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Russellville City Schools Employs A+ Tactics to Execute 1st Strategic Plan, with Outstanding Results

Russellville, AL

Since the 1990s, Russellville City Schools has faced a growing number of challenges. Changing demographics, growing poverty and aging facilities made strategic planning imperative. Today, RCS is managing its first strategic plan in Envisio, helping drive sharp operational focus to achieve better student outcomes.

Topics Covered

Transparency
Economic Inequality
Process Improvement
Workforce & Education

Cost

Initial: 25 Thousand USD

Funding

General Fund/Existing Public Funds

Project Status

Operational since 2017

Gov Champion

Central Office Team for Russellville City Schools

Problem Addressed

The Latino student population has grown to 50+ percent, many coming to Russellville City Schools (RCS) with no prior education.

Yet the challenges go well beyond planning for language and cultural change. Poverty is pervasive, with 74% of students living below the poverty line. And the four schools in the district are nearing capacity, with 2537 students and little funding to expand.

Against this backdrop, how could RCS ensure the best educational experience for all students?

The team engaged the community for answers...

RCS held focus groups and surveyed 1,000+ residents. Public input helped develop the first RCS Strategic Plan. The pillars of this inspiring plan go beyond academic excellence to include fostering the character development of students, with lessons about inclusion, charity, compassion, teamwork and being good citizens.

Initial attempts to manage the strategic plan in spreadsheets failed. Communication was challenging. The central office team couldn’t run reports, nor track progress. “It was nearly impossible to manage the plan,” according to the Assistant Superintendent at RCS. Then, it was “love at first sight” when they discovered Envisio.

Solutions Used

Today, the RCS team relies on Envisio to effectively execute their strategic plan, improve performance, communicate with stakeholders and drive better student outcomes.

Here’s how:

TACTIC #1 – RCS is fostering internal alignment with strategic goals by using a centralized cascading framework. The 25 staff can explore 5 strategic priorities, that cascade down to 20 action items and 64 tasks.

TACTIC #2 – RCS is driving sharp operational focus by tracking progress—starting with tasks—each defined by key performance indicators, timelines and owners. Dashboards provide visibility on progress, while email reminders keep staff on track.

TACTIC #3 – RCS is clearly communicating progress to all stakeholders with regular roll-up reporting. The “Board – Weekly Strategic Update” report, for instance, provides board members with an overview of progress by strategic priority.

The results? Academic growth is on the rise across all subjects. Absenteeism is low, with attendance rates consistently above 95%. And, graduation rates are at an all time high of 97%!

RCS is graduating a new class of students and the city is gaining a workforce that is more involved in the community.

Outcomes

1

All strategic and operational plans securely managed in one place.

2

Greater focus on the most important school district initiatives.

3

Instant view of plan progress with color-coded dashboards.

4

Clear communication of achievements to board members and central office staff.

5

Better outcomes for all students and a new class of graduates for the community.

Something Unique

RCS has a unique set of challenges to address. In 30 years, the number of Latino students in the school system has gone from zero to 50 percent. Many arrive with no formal education from rural areas of Latin American countries and cannot read or write in their native Spanish.

Who Should Consider

Any school district or local government agency needing to effectively execute on their strategic plans, break down organizational silos, improve performance and communicate progress to stakeholders.

Last Updated

Nov 15th, 2019
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