District 911 strategically planning its future

Dr. Ray Queener, superintendent
Cambridge-Isanti Schools

Just as important as knowing where we want District 911 to go is identifying how we will get there. This is what strategic planning does for organizations looking to act on their aspirations.

This process is critical for the fulfillment of all educational initiatives and goals for our schools. More specifically, strategic planning creates the details and identifies the methods needed to meet and exceed clearly defined markers of achievement — taking a purposeful responsibility and approach to direct and maximize all resources and operations for the fullest reward of all students.

Through this process, defining the ‘district’ is essential in order to best envision and carry out a vision for learning as we identify all educators. District 911 expands staff members to include all members and organizations of the communities who influence our students and invest in our schools — serving in roles as educators.

The first strategic planning session was held Feb. 6-8. Twenty-five volunteers from the communities and schools met to discuss the values of the communities, and District 911 as an organization.

This session was invigorating and informative as all volunteer representatives were able to share their perspectives as parents, teachers, administrators, students and leaders of the communities. During this productive session we were able to collaborate to identify beliefs, a mission, parameters, objectives and strategies that will serve to anchor how the time, energy and resources of the district will be used to provide educational opportunities for all students now, and into their futures.

It is with great anticipation that we move into the next phase of planning. This phase will involve the creation of action plans for the nine strategies that were identified during the first planning session. Each action team will be led by a facilitator who will guide them in this process. Action teams will kick off March 18 at 7 p.m. at Cambridge-Isanti High School in the Performing Arts Center.

If you would like an opportunity to participate in the strategic planning process, I encourage you to volunteer for an action team. The goal is to obtain 20-25 volunteers from the communities for each of the nine strategies. An action team application form and more information on the strategic planning process is available at the district website at www.cambridge.k12.mn.us. Applications are due by March 3. You can also call the District Office at 763-689-6188 for more information.

Below is a DRAFT document fulfilled during the first strategic planning sessions:

We believe that. . .

• Every person needs to feel valued, safe and respected in order to maximize their potential. • Strong individuals and communities depend on giving to, caring for, and serving each other. • Every person has a purpose beyond themselves. • Communication, critical thinking, collaboration and creativity are necessary to thrive in a changing world. • Honesty and integrity are essential to all positive relationships. • Every person has a responsibility to live to their own high expectations.• Every person learns uniquely. • Success can come from the ability to learn from and work through adversity. • Learning occurs best when social, physical and emotional needs are met. • Every person has value with skills and talents that make them unique. • Every person is responsible for their own choices. • Education provides the greatest access to opportunities. • As technology use increases there is continued value in the skills and benefits of face-to-face communication. • Involvement in meaningful activities enriches your life.


The mission of District 911, as the leader in innovative education, offering unlimited options and opportunities, is to develop well-rounded individuals who excel in leadership, achieve at the highest levels, and are responsible citizens through highly effective staff addressing the unique needs of each individual in partnership with parents, students and a unified community.


1. We will never accept ineffective job performance anywhere in the district.

2. We will only hire the best.

3. We will always exemplify the 5 Character Traits: Compassion, Respect, Responsibility, Self-discipline and Honesty.


1. Each student will graduate career and/or college ready and will continue to pursue their high expectations.

2. Each student will own their own individualized plan for learning and for life.

3. Each student will be positively engaged in their communities throughout their lives.

4. Each student will be a leader.

5. Each student will serve their communities throughout their lives.

6. Each student will be an effective contributor to our global society.


1. We will instill in all students the qualities to be leaders throughout their lives.

2. We will attract, hire and retain staff who model our mission, beliefs and objectives.

3. We will provide multiple pathways and tools toward career and/or college readiness.

4. We will create and promote partnerships with parents and community.

5. We will provide the tools and support to meet the unique needs of every student.

6. We will unite all staff into a strong educational team.

7. We will ensure support and development for each staff member to excel.

8. We will implement a process to ensure an array of innovative learning environments and experiences.

9. We will ensure our students have the skills and the knowledge to contribute to our global society.