BSD launches new strategic planning process

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BSD launches new strategic planning process

Thu, 05/27/2021 - 2:27pm -- tim
District Looking for Volunteers to Help with Phase 1 of the Process

Vermont Business Magazine Burlington School District (BSD) has launched its strategic planning process. The District is working with the Center for Innovative Education (C!E) to support the development of a strategic plan that is co-created with BSD stakeholders. The first phase of the plan will be to invite community members to help gather stories and insights from BSD stakeholders utilizing a process known as “empathy interviewing.”

Those interested in learning how to conduct empathy interviews should sign-up to attend a training on June 3 (4:30-6 pm, virtually) or July 15 (4:30-6 pm, in-person).

“We are really excited about beginning this process because it is an opportunity to engage with all of our stakeholders and really work together to decide what our District’s priorities should be for the next five years,” said BSD Superintendent Tom Flanagan. Flanagan noted he was also encouraged by C!E’s involvement in the process. “C!E’s involvement will support our desire to have an equity-focused process that includes working side by side with families and learners farthest from opportunity in our community, rethinking how we will be accountable to one another in our strategic plan, and balancing learning and action as we do this important work together and in our plans for the future.” 

Victor Prussack, Coordinator of BSD’s Office of Engagement, said that the goal of the strategic planning process will be to utilize a process called “radical inclusion” to mobilize a broad Coalition representative of Burlington’s diversity of backgrounds and perspectives. “This means making extra effort to reach out and make direct asks for participation from our marginalized communities, creating an open application by which people may apply, and rounding out our Coalition with a randomly selected cross-section of the Burlington community,” explained Prussack. “By using this radically inclusive process, we will ensure that all stakeholder groups are represented and able to bring their essential perspectives and many kinds of expertise to shape our strategic planning work and the District’s future.”

Flanagan says he expects the new strategic plan to be in place by November. Anyone with questions or who wants to be more involved can reach out directly to Victor Prussack at

Strategic Planning Phases and Timeline: 

Phase 1 (June-July): Forming the Coalition and collecting data and insights via empathy interviewing 

Phase 2 (August): Launching the Coalition and co-creating the vision for the district 

Phase 3 (September-October): Defining key priorities, strategies, and areas for shared learning

Phase 4 (November): Finalizing the plan with board collaboration

Burlington School District (BSD) is a pre-k-12 public school system of about 4,000 students in Burlington, VT. BSD’s mission is to graduate students who: value different cultures, engage with the community, communicate effectively, think creatively, skillfully solve problems, and achieve at their highest academic, intellectual, and personal potential.  

Source: BSD 5.27.2021