Great Schools Together: a few sidenotes

When I started this series, it was my desire to track down various metrics outlined in the Strategic Plan to measure progress. I have encountered some serious obstacles in that effort.


The first set of obstacles comes from the fact that while Unit 4 does a TON of reporting and “information sharing”, there is no central repository or index of where to find such metrics. Some are much easier to find than others, just by a google search of the site; for instance, “Attendance Rate”. Yet even with this, you will have to dig through seperate documents for each year, as Attendance Rate is not aggregated that I know of. You can find it in Board Meetings, the district Report Card and various committe reports. What about metrics on discpline issues (“Discipline referrals and suspensions” from “Student Achievement and Well-Being”)? That information is shared at the “Discipline Equity/Advisory Task Force Meeting”, but it isn’t online, so the only way to get the updates is to attend the meeting. After a bit of searching on boarddocs, I did stumble across a Board Retreat presentation that aggregated numbers over various years:$file/06%2024%2013_Monday_Noon_Revision5.pdf


When I asked Unit 4 for advice on how to find each of the 50 metrics outlined in the Strategic Plan, I was told that all the relevant information was shared out on the website and boarddocs.


The next set of obstacles is the fact that Uit 4 paints a moving target. In a recent email exchange, Stephanie Stuart indicated tha these metrics are “determined each year by the Board of Education”. Some times the name/label changes, other times they are dropped and new ones added.


On the plus side, Dr. Wiegand has wrapped each of the six GST Strategic Goals into her Superintendent Goals:

GOAL #1: The Superintendent will foster high academic achievement, wellness, and well-being among all learners in a safe, supportive environment.
GOAL #2: The Superintendent will align the District’s priorities and resources through a community-involved planning process implemented through focused action plans with regular progress reports.
GOAL #3: The Superintendent will retain, hire, and support highly qualified faculty and staff that will best serve the District’s diverse student population.
GOAL #4: The Superintendent will effectively and efficiently engage parents and other community stakeholders resulting in strong partnerships.
GOAL #5: The Superintendent will leverage the strength of the District’s diverse population to create a rich academic and social environment in each of the District’s schools.
GOAL #6: The Superintendent will revitalize, build, and maintain facilities that are safe, sustainable and allow equitable access to programming services across the District.


I think it speaks volumes that Unit 4 holds the tenets of the Strategic Plan in such high regards. In the words of Stephanie Stuart, “all that we do here in Unit 4 is responsive to that plan.”

3 Responses to “Great Schools Together: a few sidenotes”

  1. pattsi Says:

    Since I am not regularly involved with Unit 4, it is extremely difficult to follow the various documents being discussed related to how do these document intersect, build upon one another, or maybe they do not.
    Second, I have read the 6 goals. Question are there objectives and strategies to help reach the stated goals? If so, how were these developed so the taxpayers feel some ownership with the goals and implementation thereof?

    • charlesdschultz Says:

      “taxpayers feel some ownership with the goals and implementation thereof” – I cannot speak for everyone else, but as a taxpayer I feel like I am constantly reminding the district that I have ownership. It is my observation that a bulk majority of the community has no clue that Great Schools Together is even alive, let alone that the goals developed at that initiative are the driving force behind what Unit 4 does today.

      There is definitely a huge disconnect between the perspective of the district and the perspective of the community, and it is very challenging to bridge that gap.

  2. 2014 Annual Report | Citizen4: A citizen's blog about Champaign Unit 4 Says:

    […] I did not find were answers to many questions I have been asking of late. In Tom’s Mailbag, here on this blog, and in personal email to Stephanie Stuart, I have asked about the 57 “outcome […]

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