2021-2026 Strategic Plan

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What is a Strategic Plan

“A strategic plan serves as an essential foundation and roadmap for a district’s improvement efforts. It ensures all educators are on the same page and serves as a “living document” to be referenced throughout the year and in subsequent years to ensure the district’s key levers are in direct alignment with the plan and to assess progress toward achieving the goals of the plan.”

Strategic Planning Playbook, Insight Education Group


Why Develop a Strategic Plan?

“Leaders must develop a district-wide strategy for improving teaching and learning and then design and manage the entire organization in a coherent way that strengthens and supports the strategy. When leaders fail to achieve organizational coherence, the system does not work well for anyone – students, teachers, administrators, or parents.”

Childress, et.al. 2007

Check out the video of the strategic plan  announcement at the October 2021 Board Meeting.

CSD Strategic Planning Stages

  • Identify and train strategic planning facilitators
  • Provide updates and solicit feedback on progress toward goals and implementation plans
  • Draft Strategic Plan 
  • Engage Stakeholders 
  • Finalize Strategic Plan 
  • Initiate elements of the Strategic Plan
  • Engage as many stakeholders as possible 
  • Use data from conversations to spark inquiry and guide development of plan 
  • Adjust Strategic Plan in response to feedback from stakeholders and progress towards goals


Our strategic planning process began with input from a multi-stakeholder Design Phase Team. The team was composed of family members, district staff, and community stakeholders and met monthly to begin to shape Colonial’s new strategic plan. We would also like to acknowledge our partners at Insight Education Group, who assisted in facilitating the strategic planning process. We are very grateful for the time, focus, and thought that so many people brought to this process; and for the students in Colonial School District who will benefit from this plan and contribute to the future growth and success of our community.

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Dear Colonial School District Community,

It is with tremendous honor and pride that I share Colonial School District’s Strategic Plan. Our five-year plan tells the story of the hopes and dreams of our students, families, district, and larger community; and sets a course for us all to join together to ensure each and every student’s success.

Early Childhood, Leadership and Learning, Innovation, and Access and Opportunity, are Colonial’s Pillars, and represent the core work of our organization. The vision, mission, core values, priorities, and measurable goals detailed in this document are aligned with the pillars and set the course for the next five years of continuous improvement.  The plan’s development truly embodies the Power of WE and reflects more than a year of hard work and commitment during a process that was a collective effort of all stakeholders; including students, families, staff, and community members.  The development of the plan began with a design phase team and stakeholder engagement, and concluded with the development, release, and implementation of the strategic plan. This plan will serve as a foundation for Colonial School District’s effort to improve outcomes for each and every student in the years to come. 

As the Superintendent of Schools, I am presented with an incredible opportunity to take the culture of the Power of WE to the next level. Within the next five years, we will create a school district that all families choose for the education of their children, and a district that will be recognized as a premier workplace in the MidAtlantic region.

I encourage you to take time to review the plan, ask questions and seek opportunities to contribute to and join the Power of WE.

Jeffrey Menzer, Ed.D.


When you ask the Colonial School District community what The Power of WE means, they have a lot to say! 

Colonial School District’s five-year strategic plan, WE Can Change the Odds!, has been developed to honor and bring to life the Power of WE. The CSD strategic planning states on the next page illustrate the process we undertook to ensure we understood both the current state of the district and the steps necessary to continue to improve equitable access to high-quality education for each and every Colonial student. 

We studied our current practices, multiple student achievement data points, and engaged numerous stakeholders in an innovative process to understand their hopes and dreams for the district’s priorities and goals. In order for us to fulfill the priorities that emerged as part of this process, we will need to implement this plan with fidelity, consistency, and hold ourselves and each other accountable to the highest standards. Our strategic plan will serve as our guide for the next five years as we create schools and a district that are even better than they are today. 


Colonial graduates are prepared for post-secondary opportunities, equipped to contribute to their community, and ready to revolutionize their world.


Colonial School District is innovative, collaborative, and committed to providing equitable opportunities and access to high-quality educational experiences for each student.


In Colonial, our core beliefs are our “guiding principles” that help shape the daily actions of all stakeholders inside and outside of CSD schools.


