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Strategic Planning

Superintendent Ryan Scallon is leading a strategic planning effort to help the Portland Public Schools go from being a really great school district to an even better one. The strategic plan process has three phases:

Listening and Learning: After joining the Portland Public Schools in July 2003, Superintendent Scallon spent the first three months of his tenure listening and learning throughout  the community.

Working in partnership with the Board of Public Education and many others, he met face to face with more than 500 people, including students, staff, families, community members, business leaders, elected officials, and nonprofit partners. Additional information was also gathered from a survey that has more than 925 responses and from recent previous surveys. 

Developing the Strategic Plan: The strategic plan will be grounded in data from the Listen and Learn and surveys  and the development process will be guided by the Strategic Plan Steering Committee – a diverse, city-wide group of stakeholders. Over the next four months, this group will come together to identify five year-goals and the priorities and initiatives that the district will deliver on to achieve the goals. At the end of the strategic planning process, we will have outcome-oriented goals for the next five years and a limited number of high-impact strategies to achieve those goals. 

We are fortunate to partner with Attuned, a national leader in supporting school districts with strategic planning, to assist our process. The Barr Foundation is funding our work with Attuned at no cost to the district.

There will be additional opportunity for community input on the strategic plan from focus groups in January and February 2024, as well as through a community survey. The feedback from these groups and the survey responses will help us refine the strategic plan and lead to a final plan reviewed with the Board in March, at the same time we present the Superintendent’s budget.

Aligning the budget to the Strategic Plan: The third phase of the process is ensuring that the Portland Public Schools’ budget is aligned to and supports the work of the strategic plan. Developing a budget for the 2024-2025 school year will be particularly challenging  because we anticipate facing a significant financial cliff from the end of federal COVID relief funds in 2024 and a decreasing percentage of state funding.

Three phases – (1) listen and learn; (2) strategic planning; and (3) aligned budget – will drive our work in the District this year.

Phase 1

Listen & Learn

This time is being  spent engaging community members and staff to listen and learn  about what is working well at the Portland Public Schools and identify potential areas of opportunity to ensure a smooth start and long-term success. In each of the actions and priorities, there is an intentional centering of our historically marginalized communities.


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Phase 2

Strategic Plan

This phase enlarges on the District’s history of community engagement with Board members, Central Office staff, school staff and community members. These teams will be building on the trends that arise from the Listen and Learn Phase, which will be grounded in data and research on best practices, and aligned to the Portland Promise. The strategic planning team will be responsible for the overall strategic plan with sub-committees focused on key areas. Equity will be a key principle for each of the five teams.

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Phase 3

Budget & Launch

This phase is designed to make sure that there is alignment between the goals and guardrails and key actions of the strategic plan and the 5-year budget. When these things are in alignment, we will see improvements in student outcomes. In the spring, we will launch the 5-year strategic plan through a communications plan that builds momentum for the SY24-25.


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