About a decade ago, Cascade School District (CSD) went through a process in order to define its core mission: Continuous Student Development. That core mission permeates the district. In 2020, CSD built upon that core mission in order to define its values within the context of a strategic framework. Dr. Tracey Beckendorf-Edou, superintendent, conducted a listening tour, first in person to groups of school board members, staff, students, parents and community members. Then when the pandemic hit, the listening tour continued online. The results were used to develop a one-page framework to easily convey the identity, mission, values and strategies of the district as it moves forward. The Cascade School Board adopted the strategic framework in July 2020. This strategic framework was communicated to staff parents, and the community via presentations, newspaper articles and on the website.
The ultimate success of the strategic framework is the alignment of district initiatives to the strategic framework; for example, CSD hired a bilingual secretary for Icicle River Middle School in the 2020-2021 school year and that action aligned with the value Inclusive Diversity. In another example, CSD partnered with Upper Valley Mend, the Chelan Douglas Retirees Association, and the School Superintendents Association in order to obtain internet access for students and families with financial and geographic access limitations. These actions aligned with the values of Every Student, Connected Relationships, and Quality Education. In sum, the CSD strategic framework, developed through input from staff, students, parents and community members helps all stakeholders see that Cascade’s actions match with what its stakeholders say matter.