October 1-November 4
Needs-finding Interviews and Focus
During the initial phase of the visioning process, more than 100 staff and community members were interviewed through individual sessions and focus groups. They shared their perspectives on the current school system, the historical context, and their aspirations for the future of SCUSD, helping generate initial ideas for the Graduate Portrait and the Adult Portrait.
The Board of Trustees, cabinet, and core team* members were given an opportunity to understand the vision design process through an experiential overview prior to launching engagement activities with district stakeholders. They engaged in mini-versions of several design activities, including exploring future scenarios*, and understanding the needs of stakeholders through personas*.
During this session at Mission College, students shared their perspectives on the challenges they expect to face after graduation, along with the skills, knowledge, mindsets, and dispositions* they will need to thrive. They also shared stories about—and identified the attributes of—adults who have supported their success.
Guiding Coalition Design Session 1: Strategic Foresight* and Empathic Design
The Guiding Coalition began with a journey into the future to imagine the world our graduates and educators will encounter over the next 15 years. We heard from a panel of futurists, read provocative scenarios of the future of Silicon Valley, and identified the needs of stakeholders (students, families, staff) through “personas” from the future.
With the “horizons exercise*,” we explored aspects of SCUSD that might no longer serve the district, identified aspirations for the future of SCUSD, and brainstormed ideas on what to start or cultivate.
Community Engagement Round 1
We replicated the horizons exercise In targeted and district-wide community engagement events, soliciting input on the knowledge, skills, mindsets, and dispositions needed by future graduates to thrive in their lives and careers. We held a district-wide event at Cabrillo Middle School, along with targeted outreach focus groups with special-education families (Community Advisory Council), migrant parents, the Alviso community, English learner parents (District English Learner Advisory Committee), and Family Resource Center families. An online survey, conducted in both Spanish and English, generated 250 responses.
Guiding Coalition Design Session 2: Shaping the Graduate, Adult, and System Portraits
The Guiding Coalition shared inspirational stories from the learning journeys and reviewed data from the first design session, along with inputs from the community engagement events and survey, which were then consolidated into a “family” of ideas. Groups then worked on initial drafts of the Graduate Portrait, the Adult Portrait, and System Portrait.
Community Engagement Round 2
The next iteration of the draft vision was shared with the community. Along with a district-wide event at Santa Clara High School, we held targeted outreach focus groups with the Special Education Community Advisory Council (CAC), Migrant Parent Advisory Council, the Alviso community, the District English Learner Advisory Committee (DELAC), and the Family Resource Center.
We also held sessions for central office staff and at the elementary and secondary site leadership team (SLT) retreats. The superintendent’s student council reconvened to review the latest drafts, provide feedback, and complete a survey. Finally, school sites were given tools to conduct a live feedback session at their sites, or participate in an online survey after watching a video introduction by Superintendent Kemp.
Guiding Coalition Design Session 3: Prioritizing Key Elements and Developing Core Values
After the second series of community engagement sessions, input and feedback were integrated into subsequent drafts of the vision elements. At our third and final design session, members of the Guiding Coalition worked in small groups to refine the next iteration of the vision elements. They also created an initial list of refreshed core values that will support our emerging vision.
Board Work-study Session
The Board of Trustees reviewed the synthesized materials from the third Guiding Coalition convening and gave feedback on the three main areas of the vision and updated core values. Their feedback was integrated into the close-to-final drafts presented to the community through the community feedback website.
Virtual Community Installation Website
The original community installation was redesigned due to the COVID-19 shelter-in-place order. Instead of an in-person showcase, we created a website depicting the near-final-draft narratives of the Graduate Portrait, Adult Portrait, System Portrait, and Core Values for final community feedback.