After months of community, staff and teacher input, Midlothian ISD trustees voted unanimously to accept the proposed strategic plan to guide the district's growth and development on all fronts for the next three to five at Monday's trustee meeting.

A growing school district needs a strategic plan to provide staff guidance when making decisions and accountability to the community, Midlothian ISD school board president Todd Helphill said.

“I think the plan will help focus us and drive us as we move forward. I'm excited to move forward with the action portion of this,” superintendent Lane Ledbetter said. “It is exciting to see what our community's expectations are.”

The plan, developed with the input of more than 150 community members, city leaders and school administrates and staff members, includes three core beliefs and 22 action plans in six different areas to help the district fulfill its mission statement and reach its vision, said Jenny Preston, one of the facilitators the district hired to guide the strategic development plan process.

“You had huge teams who stayed committed the entire time,” said Sheri Sides, the other outside facilitator.

The beliefs are: “We believe that safe, engaging, rigorous and diverse learning environments provide the best opportunity for students to reach their fullest potential;” “We believe a high quality staff with appropriate resources is essential to creating educational experiences that promote student success;” and “We believe that effective communication, purposeful collaboration and strong partnerships create an atmosphere of trust and a strong sense of community vital to student achievement.”

The vision statement is: “Inspiring excellence today to change the world tomorrow,” and the mission statement is: “The mission of Midlothian ISD is to educate students by empowering them to maximize their potential.”

The action plans are divided between the six objectives that focus on areas within the district's departments of teaching and learning, human resources, funding and finance, facilities, technology and communication and community partnerships. There are nine teaching action plans, two in human resources, two in finance, two for facilities, four for technology and three for communications.

For a full list of objectives and strategies click here.

The district staff will be meeting with Preston and Sides in the coming weeks to begin discussions on which action plans can be started immediately and which will require time to plan and arrange for funding, Preston said.

More specifics about each action plan will be released when the district is ready to begin work on the actions, said Jana Pongratz, public information officer for the district.

The communications department is getting a head start on their objectives which include rebranding the district to help it be more competitive in the current situation of school choice, Pontratz told the board, including emphasizing the district's strengths and student successes. For part of this, district officials are looking at new logos for the elementary and middle school campuses as well as a new district logo representing the district's continues pursuit of excellence.

The communications department is also looking to change its website format to something easier to update quickly and provide quicker assess to important information like enrollment procedures.

The strategic plan has been a big push by Ledbetter since he first interviewed for the superintendent job in the spring 2015, Hemphill said, and the district hired Strategic Planning for Practitioners consultants Preston and Sides to facilitate the plan's creation along with the district's assistant superintendent for leadership, innovation and planning Ashley Stewart.

Contact Bethany Kurtz at 469-517-1450 or email Follow her on Facebook at or on Twitter @bethmidlomirror.