Strategic planning occurs within the established governance and structure of K-12 education. A meaningful strategic plan cannot be developed without a clear mission, vision, and goals that are known and understood by all participants in the strategic planning process. Further, an effective strategic plan cannot be developed without the engagement and support of a variety of internal and external stakeholders. Additionally, an effective educational leader can analyze the governance and structure of K-12 educational institutions including both internal and external frameworks and the leadership practices required in these areas.
This assignment concerns unified, union high school, and K-8 school districts. Assume that all districts have distinct attendance boundaries, are led by a superintendent, and are governed by a publicly-elected governing board that is required to make all decisions in public meetings. The districts abide by all pertinent state laws and are funded by the state at a set amount per student.
A unified school district serves kindergarten through grade 12. In some cases, the district may also sponsor a preschool on a campus (PK-12). The district administrative structure includes a superintendent and, depending on the size of the district, there also will be additional administrators to oversee areas such as curriculum, human resources, special education, and facilities. The superintendent also supervises school principals.
An elementary district serves students in kindergarten through grade 8 and may also include a preschool (PK-8). The administrative structure is similar to a unified district in that the total enrollment of the district drives the size of the administrative structure. Elementary schools are held accountable for student achievement on annual state-regulated assessments, with particular attention paid to reading achievement for third graders.
A union high school district serves students in grades 9-12. The administrative structure is driven by the student enrollment. Because high schools are generally larger than elementary schools, individual schools often include assistant principals. Districts that serve high school students (unified or union) are held accountable for their graduation rates, dropout rates and student achievement on annual state-regulated assessments.
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Write a paper (1,500-2,000 words) that compares governance and structure between a unified school district and a K-8 or union high school district. Include the following in your paper:
- Compare the governance and structure between a unified school district and a K-8 or high school district. (Benchmarks C7.2: Analyze the governance and structure of K-12 educational institutions including both internal and external frameworks and the leadership practices required in these areas.)
- Discuss what common leadership practices are required for successful strategic planning.
- Discuss what stakeholder relations practices are necessary for success in a diverse district. (Benchmarks C7.3: Examine the stakeholder relations practices that are necessary to sustain the diverse learning infrastructure of K-12 education.)