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Strategic Plan 2016-2021

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Throughout the 2015-16 school year, a planning team of 38 educators, parents and students met to develop a five-year strategic plan for the Newburyport Public Schools. In a series of workshops, the Strategic Planning Team examined the resources, ambitions, and operations of the District; and through a facilitated process, this representative group established the framework for the NPS Strategic Plan.  

As a result of this work, a new mission statement was written:

The mission of the Newburyport Public Schools, the port where tradition and innovation converge, is to ensure each student achieves intellectual and personal excellence and is equipped for life experiences through a system distinguished by students, staff and community who:
  • Practice kindness and perseverance
  • Celebrate each unique individual
  • Value creativity, experiential and rigorous educational opportunities, scholarly pursuits, and life-long learning
  • Provide nurturing environments for emotional, social, and physical growth
  • Understand and embrace their role as global citizens

The mission statement grew from a process where the Strategic Planning Team identified the NPS foundational beliefs. These core beliefs guide our work as a district:

  • Each person is worthy of respect
  • A strong community celebrates individual uniqueness
  • Each individual has inherent worth
  • Opportunity stems from adversity; growth from mistakes
  • Through reflection we gain understanding
  • Compassion and empathy build community
  • Everything can be done with kindness
  • Individuals are responsible for their own actions
  • Attitude has power
  • We have an obligation to serve one another
  • Trusting relationships require clear and open communication
  • A community is responsible for its individuals
  • Education is fundamental to an empowered, evolving society

The planning process resulted in the identification of four overarching objectives.

These objectives are aspirational and ground our strategic plan. The strategies and action plans are all developed to move us towards a district where every student will:
  • Graduate
  • Continually achieve personal goals
  • Have a positive impact on our evolving world
  • Achieve harmony in mind, body and spirit

From this foundational work of beliefs, mission, and objectives, seven strategies for action were identified: 

We will...
  • Re-imagine teaching and learning
  • Offer an array of opportunites for self-discover and personal achievement
  • Maximize all internal and internal resources
  • Optimize our organizational desitn and operations
  • Create a dynamic community among stakeholders
  • Create a culture that cultivates the bet in everyone
  • Provide supports so all students are ready and able to learn 

Each of the seven strategies has a unique action plan that was developed by an Action Planning Team:

The Action Planning teams were facilitated by seven educational leaders and included over 100 parents, teachers, community representatives and students as members. The resulting plans provided specific steps for each strategy and were mapped out over five years.

2015-16 Strategic Planning Board Members

  • Staff: Aishling Falzone, Deanna Saif, Joan Sheehan, Kelly Garbarino, Lynne Cote, Maggie Flaherty, Pat Levitt, Tom Abrams
  • Administrators: Amy Sullivan, Angela Bik, Beth Raucci, Christina Gentile, Karina Mascia, Kristina Davis, Lisa Furlong, Mike Parent, Mike Testa, Nancy Lysik, Susan Viccaro, Tara Rossi    
  • School Committee: Bruce Menin, Cheryl Sweeney
  • Students: Cooper Willingham, Stephanie Gleason
  • Community: Dorene Olsen, John Marino, Karen Young, Laurie Naughton, Linda LaMoine, Pam Armstrong



STRATEGY I: We will Re-imagine Teaching and Learning
Action Plan 1: All students' holistic and academic needs are met through teaching, curriculum and assessment methods.
Action Plan 2: Assessment is used to guide instruction and curriculum, engage students in inquiry, and focus on the process of learning.
Action Plan 3: Communication of information to the district and the community focused on re-imagining teaching and learning
Action Plan 4: Support relationships and learning communities among teachers and administrators.
Action Team Members: Emily Russin, Leader;
 Staff: Stephanie Williams, Jacqui Rousseau, Tara Ellis, Tom Abrams, Maureen Lyons-Taylor, Emily Webber
Community: Andy Willemsen, Robert Hooker, Sue Grolnic
Parent: Pam Armstrong, Eric Bibeault
School Committee/Parent: David Hochheiser
Student: Elizabeth Fortier, Hannah Rikeman


STRATEGY II: We will offer an array of opportunities for self-discovery and personal achievement.
Action Plan 1: Students are mentally, socially and emotionally ready to learn.
Action Plan 2: Students establish connections, apply higher order thinking skills and make learning relevant through meaningful experiences.
Action Plan 3: Students learn at a pace in line with their inner abilities (strengths/weaknesses) and contribute to their educational path and experience.
Action Plan 4: Explore flexible learning environments designed on competency based learning models.
Action Team Members: Mercy Duffill, Leader;
Staff:Kyle Hildebrand
Community:Agnes Manning, Harry Fensom, Ann Ormond, Andi Egmont
Parent:Dorene Olsen
Student:Madison Johnson


