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District 117: 2015-2020 Strategic Plan
Visit the website to further explore the 2015-2020 Strategic Plan and interact with its in depth goals and reports.

Visit the website to further explore the 2015-2020 Strategic Plan and interact with its in depth goals and reports.

Photo courtesy of CHSD 117

Photo courtesy of CHSD 117

Visit the website to further explore the 2015-2020 Strategic Plan and interact with its in depth goals and reports.

Emmy Lucas, Managing Editor

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From improving curriculum and instruction to collaboration and student support, the 2015-2020 Strategic Plan aims to ignite a communal effort to grow and maintain excellence among Community High School District 117.

A strategic plan is a principle that is always set in place as it acts as a guiding document for the district in organizing goals and improvement. The plan is updated every five years, renewed with evolving objectives and progress analysis.

“The Strategic Plan is something the board always puts in place to give what we are doing credibility and to make sure that we are following data and improving for our students,” Jori Bowen, Lakes Community High School Assistant Principal for Curriculum and Instruction, said.

Bowen is one of 36 Strategic Plan Committee members. The committee is made up of not only administration, staff members and teachers, but of parents and community members to represent all perspectives in the district. Meeting multiple times throughout 2015, the committee worked to centralize goals and discuss how to go about completing them, thus creating the 2015-2020 Strategic Plan.

“The focus was really what is already working in our district and how we will continue to make success in all arenas. It was a very positive approach, but when we looked at what was working, things would also bubble up as to where we want to see improvement,” Bowen said.

The plan is divided into six domains focused on different aspects. Within each domain, data and reports are collected to ensure progress of goals pertaining to that domain. “Community, Collaboration and Culture” addresses social health in school spirit and relationships, while “Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment” focuses on goals and progresses of specific courses and departments.

The plan has a vast array of goals, addressing academics as well as mental and emotional progress.

“We see that if a student is struggling mentally and emotionally, they are not going to succeed as well academically, so we have found a way to communicate to each other by this extremely interactive website because there are so many different people invested in all these different tenants within the strategic plan,” Bowen said.

On District 117’s website,, the strategic plan is detailed, including updates with reports and analysis. This is where staff, students and community members can interact with the plan and delve further into specifics.

Included in the 2015-2020 Strategic Plan is also a new mission, stating the objective to “ignite passion and discovery in every student.”

“I think our new mission statement is so powerful. It’s very different,” said Bowen. “It doesn’t have the common educational statement language that you hear. It’s absolutely centered around students.”

The committee worked toward a mission statement that is recognizable and powerful; the goal being to create something short and sweet that captures what every department is doing in the district. Together, the 2015-2020 Strategic Plan aims to continue successes occurring and improve in further areas.

“We are celebrating a lot of successes, and we have made a lot of progress on some of these goals and very intentionally seen success for our students, looking for changes in data and making sure our goals are on par with what our vision is,” Bowen said.
The vision to ignite further greatness across District 117 is the ultimate objective, strengthening our community as a whole.

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District 117: 2015-2020 Strategic Plan