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Klein ISD Strategic Plan Committee Holds First Meeting

Friday, Feb. 17, 2017

Sixty members from business, community, parent groups and educational leaders met at the Boren, Novak, Young Athletic Administration Building in Klein ISD Feb. 17, 2017 as part of the Klein ISD Strategic Plan Advisory Committee. They will meet several times during the next two months to recommend a vision for educational excellence so that every Klein ISD student “Enters with a Promise and Exits with a Purpose.”

The goals of the first meeting included: building relationships among committee members, sharing knowledge of the strategic planning process, examining current data and mapping challenges that the committee will address. To achieve this vision, members will focus on ways to:   

  • Utilize a dynamic curriculum that provides every student with a pathway to success;

  • Engage every student in rigorous learning that builds excellent character;

  • Close gaps by knowing every student’s name, strengths and needs:

  • Retain and grow leaders so every student learns in a quality environment;

  • Gather feedback from every voice to build partnerships and foster a culture of learning.


After Dr. Champion’s opening remarks, committee members, representing the diversity and different perspectives of communities within Klein ISD, introduced themselves and shared their commitment to the process of improving education for all students. Dr. McGown presented results and analysis of responses in the “Superintendent’s Entry Survey” from parents, staff members and students that compares their perceptions about Klein ISD’s mission and core beliefs, important challenges and vision for the future.   

Then, subcommittees began drafting manageable pieces of the vision to recommend for implementation next year. In “breakout sessions,” teams read, reviewed, interpreted and discussed implications of data and the results of a Gallup Student Poll. They also discussed barriers to learning and ways to provide learners with the skills they need to prepare for college and high-skill, high-growth jobs and careers. Many members of the committee expressed the need to understand the struggles of people moving into the community and looked forward to having more time for discussion.

The Klein ISD Strategic Plan Advisory Committee will meet again on Friday, March 3. At that time, they will continue to learn together, review the Klein ISD “Profile of a Learner,” and discuss ideas in The Innovator’s Mindset, a book by George Couros, a leading educator in innovative leadership, teaching and learning. This committee, with a clear sense of purpose, will serve a crucial and specific role in impacting the entire Klein ISD community with a vision that will take students into the future, prepared for productive and fulfilled lives.


'Promise2Purpose' Planning Committee Makes Progress

Friday, March 3, 2017

The Strategic Plan Advisory Committee held its second meeting on March 3, 2017  at the Klein ISD Athletic Administration building. They continued to connect a shared vision to a strategic framework that will make “promise to purpose” a reality for every student in Klein ISD.  Dr. Bret Champion and Dr. Jenny McGown opened the meeting by thanking everyone for their partnership in this critically important work for students. They also reviewed the process the committee will use to form a vision statement with sessions that include mapping challenges (the what), sketching solutions (the how), bringing ideas to life, responding to feedback, refining ideas and then, presenting a final product to the Klein ISD Board of Trustees in May.

During the second session, the committee divided into teams that discussed their main objectives and how the Strategic Plan vision will connect to students and campuses.  They reviewed drafts of “The Profile of a Learner,” and “High Quality Teaching,” guiding documents developed from the results of surveys submitted by more than two thousand students and Klein ISD alumnae.  The teams also collaborated and shared ideas about ways the learning and teaching profiles connected to the first two chapters of The Innovator’s Mindset, by George Couros, the book the team is reading together.  Their discussions of the book affirmed many of the ideas expressed in the Klein ISD documents. Parents, community members, business partners and educators can review the Klein ISD “drafts” of both documents and other important information for the “Promise2Purpose Vision” at www.vision.kleinisd.net


Ideas—and words—mattered as teams worked toward meeting the session goals of translating barriers into solutions, selecting targets for achieving each team’s vision statement and developing strategies. Participants had time to brainstorm, generate ideas and dialogue with teammates, especially those members who do not work in education. The session also provided time to visit suggested websites to research and then, share unique and innovative ideas to incorporate into targeted areas of study. Having the opportunity to listen and discuss what they learned helped members understand why people from many different perspectives have invested energy in this significant initiative to improve education. The team environment and the visual representations they created, allowed individual committees to see an interconnected plan developing through consensus and group collaboration. 


Many committee members, including those outside of education, found themselves asking questions and receiving specific answers and resources they needed to participate fully in discussions. Because many members expressed the wish to have more time for research, Klein ISD has created a collaborative space to share articles and resources for each of the following focus topics: Pathways, Challenges, Equity, Leadership and Continuous Improvement, on an electronic sharing board for committee members to browse, share and post articles and resources.   The Strategic Plan Advisory Committee has also been invited to visit students at Mittelstadt, Kleb Intermediate and Klein High School before the next meeting to catch a glimpse of students and teachers learning and teaching on a typical day. 


In his closing remarks, Dr. Champion once again thanked the committee and leadership team for the “heavy lifting,” open minds and amazing accomplishments in such a short time. Many members said they wish they had more time and looked forward to the next session.  On the session evaluation, a committee member commented, “The future of education in Klein ISD will be the beginning of a catalytic movement that changes education for the next century.”


Decisions Bring Promise2Purpose Vision to Life

Friday, March 31, 2017

The Klein ISD Strategic Planning team met for the third time on March 22 at the Klein ISD Athletic Administration Building. The floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Butch Theiss Athletic Field provided a sun-filled backdrop for discussions as the team worked to articulate the strategies that will contribute to their long-term vision of excellence. 

Dr. Bret Champion, Ed.D. invited team members, who visited Mittelsteadt, Kleb and Klein High School before the meeting, to share their impressions— “to paint a picture” of the schools they toured—for the rest of the group. A few of the comments included:

  • “I loved the heated discussion and debate in the library. Libraries sure aren’t quiet places anymore.” 

