Bozeman School District #7

Long Range Strategic Plan (LRSP) Annual Report 2012-13                (Presented 7/29/13)

LRSP Background

Bozeman Public Schools launched a new strategic planning process in the fall of 2007 to bring more rigor to the process of setting goals; to ensure the wants, preferences, and needs of our community are well understood; and to strategically focus our resources. We initiated this process to build a stronger and more vital School District that is widely recognized as delivering outstanding education to our students.  Progress 2012-13:  The implementation framework was reviewed at the start of the school year.  In collaboration with District executive leadership, the Superintendent created 5 priorities for the school year which were aligned with LRSP strategic objectives.  These priorities were shared with Board during a work session in August and then shared with the entire district staff at the opening assembly.

Highlights from District Priorities 2012/13 Strategic Objectives (SO)

Highlights from other 2012/13 Strategic Objectives (SO)

This Annual Report is broken into the following sections:

Section 1: Implementation Framework

Section 2: District Priorities

Section 3: Action Plan Summary

Section 4: Status Report Summary

Section 5: Acknowledgements

Section 1:  Implementation Framework 2012-13 (Adopted June 2012)

The first three years of the Long Range Strategic Plan (LRSP) focused on creating and functioning in a culture of meaningful change. In year four the LRSP moved to creating a culture of opportunity. Year five will allow the institutionalization of a culture of change, functioning in a culture of opportunity and creating a culture of innovation. The Board of Trustees of Bozeman School District #7 endorses this implementation framework for 2012-13 to continue progress on the Long Range Strategic Plan (LRSP). 

The following are components of the framework:                                                            

1. Institutionalizing a culture of meaningful change

Looks Like…                                                       

●      Personalizing learning opportunities for students.

●      Job-embedded professional development for staff.

●      Use the consensus process to continue to reach solutions to challenges.

●      Effective communication/collaboration with all stakeholders important to Bozeman Public Schools.


2. Functioning in a culture of opportunity

Looks Like…                               

●      Implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

●      Implementation of revisions to Montana Accreditation Standards (Chapter 55).

●      Alignment of resources to advance progress on LRSP.            


3. Creating a culture of innovation

Looks Like…                                           

●      Creative thinking to see things from a new perspective.

●      Create pockets of innovation to improve student learning.

●      Monitor innovation and determine future use.


The Bozeman Public Schools Education Team is enthused about launching year 5 of the Plan and energizing our team to remain committed to long-term strategic change that inspires and ensures high achievement so every student can succeed.

Section 2:  District Priorities 2012-13 (Adopted August 2012)

Our Long Range Strategic Plan provides clear direction and a set of guidelines for a 3-5 year planning horizon.  There are 21 Strategic Objectives, which dictate our general focus, but we believe it is necessary to provide a few (no more than 5) specific priorities, which will become our “work plan” for the 2012-13 school year.

Priority A:  Use best practice instructional strategies to prepare all students to be college and career ready.*

Priority B:  Foster Student Success/Safety/Health/Welfare*

Priority C:  Enhance Communication and Increase Partnerships*


Priority D:  Teacher and Principal Evaluation Standards Implementation


Priority E:  Enrollment, Placement and Facility Decisions


*Effective technology and professional development practices incorporated into action plan.

Section 3:  Action Plan Summary 2012-13 

In August 2012, the Board of Trustees approved five district priorities for the current school year, which helped to focus our attention on specific LRSP strategic objectives (SO).

The Five Districts Priorities were:

A.  Preparing all students to be college and career ready (SO 1.01, 1.02, 1.07),

B.  Fostering student success through safe school environments (SO 4.01),

C.  Enhancing communication and partnerships (SO 3.01, 3.02),

D.  Supporting staff by developing and implementing a high-quality evaluation system (SO 2.03), and

E.  Making effective decisions regarding enrollment and placement of students (SO 2.01).

Table of Action Plans by Goal Area:     (To view an individual action plan please click here.)

LRSP District Goal Area

Number of Action Plans

Goal 1: Academic Performance


Goal 2: Operations and Capacity Building


Goal 3: Community Engagement


Goal 4: Student Success/Safety/Health/Welfare




Action Plan Update (December 10, 2012)

An mid-year update of 2012-13 Action Plans was presented to the Board in December 2012.   To see a full report of the mid-year update with description of Action strategies please click here.  Below is a summary of the update.