STRATEGY III: We will maximize all internal and external resources.
Action Plan 1: Community support for the achievement of the student's personal goals.
 Action Plan 2: Costs will be reduced and revenues maximized in our school district.
 Action Plan 3: Partnerships will be encouraged and developed in and outside of the school district.
 Action Plan 4: The Newburyport Education Foundation (NEF) is recognized as the philanthropic arm of the Newburyport Public Schools and the NEFBC as the bridge to experiential learning for our students.
Action Team Members: Steven P. Cole, Leader/School Committee;
Staff: Cathy Riccio
Community: Joe Mastrocola, David Hall, Kristen Donahue, Art Currier
Parent: Sarah Willman-LaPlante, Rebecca Elmore
Student: Jack Lashendock


STRATEGY IV: We will optimize our organizational design and operations.
 Action Plan 1: Organizational structure meets needs of students.
 Action Plan 2: Schedule changes are made to meet the needs of students.
 Action Plan 3: Technology will fully support the goals of the district.
 Action Plan 4: Schools will function as effective professional learning communities.
 Action Plan 5: We will design and cultivate flexible learning environments for optimal functionality and culture.
 Action Plan 6: Student growth and learning are enhanced by a creative, rigorous and expansive curricula.
 Action Plan 7: Place Based Education initiatives are further supported and developed to enhance authentic learning opportunities for students.
Action Team Members: John Gangemi, Leader;
Staff: Steve Bergholm, 
Community: Jen Roy, Amanda Zeller, John Terry, 
Parent:Elizabeth Goullaud, David DeRosa
School Committee/Parent: Christine Miller, Bruce Menin
Student:Alison Lashendock


STRATEGY V: We will create a dynamic community among all stakeholders.
 Action Plan 1: A diversified community of stakeholders who are invited, welcomed and affirmed.
 Action Plan 2: All stakeholders are informed about district-wide and school-level events, programs, and opportunities.
 Action Plan 3: Stakeholders are involved in school events, programs, and learning opportunities.
 Action Plan 4: Students gain real world experiences through community and civic involvement.
 Action Plan 5: Students have a voice in building community relationships.
Action Team Members: Deb Szabo, Leader;
Staff: Wendy Crofts, Pam Jamison, Christina Gentile, Tracey Glynn
Community: Alan Papert, Lynn Laffie, 
Parent: Ted Boretti, 
Student:Charlie Lake, Zach Ellsworth, Kathleen Lacey


STRATEGY VI:  We will create a culture that cultivates the best of everyone.
 Action Plan 1: Distributed Leadership - Everyone shares the responsibility of leadership and culture.
 Action Plan 2: Engagement - Leadership seeks to give voice to all constituencies to ensure engagement.
 Action Plan 3: Communication - District and school personnel will communicate out to improve culture and engagement.
Action Team Members: Liz Kinzly, Leader;
Staff: Lynne Cote, Luann McKenney, Lauren Eramo, 
Community:Geri Dorr, Vicki Hendrickson
Parent:Marty Daigneault, Ken Woods, Pam Wool, Kelly Mount
Student: Kathleen Geary, Cavan Dunn


STRATEGY VII: We will provide supports so all students are ready and able to learn.
 Action Plan 1: Implementation of cohesive, vertically aligned Response to Intervention (RTI) at all grade levels.
 Action Plan 2: Increase social emotional learning at all grade levels.
 Action Plan 3: Increased play opportunities for students at all grade levels.
 Action Plan 4: Students have the tools necessary to appropriately and safely utilize technology.
 Action Plan 5: Increased executive functioning learning at all grade levels.
 Action Plan 6: A safe and supportive school environment.
 Action Plan 7: Reduce student stress.
Action Team Members: Carly Fair, Leader;
Staff: Nicole Bonner, Trish Dolan, Erin Rich, Jeanna Guardino
Community: Deb Andrews
Parent: Peter McClure, Karen Sakaniwa, Lisa Francis
Student:Stephanie Harrison, Jude Habib




Am I showing respect for myself?

Am I showing respect for the rights and worth of others?

Am I showing respect for school and community property?

Am I showing respect for the environment?

Am I showing respect for others' views?

Am I respectful in my written and spoken communication to others?



Am I showing kindness by treating others the way I want to be treated?

Am I showing kindness by promoting the welfare of others?

Am I showing kindness by being patient with others?

Am I showing kindness by acting with empathy and compassion?



Does my work stretch my understanding?

Am I approaching problems in new and different ways?

Are we advancing innovation in all areas?

Do I foster and celebrate creativity in all of its different forms?

Do I understand the purpose of innovative practice?

Is the innovative practice rigorous as well as creative?



Do I know how to approach a problem without a clear answer?

Am I willing to take risks?

Do I recognize what is holding me back?

Do I set goals for myself?

Am I able to use strategies to overcome challenges?

Am I doing my personal best?



Do I accept responsibility for my actions and my words?

Do I accept responsibility for contributing to my class or group?

Do I accept responsibility for my personal growth?

Do I accept responsibility for making ethical choices?

Do I accept responsibility for contributing to my local or global community?

Do I take ownership of my responsibilities?



Do I think before I act?

Do I give sufficient time for reflection before I take action?

Am I willing and able to make change and act based on the feedback I receive?

Do I value my own work and that of others?

Do I have an understanding of my learning style, strengths and weaknesses?

Do I define success in a variety of ways?