Three Year Strategic Plan by B_Gjas

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									                                    Guilford Education Alliance
                      Three-Year Strategic Plan (July 1, 2004 – June 30, 2007)
                                        Executive Summary

Guilford Education Alliance is a countywide nonprofit local education fund (LEF). LEFs are
organizations that work with, but are independent of, their local school systems. The primary focus of the
Alliance is on the Guilford County Schools, but it also works with other educational institutions at all levels,
taking a cradle-to-grave approach to education advocacy.

HISTORY
Guilford Education Alliance began as a discussion group convened by the High Point Community
Foundation and the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro in March 2002. After months of
planning, a Board of Directors was assembled under the name of Guilford County Education Network, and
held its first meeting in August 2002. Eric Law was hired as the organization’s first Executive Director in
October 2003.

Over the last two years, Board and staff have worked to form and refine the Alliance’s organizational and
governance structure, sought input from a variety of stakeholders across the county, and clarified the
organization’s role: to promote and support existing efforts to strengthen schools and to positively impact
learning for all Guilford County residents (not to displace them) and to develop complementary initiatives
in the future. Board retreats were held in March 2003 and May 2004 to define the organization’s
priorities, fine-tune the organization’s vision, mission, values/beliefs and goals/objectives, and to develop
a strategic plan for the three fiscal years beginning July 1, 2004. In July 2004, Guilford County Education
Network changed its name to Guilford Education Alliance.

VISION
A community in which:
 Families are active participants in the education of their children; and
 Individuals and organizations in the community work together effectively to advance quality education
   for all; and
 Students demonstrate measurable superior academic achievement; and
 An educated, high quality, local workforce drives economic growth.

MISSION
To promote and support the programs, policies and initiatives necessary so that each resident of Guilford
County can reach his or her educational potential, with emphasis on the Guilford County Schools.

THEORY OF ACTION
Guilford Education Alliance operates from a theory of action designed to guide our work to achieve
intended results. Our unified theory of action encompasses the following:
 Beliefs regarding education and its value to society;
 Values that guide our operations and relationships;
 Key strategies to fulfill our mission and realize our vision;
 A clearly defined process for implementing these key strategies.

STRATEGIC ROLES/GOALS
This theory will be translated into action as Guilford Education Alliance assumes roles in the three strategic
focus areas described below. Within each of the three focus areas, specific action strategies have been
established to give us concrete, measurable goals, also shown below. Our overarching goal is that, by
June 30, 2007, the Alliance will be firmly established as a premier independent resource for educational
information and a vital driving force behind educational improvement in Guilford County.
1. CONVENING: We will serve as a catalyst for bringing the community together to create and support
    an effective, responsive continuum of education services based on community needs, establishing the
    Alliance as a valued convener which has earned the trust of all stakeholders in the education arena in
    Guilford County. Action strategies include:




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                                    Guilford Education Alliance
                      Three-Year Strategic Plan (July 1, 2004 – June 30, 2007)
                                        Executive Summary

      Identifying stakeholders (individuals and groups) across Guilford County. Asset-mapping
       project to list educational institutions, nonprofits, other interested community groups and
       individuals working in the education arena across the county, with special emphasis on those
       whose voices are not currently being heard by key decision-makers. Database with pertinent
       information regarding these stakeholders.
      Identifying community needs using input from all stakeholders by convening stakeholders on a
       regular basis to discuss and identify community needs around education. School- board
       candidates’ forum in October, summit of stakeholders (identified in asset-mapping project) in late
       fall/early winter. We will also actively seek and gather input on educational issues from those
       unable to attend events; a stakeholder survey will be administered early in 2005.
      Determining course of action by seeking input from all stakeholders to follow up on data
       collection and dissemination (closing the loop)

2. DATA: We will gather, analyze, interpret and share educational data from a variety of sources,
   establishing the Alliance as a trusted resource for accurate, meaningful information about education
   issues and education reform. Action strategies include:
    Identifying sources of data and information pertinent to community needs. Sources within
       Guilford County to be identified in the course of asset mapping described above; other sources to
       be identified on an ongoing basis as needs warrant.
    Collecting data appropriate to the project at hand, acquiring permission from identified sources as
       necessary for access to data.
    Analyzing and interpreting data, acquiring skills and/or identifying partners necessary for
       complete and accurate analysis/interpretation. We will also seek to understand and reconcile data
       to create meaning for all stakeholders.
    Presenting data in a format that is clear and meaningful to everyone by soliciting feedback from
       stakeholders regarding clarity and pertinence of data (and revising as necessary), presenting data
       to stakeholders in English and in Spanish, and preparing for next steps (see “determining course of
       action” above).

3. INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT: We will ensure that this relatively new nonprofit organization is
   able to build upon its strengths to create a sound and sustainable organizational infrastructure to
   facilitate its work in the areas of convening and data, establishing the Alliance as a stable, well-
   respected entity worthy of community support. Over the next three years, Guilford Education Alliance
   will focus on immediate and long-term action strategies related to infrastructure by:
    Maintaining a strong, well-informed, active Board of Directors (and committees) by keeping
       volunteers actively engaged in the work of the Alliance and in strategic conversations regarding its
       future, providing learning opportunities for volunteers on education issues and effective nonprofit
       governance, and monitoring board composition re strengths/needs, skill sets, reflectiveness of
       population, etc. for optimal effectiveness.
    Establishing and maintaining efficient, clearly established operational procedures which are in
       compliance with best practices and all applicable laws, taking optimal advantage of available
       information from internal and external sources.
    Recruiting and retaining an effective, well-trained, committed staff comprised of individuals who
       are passionate about the work of the Alliance, and whose skills and number are appropriate to its
       current needs and capacities.
    Ensuring access to resources necessary for the ongoing effective implementation of the work of
       the Alliance, maintaining facilities, equipment, and other resources which are appropriate to the
       Alliance’s needs at the time, and sufficient for it to operate efficiently and effectively. Developing
       (and continuously monitoring compliance with) a reasonable and realistic budget for the Alliance,
       and providing for present and future financial sustainability by continuously cultivating relationships
       with a variety of potential funders.




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