1.  Institutionalizing a culture of meaningful change

Looks Like...Personalized Learning, Professional Development, Consensus, Communication & Collaboration

2.  Functioning in a culture of opportunity

Looks Like... Common Core State Standards(CCSS), Montana Accreditation Standards, Alignment of Resources

3.  Creating a culture of innovation

Looks Like... Creative thinking, Creating pockets of innovation, Monitor innovation

Section 4:  Status Reports Summary 2012-13

In June 2012, the BSD7 education team completed over 100 action plan status reports.  The status report format allows for team members to review action plan steps and report on progress towards completing each step.  Individual status reports can be viewed here.  Below is a summary of status reports with examples of progress.

Table of Status Reports by Strategic Objective  ( T = Technology integration, PD = Professional Development integration)


Objective (SO)

Culture of Change...

Progress towards institutionalization.

Culture of Opportunity...

Progress towards implementation.

Culture of Innovation...

Progress towards the future.

SO 1.01

Personalized Learning

• Pearson Inform (data warehouse) used by staff to facilitate data sharing for 5th to 6th grade transition process.T 

• “Walk - to” instructional models in Math and Reading have incorporated special ed. staff, which allows more students to be served in the general classroom setting.

• (EX: Grade 5) By focusing on skill development in areas such as reading for key ideas and details, making logical inferences, and citing evidence to support conclusions, ⅔ of struggling students showed significant improvement in reading comprehension.

• (EX Grade 2)  Using “best practice” instructional strategies in reading, those students who were identified at below grade level on the pretest showed significant gains and ended the year at benchmark level.  Common Core standard was clearly identified and research based assessment was used to measure growth.

• A continued focus at middle school was to increase proficiency in math skills for each student.  Assessment (easyCBM) has shown that there was an increase in the number of students achieving proficiency in Math.

• Referral and accommodation process for gifted - education incorporated in the Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS aka RtI).

• Resource alignment, staffing and budget, has created equitable special ed. services in more schools allowing more students to be served in the least restrictive environment.

• (EX: Grade 4) Shifting towards intentional use of 8 Math Practices helped students deepen their understanding of critical math concepts.  Students’ problem solving stamina increased as well as their ability to understand more complicated problems.

• (EX Grade 3) Common Core Standards were implemented into Math strategies.  As a pocket of innovation, teachers were responsible for developing materials and assessments.  Gains in math skills, as measured by EasyCBM, were realized in almost every math standard.

• At K-5 level, all classroom teachers use Inform as data collection site.  Each school’s RtI team completed the “Inform Boot Camp” training, which will help all staff begin to use Inform as a tool to help make instructional decisions. T & PD

• Pearson Inform is being used to store music assessment data (Innovative Learning Design).  Data being used to help address individual student needs. T

• An OPI program, Responsive Education for All Learners (Project REAL), which combines academic (MTSS) and behavioral (MBI) efforts will be implemented in several BSD schools.

• A regional, collaborative mental health and education program was established with a partnership between BSD and Youth Dynamics, Inc.

•  (EX: Grade 1)Teachers piloted assessments, i.e., to track progress in math problem solving. After focusing on several problem solving strategies, 48% more students scored at the proficiency level by the end of the year.

• (EX: Grade K) Teachers improved writing skills by focusing on storytelling.  At the start of the year, majority of students could retell familiar story with pictures.  By the end of the year, majority had progressed to sentences that identified the beginning, middle, and end of story.  Teachers piloted several assessment processes to help clarify this objective.

• A schoolwide focus on reading comprehension at the middle school level (using strategies like Close Analytical Reading) proved to be effective in increasing the percentage of students achieving proficiency as measured by easyCBM assessment.

• BHS piloted a reading comprehension assessment for all 9th graders.  The assessment was given twice during the year to measure growth & improvement.


Objective (SO)

Culture of Change...

Progress towards institutionalization.

Culture of Opportunity...

Progress towards implementation.

Culture of Innovation...

Progress towards the future.

