Strategic Planning and Goal-Setting Services

Do you want to get everyone on the same page? Does your school board-superintendent team believe improvement is important? If so, check out MSBA’s Strategic Planning and Goal-Setting Services.

School board-superintendent teams use different terms to describe school district planning and goal-setting, including developing school district ends and aims; strategic planning; strategic focuses and directions; or beliefs, mission, vision, and goals work. Regardless of what the process is called, school boards are responsible for clarifying the school district’s purpose and direction.

Brochure: MSBA Strategic Planning Services

Webinar: Strategic Planning During Challenging Times (Recorded September 17, 2020)

How does the school district benefit from doing this work?

Setting the school district’s strategic direction and goals:

  • Helps meet the legal requirements for a school board to adopt a comprehensive, long-term strategic plan to support and improve
    teaching and learning (M.S. 120B.11, Subd. 2).
  • Builds strong school board and superintendent relationships by clearly stating expectations.
  • Creates clear expectations for school district operations.
  • Drives the school district to continually improve in pursuit of excellence.
  • Provides clarity for the school district’s staff.
  • Enables performance monitoring and evaluation.
  • Ensures the school board speaks for the community.
  • Guarantees alignment between community values and school district operations.
  • Helps meet requirements to establish a plan to develop the World’s Best Workforce.

Setting school district goals is about working on ends. In a school district, ends are composed of five components:

What are
school district

Goals are the desired end result of the school district’s efforts. Goals specify what the school district wishes to accomplish.

What is the school board's role in setting school district goals and direction?

  • School boards are the entity legally charged with governing a school district.
  • One of the school board’s duties is to clarify the school district’s purpose and direction.
  • School boards convey the school district’s direction by setting clear, well-crafted goals.
  • School district staff is responsible for developing the action plans to achieve the school district’s goals.
  • School boards give final approval of the action plans, designate funding to support the school district’s goals, and develop a monitoring and evaluation plan to measure improvement.

What role would the school district's staff and residents play?

MSBA staff facilitate community engagement-related activities to gather stakeholder (internal and external) feedback to help shape school district priorities.

MSBA provides a survey to school districts to solicit input on the district’s strengths and needs. Survey responses are confidential. All responses will be collected and analyzed by MSBA. The material collected through the survey will help shape the strategic plan priorities. MSBA staff will share key themes with the school board and superintendent.

What does
the process

Virtual meeting to clarify the Strategic Planning Committee’s work

Listening session meetings with stakeholders

Meetings to create the district’s belief statements, mission statement, vision statement, goals, and objectives.

What are the benefits of facilitation by an MSBA consultant?

MSBA staff bring expertise about the school board’s role in setting school district direction and goals. MSBA staff have assisted groups — both large and small — composed of board members, school district leaders, students, and community members in studying specific school district topics.

MSBA staff guide the process for managing group input and decision-making so that decisions can be reached and all school board-superintendent team members can participate. MSBA consultants will record the work in a report format that can set the stage for further strategic planning by school district staff. And, as MSBA member school districts, school boards can access these services for a reasonable fee.

Cost: Contact MSBA’s Gail Gilman for pricing information.

Customization: MSBA is here to serve your school district. As such, we can customize a model to meet the needs of your school district.

Contact: Get started today. Contact MSBA’s Gail Gilman at 800-324-4459 or

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