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Listen & Learn/Strategic Planning

Letter from the Superintendent

I’m honored to have joined the Portland Public Schools this past summer as the new superintendent. As I transition in, I’m excited to be leading our strategic planning efforts to ensure that we continue to offer the quality education all Portland students deserve.

The process this year to develop our strategic plan has three phases: (1) Listening and Learning; (2) Developing the Strategic Plan; and (3) Aligning the Budget to the Strategic Plan.

Listen and Learn

In partnership with our Board of Public Education, the Foundation for Portland Public Schools, the Portland Chamber of Commerce and many others, I have spent the first three months engaged in a listening and learning tour with the community. Across more than 15 forums, I have heard from more than 450 students, staff, community members, business leaders, elected officials, and nonprofit partners. Those conversations have left me both excited for the future of our district and challenged to make sure that we have an effective strategic plan to guide our work forward. At the Oct. 3 Board meeting, I will provide a high-level overview of the trends from the Listen and Learn phase.

Strategic Plan

Our strategic plan phase is next. It will be grounded in the Listen and Learn data collected, our district-wide data, and surveys that community members have completed.

Those include surveys from this past school year (e.g. superintendent search) and our Listen and Learn Survey, open until Sept. 22.

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

However, we won’t achieve our goals if we don’t work collectively as a community. That is why a Steering Committee of Portland Public Schools staff, students and families, as well as nonprofit and business partners, is being created to inform our strategic plan. If you are interested on being considered as a Steering Committee member, we invite you to apply by October, 6th, 2023:

Apply to be a Steering Committee member

We’ll announce the Steering Committee members at the Board’s Oct. 17 meeting. We’ll also seek additional community input on the strategic plan from focus groups in February.

Budget Process

The third phase of our process is ensuring that our budget is aligned to and supports the work of the strategic plan. This will be particularly challenging this year as we anticipate facing a significant financial cliff from the end of federal COVID relief funds and a decreasing percentage of state funding.

I look forward to partnering with the Portland community in this effort – and I hope you will participate!

Ryan Scallon

Strategic Plan Steering Committee

A Steering Committee of Portland Public Schools staff, students and families, as well as nonprofit and business partners, is being created to inform our strategic plan. 

Apply to Join

Deadline: October 10

PPS Planning Survey

Help us refresh the Portland Promise and update a five-year strategic plan for our school system!

Fill Out the Survey

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.


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.

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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