Linda Reid, Superintendent,
South Euclid/Lyndhurst City Schools
The South Euclid Lyndhurst Schools have been on the move in a number of significant ways. As the SEL Schools have implemented major initiatives, one constant theme seemed to emerge, and that is, a spirit of collaboration combined with a willingness to work with many partners in the community to ensure success. We have demonstrated boldness, and by continuing to partner with stakeholders in the community, our belief is that we will fulfill our vision, to become The Destination School Community.
Similar to many other school districts throughout Northeast Ohio, the SEL Schools engaged in a broad-based planning process beginning in September 2012 that produced our district’s strategic plan, entitled Destination 2018. In the near twelve-month process, more than 300 individuals from the community collaborated, recognizing the need for a five year plan. Today, with year one of our five year strategic plan completed, to the delight of our stakeholders, many of our action items have been checked off the current year’s list. Collaboration with the community for the creation of our plan was a crucial element of our success.
The focus on building school pride and rebranding was a recurring theme expressed by stakeholders as we developed the strategic plan. The community’s desire was to reinvigorate the district with a unified district brand that was common to all buildings for students of all ages. As Brush Arcs, we needed our community to “feel the power” of what the district considered “Arc Pride”. To be certain, many students, teachers, administrators and community members felt pride in the district, but a deliberate approach to re-branding logos and taglines became a main action item for the district early in the school year. The strategic plan provided the basis for action, and so the district not only rebranded its logo over the summer of 2013, but also adopted the tagline encouraging people to “feel the power of Arc Pride”. By the start of the 2013-2014 school year, rebranding efforts could be found on football stadium signage, our Web site, on printed district marketing collateral, hanging inside buildings and signs, posters and wall mounts. Simply put, once the district decided to rebrand, the newly adopted look-and-feel was everywhere. One year later, the SEL Schools has found a way to make brown and gold, cool.Just check us out online.
Another major initiativewas the redesign of the school day. The redesign plan focus was to align and expand our instruction with cutting edge, research-based practices, while simultaneously improving our organizational effectiveness and to eliminate inefficiencies in the school day. The ultimate goal is to provide more time for students to develop core subject skills, provide additional intervention and enrichment opportunities for our students, and develop college and career-readiness advisories.
To summarize, working to implement these major district initiatives has been no small task. But the gravity of such changes has been lightened by taking a collaborative spirit with various stakeholders involved, at every step in the process. When the community is involved and can provide input, as most of the readers of this article know, the important dynamic of ‘buy-in’ can be established. This is precisely how the SEL Schools have remained on the move to be The Destination School Community.