learning community needs. The district will assess the current state, and refine/develop processes that ensure that the students situated farthest from opportunity are provided the funding necessary to ensure equal opportunity and access to all academic and non-academic supports.
Increased frequency in monitoring and transparent reporting. The TMCSD will increase communication with district leaders and stakeholders to ensure the budgetary process is meeting the needs of student programs and accurately tracks resource allocation on a timely basis. The district will create systems to ensure that federal and state grant program dollars are maximized within the allocation period to support programs aligned to the district’s improvement plan.
% of revenue expended on teaching and learning
% of facilities that are warm, safe and dry
% of maintenance concerns completed w/in 24 hours
Number of structured opportunities for community/parent feedback
Aligned stakeholder survey questions
Reporting/monitoring frequency for identified budget items
Next Steps: Implementation and Monitoring
This strategic vision is only the first step in the broader process. The necessary and immediate next steps will be the development of a districtwide implementation plan and a regular board monitoring cadence to ensure steps are taken toward achieving and reflecting on the vision/goals laid out in this document:
Districtwide Implementation Planning
A critical next step involves translating the board’s vision and priorities above into actionable steps to be taken during this school year. The board charges district leadership to construct an implementation plan, involving stakeholder input, that achieves these goals and aligns to the metrics that have been established by the Board. The district has already identified and begun implementation on some high impact strategies at the district and building level, and these should be included in the subsequent plan. This allows the Board, the district, and the broader community to measure progress against each priority and increase transparency into district success. Additionally, the district is in the process of identifying high-impact strategies they believe will ensure the vision laid out in this document is achieved. These critical strategies will help the district prioritize resources and will move the strategic vision from a document that sits on the shelf to concrete actions that drive student learning and achievement.
Monthly Board Monitoring
As the primary caretakers of overall district strategy and improvement efforts, the board charges the district leadership to update them on a regular basis (monthly, where applicable) outlining progress toward the key outcome and process metrics outlined in the plan above. Not only will this keep the board informed of progress, but it will ensure transparency in the process moving forward, allowing the community and key stakeholders to be fully informed on the successes and the learnings generated by the work moving forward.