  • “The use of QR codes for artwork allowed visitors to hear the voices of the student artists on their iPhones.”  

  • Student ambassadors, the ‘Patriots’ led the group through the hallways and classrooms where we saw students engaged in excellent learning activities.” 


Dr. Jenny McGown, Ed.D. thanked folks for participating in the campus tours, thanked Judy Rimato, Associate Superintendent for Communications and Planning, for the work she does in organizing regular Yellow Bus Tours and encouraged everyone to join the next scheduled trip. 

After Dr. McGown established norms for high performing teams, the groups, focused on pathways, challenges, equity, leadership and continuous improvement, began to work on achieving the session’s goals of deciding which strategies will contribute to the shared vision and suggesting ways to bring those ideas to life. Their “work in progress” included reviewing ideas from previous meetings, and selecting and organizing the best concepts into a format they could present to the community for feedback. A few of the areas, targeted for improvement, include:   

  1. Developing an innovative, rigorous curriculum that engages all students;

  2. Evaluating mastery through a variety of assessments and examples of student work;

  3. Creating learning experiences fueled by student interests and teachers’ insights that give them opportunities to do what they do best each day;

  4. Building meaningful relationship among students, parents, school personnel and community members;

  5. Identifying and utilizing both internal and external resources for professional growth and development of leadership.   

For more information and to provide feedback, Dr. Champion has asked community members to visit the “Lets’ Talk” strategic planning page on the Promise to Purpose vision website, www.vision.kleinisd.net, by Friday, April 7.  After reading Dr. Champion’s letter, visitors to the website can scroll down to read about the targets and strategies for improvement in each of the areas. Then, they can provide comments online by sending  questions, concerns, suggestions—and compliments—to the Strategic Planning committee. When the committee meets again on April 11, they will review and carefully consider all community submissions as they begin to finalize the Promise2Purpose vision. The entire committee is dedicated to creating a strategic plan based on students and reflecting the community’s priorities, and feedback is important to the process.   

Sharing ideas with enthusiastic teachers, excited parents, interested business leaders, and  leaders like Dr. Champion and Dr. McGown, who have a passion for "creating the conditions that empower a culture of learning and innovation" (The Innovator’s Mindset, 64), have inspired the Strategic Planning Team to reach out to the public and ask for help to improve, add, omit or amend the Promise2Purpose vision. Participants have enjoyed working together to create the blueprint that will help students and teachers continue to grow and learn in Klein ISD classrooms. As one member commented, “I love this entire process!”


Community Helps Make Promise2Purpose a Reality

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

On April 11, the Strategic Planning Advisory Team  met for the fourth time to read and discuss comments  received from the Klein ISD community on the Promise2Purpose Vision website, www.vision.kleinisd.net. When Dr.  Bret Champion, Ed. D. welcomed parents, educators, business and community leaders to the Klein ISD Athletic Administration Building, he said, “Promise2Purpose is the whole reason we exist. The guiding documents we create today will provide a set of tools that will make the vision come alive; our work together will make differences in the lives of students.”  

Dr. Jenny McGown, Ed. D. thanked the members of the advisory team for their dedication and commitment, and   shared the session’s goals which included:    

  • Learning   about the community’s feedback on the ideas presented so far; 

  • Using that feedback to further improve the planning team  ideas;

  • Discussing  how Klein ISD will measure success of this new plan.

“The meeting will end with targets and strategies clearly defined for each of the five focus areas—a clear sign of our success,” said Dr. McGown. After discussing the “School vs. Learning” illustration in (103),the five focus groups reviewed their progress towards achieving the end goal of helping Klein ISD’s students and teachers “build confidence and competence,” (111).

Student representatives from Mittelstadt Elementary, Kleb Intermediate and Klein High joined each of the focus groups. They shared important points and thoughtful ideas about the plans that would affect their pathways to careers and college success, curriculum challenges,  equity, leadership, and continuous improvement in Klein ISD.  The students impressed the adults as they worked together to achieve common goals.  As one business leader said, “My favorite part of the meeting was having students there. Their voices are so valuable.”   Hearing their “honest opinions about what the vision could mean for them provided a nice surprise” as students led the discussion and interacted with members of the Strategic Planning team.

After the student interviews, each strategy team broke into subgroups to read aloud the feedback from online comments, one at a time.  As they listened, they listed, underlined and circled repeated ideas.  When they completed the exercise, they considered multiple perspectives from both student comments and online submissions, made necessary edits and brainstormed ways Klein ISD can measure success, achieve goals and complete the “big picture.” In this critically important fourth   meeting, the Strategic Planning Team read more than 1,200 online submissions, including 738 from students.

At the next meeting, April 27, each focus group will present its plans to the entire team in an innovative, living, breathing and interactive document. It will include targets the groups chose (and why), a brief overview of strategies for each target, rationale for each strategy and any changes they made based on community feedback. Since so many team members expressed the wish that they could continue “to share and collaborate during the school year—to check the pulse of the community,” they will also brainstorm a list of ways to stay involved during the school year as Klein ISD implements the Promise2Purpose vision. Team members were invited to “get a jump start” on final presentations by reaching out to team facilitators: Dayna Hernandez (Pathways); Jeff Bailey (Equity); Kelly Schumacher (Challenges); Debbie Hamilton (Leadership) and LaToya Wynne (Continuous Improvement) before the next planning meeting.


Dr. McGown invited the group to attend the May 8th Board of Trustees meeting at 7 p.m. where the Strategic Advisory Team will be honored for the amazing work they have done on behalf of “every student in Klein ISD who enters with promise and exits with a purpose.”  Dr. Champion closed the fourth session by “celebrating the work you have put into this plan that will make a difference in the lives of students."



Meeting One


Meeting Two

Meeting Three

Meeting Four