SO 1.02

Best practices in Instruction & Assessment

• Instructional coaches and school leadership provide professional development in best practices at Instructional Cabinet, staff meetings, PIR days, individual classrooms, and at Board meetings. PD

• The Curriculum/Technology Integration specialist created and implemented a wide variety of professional development opportunities (i.e. how-to videos and PIR coursework).  T & PD

• Individualized pro-dev has been institutionalized with 100% of teachers completing 12 hours of personalized professional development plans. PD

• Grade-level teams worked with Instructional Coach to created Indian Education for All units to be taught at every level. PD

• At the K-5 level, the workshop model has become institutionalized in most environments.  This model has proven to be an effective way to teach reading and writing skills.

• The Instructional Coaching model has been integrated as a key element for professional development at the middle school level.  This year teachers received instruction in deconstructing standards, aligning curriculum, and creating rubrics. PD

• Pearson Inform used for storing assessment data and informing instructional decisions.  (i.e. K-8 assessments, 9th & 10th writing scores, 9th Lexile reading scores, 11th grade ACT data.)  T

• The Bridger Program implementation of standards-based instruction continues to show success with an identified future need for the development of common assessments to demonstrate proficiency.

• Achieve 3000, a computer-based reading assessment and intervention program was implemented at the 9th grade level. T

• Continued implementation of schoolwide focus on the 3 R’s (Relationship, Rigor and Relevance.)

• Increase staff understanding of 8 Mathematical Practices.  Professional development was provided by Instructional Coach.  Staff created classroom displays that show progression of 8 Math practices from one grade level to the next. PD

• Staff meetings at one school were transformed using the Professional Learning Community format and model.  The PLC model continues to be implemented in smaller environments around the District.  This model includes: collaborative lesson studies and assessment discussions.  Instructional Coaches play an important role in facilitating the PLC model.

• Technology tools, i.e. document cameras, are being implemented in several classrooms at every school.  This type of tool helps to share work, promote learning, and integrate technology.  Teachers view this tool as best practice instruction. T

• The Rigor/Relevance framework (Quad D) continues to be implemented.  Specific training offered to BHS teachers during PIR with support for lesson planning. PD

• Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in Mathematics was piloted in 45, K-5 classrooms who served as pockets of innovation.  Resources were identified and online resource banks were established. T

• Five teachers completed a pilot of an electronic standards-based gradebook available through Powerschool. T  In the spring a cadre of K-5 teachers were trained. PD

• Through a partnership with OPI, a Smarter Balanced Assessment (the new CRT) pilot was conducted at one BSD school. T

• Collaboration:  Teachers experienced productive team meetings in which they shared sample work, created rubrics, and made instructional plans.  Teachers at the K-5 level would like more time to collaborate for Common Core.

• As a pilot, the school schedule at one school was adjusted to provide time for collaboration.  Staff explored the effectiveness of this time and further adjustments will be made to the schedule.

• Pre- and post- assessments are being used more readily at all grade levels and content areas to inform instructional practices.  As teachers become more comfortable with this process, this type of assessment will become the norm.

• Several staff were trained in the Close Analytical Reading instructional strategy.  This strategy helped improve reading comprehension at all levels.

• Staff training in performanced-based assessment strategies has started in several environments through book clubs, PLCs, and work with Instructional Coaches. PD


Objective (SO)

Culture of Change...

Progress towards institutionalization.

Culture of Opportunity...

Progress towards implementation.

Culture of Innovation...

Progress towards the future.

SO 1.07

College and Career Readiness Skills (CCRS)

• BHS students increased their use of Naviance at all grade levels  to assist in career exploration and preparation for the Common Application, which streamlines the process of applying for college. T

• Many enrichment activities, already in place at every grade level, were refocused to incorporate college and career readiness skills (CCRS).

• The Adult Education program continues to foster an ongoing relationship with Gallatin College to develop “bridge” curriculum to ease transition into postsecondary.

• Many teachers have begun to increase the amount of non-fictional instructional materials.  A shift towards teaching students to read and write non-fiction has been promoted by the Common Core as an essential college and career readiness skill.

• Many teachers have reported that they have expanded students’ interaction with technology tools.  More teachers are finding new ways to implement technology into daily classroom experiences.T   

• A leadership program for music students has been developed and implemented in some environments.  The 21st century skills are a key component of this program.

