Communicating progress in our Strategic Plan

Published 6:30 am Saturday, December 2, 2017

By Rickie R. Harris

In the fall of 2015, West Orange – Cove CISD developed our current Strategic Plan. It was developed over several three-hour evening meetings of a planning committee comprised of approximately 21 individuals: parents, teachers, school trustees, students, community members, and central office/campus administrators. The resulting Strategic Plan provides a Vision and Mission Statement, Strategic Goals, and Belief Statements.

Adopted by our School Board, it sets our district focus through the next five years. In this editorial, I would like to share details of our plan and begin to update our community on the progress that we have made towards goals.

Initially, the planning committee identified the core beliefs of our community and district. We Believe:

  • That families are an integral part of the education process.
  • In our tradition of excellence.
  • That diversity is valued.
  • That learning should be our highest priority.
  • That faith is the foundation of our community.
  • That teachers are foundational to student success.


Additionally, our vision was created. It is “Empowering Lives Through Excellence Every Day!” The committee considered our beliefs, vision, and the question “Why do We exist?” in order to develop a mission that describes who we are and our goal in the development of students. It is: “In partnership with our community, our mission is to transform lives through an exceptional educational experience.”

Next, the committee identified strategic goals. West Orange – Cove CISD will:

  1. Promote a positive image.
  2. Maintain a quality staff.
  3. Provide opportunities to increase family involvement.
  4. Upgrade technology throughout the system.
  5. Enhance programs to meet individualized student needs.

Our staff has been working to address every goal. Today, I would like to report our progress in promoting a positive image. My next editorial(s) will report on progress in other goals.

In terms of image, we are communicating our brand, vision, and goals through our website, promotional material in our classrooms and community, and various media, billboard/magazine marketing promotions. Recently, we wrapped a student activity bus to celebrate students. Additional wraps are forthcoming on another student activity bus, as well as band and athletic equipment trailers.

We have also expanded our social media presence from not only Facebook, but to also include Twitter and YouTube. This provides additional avenues to promote our student and staff achievements.

As a District, we are becoming more involved within our community. District and campus leaders are building relationships, as well as supporting initiatives and programs. We have embraced John Maxwell’s philosophy that “One is too small a number to achieve greatness.”

We are also promoting a positive image by providing safe environments district-wide. This includes not only our campus facilities, but also extends to the vehicles in which our staff and students travel.

Additionally, our Board has adopted comprehensive balanced budgets that emphasize student success and district goals. In doing so, we have aggressively incorporated savings through the refinancing of bonds, sale of property, and streamlining of processes. This is an achievement that is a result of team collaboration and communication.

This is only a portion of the work that we have placed in promoting a positive image. Our future plans for this goal include building our community volunteer program, enhancing student employment within the community, and inviting the media to tour our district through campus walks.

I look forward to sharing our progress on other strategic goals in my next editorial(s). In the meantime, we are “Empowering Lives Through Excellence Every Day!”

Go Mustangs!

Rickie R. Harris is the Superintendent at West Orange – Cove CISD