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OCSD invites stakeholders to help with strategic plan
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OCSD invites stakeholders to help with strategic plan

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Orangeburg County School District is seeking additional stakeholder volunteers to put strategies into action as part of a new strategic plan.

The request for Action Planning Team volunteers is the next step in the district’s strategic planning exercise, a collaborative process which began in April with a core group of teachers, support staff, parents, students and community leaders, and is expanding to the broader community through Action Teams at this time.

This community-driven process, facilitated by renowned strategic planning firm the Cambrian Group is designed to solidify stakeholder beliefs, desires and goals for its local schools and students. During an intensive three-day retreat, the Strategic Planning Team, a core group of nearly 30 individuals representing the voices and perspectives of our larger community, created in draft form the foundational work of the plan.

“The foundational work is not secret,” Superintendent Dr. Shawn Foster said, “but it’s not final either.”

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At the April 27 board meeting, members of the Strategic Planning Team shared an update with trustees and the community about the work underway, presenting for the first time publicly drafts of a mission statement, objectives and strategies.

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“The Strategic Planning Team boldly came face-to-face with who we are as a school system and who we want to be,” Foster said. “They did so by focusing on commonalities instead of differences, defining shared beliefs, and identifying with simplicity and clarity the purpose of our organization’s existence-to ensure all students discover and develop their person, purpose and platform.”

Members of the Strategic Planning Team are affectionately calling the district’s reason for existence “the three P’s” and have included those prominently in the new mission statement draft as follows.

The mission of Orangeburg County School District, the catalyst of innovation and excellence, is to ensure all students discover and develop their person, purpose and platform through high-quality educational experiences distinguished by a culture of collaboration, equity and inclusion and a creative learning environment with inspiring opportunities and a commitment to nurture the academic, physical, social and emotional well-being of all.

Several strategic objectives have been identified and include: every student will discover his/her unique purpose; every student will have the confidence and competency to use his/her voice to positively impact the community and world; and every student will live an extraordinary life dedicating his/her person to a noble purpose from his/her chosen platform.

Strategies have also been defined: We will sustain a culture that ensures collaboration, equity and inclusion; We will provide high-quality and engaging opportunities through academics, arts, athletics and activities; We will recruit, train, and retain highly effective faculty and staff; We will ensure stakeholders’ voices are heard and honored in our school system; We will provide high-quality, state-of-the-art facilities for our students and community.

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Widespread stakeholder involvement on the Action Planning Teams is requested to ensure the plan that is developed has a five-year horizon fitting for the children, community and employers the district serves. Community stakeholders interested in serving on one of the five Action Teams stated above are encouraged to reach out to the district’s ombudsman, Dr. Jesse Washington, at jesse.washington@ocsdsc.org. Washington can also be reached via phone at 803- 534-5454. Action Planning Teams will begin their work later this month and are expected to wrap up in January. Stakeholders interested in serving on an Action Team are asked to notify Washington of their interest this week, by calling or emailing before the end of the day Friday, Sept. 17.

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