• Dual credit opportunities continue to grow and remain a high interest area for students.  Teaching and Learning (an MSU core course) was implemented this year.  Next year dual credit coursework in Health Sciences will be explored.

• College and Career Readiness Skills (CCRS) were defined and a staff survey was completed to determine the level at which students were engaged in classroom activities which promoted those skills.

• New learning objectives related to CCRS were piloted this year.  For example, a new standard in ELA was -  students should be able to construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.  Teachers developed lessons to help students learn these new objectives.

• A college and career week was piloted at CJMS.  This event was a collaboration between school staff and community.

• Teachers at BHS have concluded that CCRS are best taught in a cross-curricular environment.  To this end, English and Social Studies have collaborated to combine these two subjects for all Juniors to be implemented next year.


Objective (SO)

Culture of Change...

Progress towards institutionalization.

Culture of Opportunity...

Progress towards implementation.

Culture of Innovation...

Progress towards the future.

SO 2.03

Evaluation Process

• Through revisions to Chapter 55 accreditation standards, the Board of Public Education has institutionalized the requirement of an evaluation process based on performance standards. (Montana Educator Performance Appraisal System)

• The Teacher Standards and Evaluation Committee, joint partnership between HR and BEA, successfully implemented a pilot of the new teacher evaluation process and rubrics.  Analysis of pilot was positive.

• Administrators examined and discussed various leadership evaluation models and agreed on seven leadership domains.

• District leadership has participated in professional development opportunities for implementing the new Chapter 55 requirements related to evaluation. PD

• The teacher evaluation standards will be presented and reviewed to all teaching staff and Board in the fall 2013.

• Discussion and research regarding leadership standards began with all principals and directors participating.

•Through collaboration with OPI officials, our District has agreed to align our evaluation system with the Montana Educator Performance Appraisal System.


Objective (SO)

Culture of Change...

Progress towards institutionalization.

Culture of Opportunity...

Progress towards implementation.

Culture of Innovation...

Progress towards the future.

SO 3.01

Communication, Transparency, and Accountability

• The District continues to seek feedback from students, staff, parents, and community through online surveys completed in April 2013.  In total, 1015 individuals responded to the survey.  Of those, 89.6% responded positively with regards to overall satisfaction of the educational experience in the District. T

• To support Common Core implementation, communication regarding District goals and focus was shared with existing groups, such as Parent Advisory Councils.

• The Balanced Scorecard, used to share academic and goal performance with district stakeholders, continues to be a key component for accountability.

• To support Common Core implementation, a website and informational brochures were created to provide information to parents and the community. T

• More effective and efficient use of school websites to communicate important information was implemented at every level.  Information about Common Core, RtI, Olweus, and other safety information was added to school websites.  The individual websites will continue to evolve under Sharp School program. T

• School newsletters were produced in electronic form.  Parent surveys noted that this action had helped to increase lines of communication between school and home.T

• Literacy family night events are held periodically at many schools.  These events help inform parents of specific strategies that can be used at home to help increase learning skills.  Also, events can help inform parents of current school initiatives like Common Core and Olweus.

• Avenues for communicating with the community will be upgraded with the addition of programs such as School Messenger (notification system) and Sharp School (website management system). T

• Pilot BSD7 literary magazine, “Wings” was produced to provide real-life, student examples of three Common Core writing types.  Magazine will be distributed to community and used as learning tool.

• Alternate forms of communication were piloted, such as facebook and other social media models.  Schools report increased parent connections with use of social media. T

• Using a feedback survey (Foundations Survey) parents perception of schools’ communication effectiveness.  Lessons learned will be translated into steps to improve communication in the future.


Objective (SO)

Culture of Change...

Progress towards institutionalization.

Culture of Opportunity...

Progress towards implementation.

Culture of Innovation...

Progress towards the future.

SO 3.02

Educational Partnerships

• Continued support for students and families was reaffirmed when the application for alternative standard in school counseling was approved by the Board of Public Education.  The success of this application was due in part to a partnership with THRIVE.

• A partnership with Gallatin County Food Bank provided “backpack snacks” for students who needed extra food during the weekend breaks.

