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School District 49 in Colorado Uses Strategic Planning Software to Seek National Excellence

El Paso County, CO

Committed to the Baldrige Excellence Framework, School District 49 in El Paso County, CO has a bold vision to provide the best public education in the region. Its leaders use a cloud-based tool to manage the strategic plan, execute actions, track performance, and share results with staff, the board, and community.

Topics Covered

Process Improvement


Initial: 25 Thousand USD


General Fund/Existing Public Funds

Project Status

Operational since 2019

Gov Champion

Chief Education Officer

Problem Addressed

With 2,000 staff serving 25,000 students, District 49 is the fastest growing school district in El Paso County.

It also operates in a community with open educational choice, meaning students can choose a school in any district.

“That means we must compete on quality and performance,” explained Chief Education Officer Peter Hilts. “We envision a future when every time a student, parent, or educator chooses a school district, we are the best choice they can make.”

After working with a basic planning tool, District 49 issued a RFP in 2019. The team compared features sets, but ultimately sought to answer the question: will the platform make performance accessible to the entire workforce?

“We're stepping into our 5th year of systematically pursuing performance excellence and became convinced Envisio would help us move to another level,” said Peter Hilts. “It’s a platform for individual excellence, accessible to every member of our workforce. And it would allow us to track analytics and share performance metrics with the community at scale.”

Solutions Used

ENVISIO FOSTERS WORKFORCE ENGAGEMENT AND ACCOUNTABILITY \n“The feature that we’re most excited about with Envisio is the ability to view our strategic plan and our action plans and projects in a logical, hierarchical format,” noted Peter Hilts.

“That ability to align and cascade our action plans all the way down to measurable school level or even classroom level achievement and then to aggregate those achievements back up to a high priority strategic objective, that's really the feature that Envisio brought home for us.”

Personal dashboards in Envisio empower each member of the workforce to stay on track. “My projects” and “my action plans” are paired with progress colour-coded status bars – while accelerometers offer a quick look at overall progress towards the plan. Email reminders, lists of pending updates and activity streams ensure the most pressing work gets attention, while regular updates by staff keep the leadership team informed.


“The ability to set targets and then to track our performance to those targets is an important aspect of Envisio, a feature we know will push our performance toward the highest standard,” said Peter Hilts.

Envisio is designed to centralize, analyze and visualize performance data, enabling the District 49 leadership team to align performance measures with strategic priorities and report on plan progress. Reports can be automated, scheduled and delivered or created ad hoc. Envisio analytics and reports help communicate progress with stakeholders, creating transparency with the community, their elective representatives, and the District’s board of education.


“Sustaining enduring trust” with the community is the bedrock strategic priority for District 49. Building and nurturing lasting trust starts by sharing common goals, communicating strategic priorities and offering transparency on progress. “One of the things that we're really excited about with Envisio is the ability to develop public dashboards,” said Peter Hilts. “By giving us a platform that allows us to collaborate on shared goals and to develop action plans, and then to report on those transparently, we think that will certainly sustain and enhance trust with our community.”


For District 49, continuous improvement is a must because the stakes are high. “If we execute our plan perfectly, the deep impact is that we are going to launch cohorts of students out in the world to serve, to lead business, to serve in the military, to go to college, to lead families and be in ministry, that's the real impact of our work on our strategic plan,” concluded Peter Hilts. “We think Envisio gives us a powerful way to make sure that we are pulling on the same rope in the same direction.”



Multiple strategic plans are now centrally accessible and tracked by staff and leadership


Staff are more engaged, delivering on cascading actions aligned to strategic priorities


Analytics and performance metrics are tracked to reach new levels of excellence


Dashboards provide transparency to foster trust with the community and board


District 49 has the performance tool to support the Baldrige Excellence Framework

Something Unique

District 49 is taking an innovative approach to communicating strategic progress with all stakeholders. In addition to showcasing the Envisio public dashboard on its website, it is planning to share progress using a system of prominent display screens in every school and major department, redefining transparency.

Who Should Consider

Any school district, college, university, city or county that wants to effectively track the execution of its strategic or operational plans, improve performance and communicate progress to stakeholders.

Last Updated

Apr 29th, 2020
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