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Strategic Plan Process

During the 2023-2024 school year, Superintendent Ryan Scallon led 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 had 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 wasgrounded in data from the Listen and Learn and surveys  and the development process was guided by the Strategic Plan Steering Committee – a diverse, city-wide group of stakeholders. Over four months, this group came together to identify five year-goals and the priorities and initiatives that the district will deliver on to achieve the goals. The strategic planning process concluded with,  outcome-oriented goals for the next five years and a limited number of high-impact strategies to achieve those goals. 

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

There was 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 helped us refine the strategic plan and lead to a final plan reviewed with the Board in March, at the same time we presented 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. In the spring of 2024, during the budget process for FY25 (the 2024-2025 school year), the emerging plan was extremely helpful in guiding us in developing our successful FY25 budget. It will continue to inform budget priorities over the next five years.

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

Phase 1

Listen & Learn

This time was 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 was 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 built on the trends that arose from the Listen and Learn Phase, which were grounded in data and research on best practices, and aligned to the Portland Promise. The strategic planning team was responsible for the overall strategic plan with sub-committees focused on key areas. Equity was a key principle for each of the five teams.

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Phase 3

Budget & Launch

This phase was 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. With these things in alignment, we will see improvements in student outcomes. In June of 2024, we launched the 5-year strategic plan through a communications plan that builds momentum for the SY24-25.


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