• Parent and community volunteer programs continue to grow each year at all schools.  Many school programs are supported and sustained by generous school volunteers.

• Music students continue to create and maintain partnerships through community service at senior center, cancer center, hospice, service organizations and businesses.

• A revised partnership with MSU College of Education allows pre-service teachers to gain classroom experience while allowing collaboration time for our teachers.

• Increased academic opportunities for BHS students continue to be implemented with a strengthened partnership with Gallatin College and MSU for dual credit courses.

• Partnership between BSD7 and Bozeman Schools Foundation was strengthened with the production of “Wings” literary magazine.  The project will help us to communicate Common Core expectations with our community and parents.

• In most cases, educational partners are honored for their involvement through a note of thanks.  School have started to consider other methods to recognize partners. (i.e. on-site recognition area)

• Teachers at BHS were asked to record/track community partnerships (i.e. guest speakers, volunteers, community service opportunities).  To date 306 partnerships have been recorded at BHS.

• A selection of BSD teachers will participate in the STREAM (standards-based teaching renewing educators across Montana) grant.

• Partnerships between BSD and the Bozeman Police Department will strengthen with the expansion of the SRO program.

• New partnerships were fostered with groups like the Sourdough Lions Club, who donated over $3500 for instructional materials at one school.

• Some administrators have developed a school needs assessment and will work towards fostering future partnerships to fulfill those identified needs. (i.e. partnership that will help to increase family and community engagement)

• Each curriculum department at BHS was asked to establish an advisory committee this year.  (An advisory committee includes community partners and business professionals.)  The advisory committee is designed to provide input regarding college and career readiness skills.


Objective (SO)

Culture of Change...

Progress towards institutionalization.

Culture of Opportunity...

Progress towards implementation.

Culture of Innovation...

Progress towards the future.

SO 4.01

School Environment

• School foundation (school environment) teams continued to meet throughout the year.  Schools conducted foundation surveys to assess the school climate and identify needs or concerns.  Overall, survey data has shown a decrease in the perception of bully behavior both among staff and parents.

• Members of THRIVE, parent liaison and CAP mentors, continue to provide support for positive school climate.  As these programs become integrated into the school environment, they play an important role in school-wide initiatives like the Olweus program.

• Olweus bully prevention program was implemented at every school.  The components of the program include classroom meetings, kick-off events, and parent training.

• Alta Care programs (school-based mental health services) were introduced and implemented in several new school sites.  While some programs already in place experienced continued success.

•Positive behavior support plans continue to be developed and integrated at several schools.  Several schools will be participating in project REAL - an OPI program designed to help integrate school-wide behavior support plans.

• Implementation of counseling “take-over” days at SMS helped the school to focus on six core values: cooperation, tolerance, generosity, perseverance, positive attitude and appreciation.

• Olweus class meetings were established and implemented at BHS.  The early-release schedule was altered to accommodate the 35-minute class meetings.

• Olweus staff training was conducted at those schools who had not already received the training.  Instruction was conducted by certified Olweus trainer which provided consistency for implementation. PD

• Class meetings were piloted in all schools.  Classroom meetings help to keep Olweus expectations and principles as a central focus of the school environment.  In the future classroom meetings will become more integrated at every site.

• A student “safety patrol” program was piloted at one school.  Selected students are trained to help staff ensure safety for students at crosswalks and how to mediate conflict.

• Provide continued bus route efficiency to enhance transportation environment.  Planning routes for Meadowlark and reviewing current routes for efficiency in route time.  Upgrading transportation software. T

• The Foundation team at BHS has finalized work on Universal Expectations (i.e. hallway behavior, dress code).  These expectations will be posted and taught to all students in the fall.

Section 5:  Acknowledgements

The Superintendent’s office and BSD Board of Trustees wish to thank our entire education team for embracing the LRSP.  We appreciate the effort of those who have been a part of the LRSP process in the past and we look towards continued growth as we enter the review and revisioning process Fall 2013.  This report represents the work and commitment of BSD staff, Board of Trustees, and members of the Bozeman Community.

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the BSD7 education team on July 29, 2013 by

Robert J. Watson, Ed.D.

Superintendent, Bozeman Public Schools