Press Release - 3-22-2023

ECS Board of Education prioritizes the 2023-2024 Strategic Plan Priority Areas
Posted on 03/22/2023

March 22, 2023 - Eureka, CA - The Eureka City Schools Board of Education has prioritized the 2023-2024 Strategic Plan Priority Areas following a comprehensive study session on March 14, 2023.

“This plan is the most important thing we do as board members, that's what we’re elected to do,” said Susan Johnson, Trustee Area 4 & Board Clerk. “We’re elected to create the visions and plan for what happens in the school district, its function, and what our priorities are going to be.“

The Strategic Plan has four primary purposes. First, the Plan defines the District’s vision, mission, and goals. Second, the Plan details how the District will achieve those goals. Third, the Plan serves as the common tool for managing changing priorities, as indicated by the order of the Priority Areas. Last, The Strategic Plan provides a basis for developing the Local Control Accountability Plan known as LCAP.

“We created the strategic plan and each time we have a new board member and our board makeup changes, we look at it again because we want to hear the input from the new board members and see if they'd like to see a different direction with our plan,” added Johnson.  

Mike Duncan, Trustee Area 2 & Board President says, “Prioritizing our strategic goals are so important because if we don't, we don’t know where to put our financial monies toward. So we need to make sure that the finances are in line with what our goals are to make sure that all the plans we have can move forward.”

The Board diligently worked through a challenging step-by-step process which involved in-depth discussions, fact-checking, advocating for the advancement of certain areas, and ultimately negotiating. Walt Hanline, Executive Director of the National Center for Executive leadership and school board development, presented virtually to the Board and helped facilitate the prioritization process. 

“It's difficult when you have to prioritize all of these things,” said Johnson. “They're all things that we are going to do and what we need to do to make sure we’re doing the best for our kids, but some areas we’re going to spend extra money on - to try and bolster those areas.”

There are 19 Strategic Plan Priority Areas. The biggest changes from the 2022-2023 list are:

Priority Area 3: Mental Health, Social-Emotional Wellness, and Family Engagement. This area was already separated into 3A (Mental Health & Social-Emotional Wellness) and 3B (Family Engagement) and the overall objectives were independent of one another. Based on that information the Board decided family engagement should be its own priority area. 

Student Decision Making made its way from Priority Area 18 up to Priority Area 3 and was combined with Mental Health & Social-Emotional Wellness. The Student Decision Making area includes a focus on PBIS, which is Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) - an evidence-based, tiered framework for supporting students' behavioral, academic, social, emotional, and mental health. The Board determined those priority areas might be more effective together. 

Human Resources went from the #7 spot to #5, while New and Modernized Facilities jumped from #19 to #11. When priority areas advance in the overall order the areas following are moved down. 

Board members say they felt the prioritization process was well executed and overall they’re comfortable and confident with the decisions that were made.

“I think it went amazing,” said Duncan. “I think we had a great conversation. The new board members are very aware and brought new ideas to the table and I think it changed my mind on some things and gave more power to things we weren't looking at in the past.”

“We all did a really good job of respecting each other and each other's ideas for what's best for the District,” said Johnson. “I think we came up with a really good plan that we can all agree to and move forward with.”

The ECS Strategic Plan is adopted annually by the Board of Education and that is when the new 2023-2024 Priority Areas will take effect.

The Board prioritized the 2023-2024 Strategic Plan Priority Areas as follows:

  1. English
  2. Math
  3. Mental Health & Social-Emotional Wellness & Student Decision Making
  4. Science
  5. Human Resources
  6. Social Science
  7. Career and Technical Education
  8. Visual and Performing Arts
  9. Physical Education
  10. Modern Language
  11. New and Modernized Facilities
  12. Clean, Safe, Functional, Attractive Classrooms, Facilities, and Grounds
  13. Physical Health
  14. Technology and Equipment
  15. Extracurricular Activities 
  16. Alternative & Optional Programming
  17. Community Outreach
  18. Family Engagement
  19. Student Transitions

See the full video story on the ECS YouTube Channel:

Press Contact:
Sierra Speer Dillon
Communications and Marketing Coordinator
Eureka City Schools
[email protected]
Tel: 707-441-3373