We empower students to persevere and succeed by removing barriers and providing equitable access to high-quality instruction and conditions. 


We are an equity-minded and focused organization, driven to support the whole child. 


We are passionate, service-driven, and develop meaningful relationships with our students, staff, and community. 


We provide diverse and wide ranging experiences for students to develop, learn, and become contributors to their community and the larger world. 

Demographics & Facilities


The pillars are how we prioritize, organize and structure the work happening in Colonial schools.

Measurable Goals
In order for us to achieve success in meeting our priorities, we must intentionally monitor our progress. Our pillars each have priorities and measurable goals aligned to them. We have developed these measurable goals to assess our progress in improving conditions and outcomes for each and every student in Colonial. Please note, due to COVID related circumstances during the past 18 months, the “Current Status” data information is missing in some instances. We will update all incomplete data at the end of the 2021-22 school year. 

Early Childhood

Students experience greater school success, including graduation and post-secondary opportunities, when they have a strong start in the early grades. Colonial School District will ensure that every child has equitable access to a high-quality PreK-2 experience.

Measurable Goals


Priority 1: Increased Access To High-Quality Pre-Kindergarten Programs 

  • Expand the number of pre-kindergarten (Pre-K) seats in Colonial Early Education Programs (CEEP)
  • Ensure consistent implementation of high-quality curriculum across child care sites in Colonial community

Priority 2: Academic Preparedness In Literacy And Mathematics

  • Establish partnership opportunities and ensure access to recognized high-quality supports for all licensed child cares and early learning programs in Colonial School District.
  • Provide culturally relevant instruction

Priority 3: Reduce Chronic Absenteeism

  • Ensure that the current system to identify potentially at-risk students is effective
  • Develop a system that identifies and supports potentially at-risk students in Pre-K/K

Leadership & Learning

Students thrive in a culture of leadership where everyone is committed to creating optimal conditions for learning and wellness. All members of the Colonial School District community will embody the mindset to ensure everyone reaches their fullest potential.

Measurable Goals


Priority 1: Eliminate Achievement Gaps Between Gender And Racial Subgroups In All Academic Areas

  • Conduct an equity audit and implement recommendations across district and school settings

Priority 2: Highly Effective Teaching and Leadership in Every Classroom/Building/Division

  • Finalize and implement the Leadership Framework modules coupled with on-going, job-embedded support for school leaders Develop and implement a Colonial Instructional Handbook for Educators


Students achieve at high levels when school experiences honor their cultures, strengths, needs, interests, hopes, and dreams. Students will be empowered to participate in comprehensive experiences that prepare them to thrive in an ever-changing global environment.  Colonial School District will foster innovation at all levels of the organization, encouraging staff and students to reimagine schooling.

Measurable Goals


Priority 1: Internships And Career Opportunities

  • Develop and implement an articulated college and career readiness/exploration program in grades 6th through 12th
  • Increase the number of business and community partnerships which will result in internship opportunities
  • Increase certifications for students in high school pathway programs

Priority 2: Elevating Student Voice And Agency

  • Establish formal structures for students to exercise agency in their school experience

Access & Opportunity

Students thrive in settings where a diverse educator workforce is valued, learning environments are joyful, individual needs are met, and resources are aligned to create equitable opportunities for all students. Colonial School District is committed to seeking equity in the workforce, the school, the classroom, and the community.

Measurable Goals


Priority 1: Diversify Workforce

  • Expand upon and solidify yearlong teacher residency opportunities with Institute of Higher Education (IHE)
  • Develop and support affinity groups focused on recruitment and retention of educators of color and their impact on Colonial students

Priority 2: Create Equitable Learning Environments For All Students

  • Ensure consistent implementation of a district-wide framework and approach for Social-Emotional Learning (SEL)
  • Create structures and processes so each and every student has a connection with caring adults

Priority 3: Elevate Parent And Community Voice

  • Develop a regular cycle of events that rotates times and locations that increase access for parents/community members to participate
  • Develop and implement Parent University to provide relevant and timely information to parents while also creating a forum for authentic dialog between stakeholders