Strategic Plan 2023-30: Engagement Executive Summary

Parents/caregivers, staff, students, and community members helped FCPS create a comprehensive strategic plan

Printable version of Strategic Plan Engagement Executive Summary

In August 2022, Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) began a journey to create a new strategic plan.
This process involved 124,302 engagement touch points, 11 planning teams, and multiple opportunities
for the community to engage in the process of developing a new strategic plan. An external vendor, Performance Fact Inc. (PFI), facilitated the strategic planning process and was supported by hundreds of FCPS staff members throughout the process.

The culmination of this work resulted in the development of five student-centered goals, measures to monitor the progress toward those goals, equity statements to support each and every student with attaining those goals, and four pillars that define the work FCPS must do to reach these goals. This plan will guide the work of FCPS through 2030.

Guiding Principles

Five guiding principles informed the development of the new strategic plan:

  • Student-centered: Keep students at the center
  • Engaging diverse voices: Create multiple avenues for parents/caregivers, student, staff, and
  • community engagement
  • Data-driven: Use data to drive the development of the plan
  • Alignment: Create unity of purpose
  • Research-based: Development approach and content guided by research

Summary of Approach

FCPS made concerted efforts to reach as many people in the planning process as possible that took place in multiple phases between October 2022-May 2023. There was significant outreach to parents/caregivers, staff, students, and community members to join one of the planning teams, participate in a data collection strategy (e.g., survey or focus group), attend one of 15 community forums, engage via Let’s Talk! (an online communication tool where stakeholders could provide ongoing feedback throughout the process), and to attend one of the information and feedback sessions facilitated by an FCPS principal or program manager. These sessions provided an opportunity for principals and program managers to engage all staff to share the work-to-date and to obtain staff’s perceptions.

Planning teams analyzed student perception and outcome data, and provided feedback and recommendations that informed the content of the strategic plan. Planning teams offered each of our school community stakeholders (students, parents/caregivers, staff, and community members) an
opportunity to share their unique perspectives to shape the strategic plan. The work from the planning
teams was shared back with the community through forums and surveys to seek feedback in order to
refine the strategic plan to best reflect the diverse perspectives of the community.

Collectively, this outreach resulted in a cohesive and comprehensive strategic plan that is reflective of the
meaningful engagement with parents/caregivers, staff, students, and community members who represent
residents, businesses, non-profits, faith organizations, higher education institutions, and elected officials.

Student Centered Approach

Multiple strategies were implemented to ensure a student-centered approach. Students were invited to
serve as a member of the Core Planning or Student Voice Teams, submit a response to the Student
Survey (Grades 3-12), participate in a principal-led focus group session (Grades 3-12), attend or volunteer
at a community forum, or participate in the Final Feedback Opportunity Survey.

The Student Survey was an optional survey available to students in Grades 3-12. The survey asked
questions about student engagement, school climate, student-student relationships and behavior,
student-teacher relationships, quality teaching and learning, and representativeness of materials. Parents
could opt their child out of participating in the survey, and students could choose not to participate. A
survey link was sent to 138,875 students’ FCPS-issued email addresses. Students completed the online
survey during the school day between November 2 and December 12. There were 43,418 responses from
students in Grades 3-6, and 45,002 responses from students in Grades 7-12, for a total of 88,420

Principal-led focus groups took place across elementary, middle, and high schools, and centers in
November and December. Focus group sessions took place during the school day with a sampling of all
students in Grades 3-12, and provided a unique opportunity for principals to connect with their students to
share the strategic planning process and elicit their feedback about their schooling experiences. During
the focus group, students submitted electronic responses about what matters most in their school
experience and the one promise they would like adults to commit to regarding their education. There were
4,519 responses submitted by students in Grade 3-12. This data was shared with the planning teams to
inform the development of the strategic plan.

The Student Voice Team provided the opportunity for students in Grades 3-12 to serve on a planning
team. Students in Grades 7-12 were invited to self-nominate or nominate a peer to participate. Additional
nominations were also provided by staff to ensure representation on the teams. All nominated students
were invited to participate. There were eight focus group sessions in February and March both in-person
and virtually. There were 111 students in Grade 3-12 who participated from across the division; 44
students from Grade 3-6 and 67 students from Grade 7-12.

Total number of student engagement touch points: 93,050.


Extensive outreach was completed by the Office of Communication and Community Relations (OCCR) to
engage the community and invite their participation in one of several surveys. OCCR spearheaded the
outreach to parents/caregivers, staff, community members, and students. Parents/caregivers received
the survey link via a direct email and/or text message. Parents/caregivers and community members
could also participate via a public link on the division’s website. OCCR promoted surveys via email,
newsletters, flyers, social media, toolkits, public and internal websites, FCPS staff, the School Board, FCPS
Key Communicators, and other external groups. OCCR pushed out the surveys to more than 5,200
subscribers in the Business and Community Partner audience via their Partnerships Newsletter. Reminder
messages were sent throughout the survey windows.

The Strategic Plan Feedback Survey launched on February 27 and closed on March 20. This survey was
sent to parents/caregivers, staff, and community members. This survey was available in seven languages
(Arabic, Chinese, English, Korean, Spanish, Urdu, and Vietnamese), and included an opportunity to provide
open-ended feedback. Demographic questions were also included to help the division better understand
the community’s unique perspectives. During this time, principals and program managers engaged all
staff to share the work-to-date and to obtain staff’s perception of the draft strategic plan. Staff were
invited to complete the Strategic Plan Feedback at the end of these sessions, which yielded 13,336
responses. In total, there were 20,574 responses.

The Final Strategic Plan Feedback Survey was focused on satisfaction with current goals, associated
measures, and pillars. This survey was sent to parents/caregivers, staff, middle and high school students
and community members. Similar to the first strategic plan survey, this survey was available in seven
languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, Korean, Spanish, Urdu, and Vietnamese), included an opportunity to
provide open-ended feedback, and had demographic questions. In terms of outreach, notification about
this survey was sent to 39,154 staff and 182,275 parents/caregivers via email. The monthly Partnership
Update newsletter was used once and sent to 5,332 subscribers. The Key Communicators list was also
used twice for this survey which includes 152 subscribers. School leaders promoted the surveys and
community forums via their newsletters. The Final Feedback Opportunity Survey was also sent to 88,181
middle and high school students’ FCPS-issued email addresses on May 1 with an invitation to complete
the optional survey. There were 1,364 completed responses from middle and high school students and a
total of 8,095 responses.

Staff Community
Middle and High
School Students
Strategic Plan
Feedback Survey
6,505 13,336 733 N/A 20,574
Final Feedback
Opportunity Survey
4,702 2,435 125 1,364 8,095
        Total 28,669

Total Community Surveys Completed: 28,669.

Community Forums

PFI facilitated 15 community forums as part of the strategic planning process. Nine of the community
forums were in person, six were virtual, and two were conducted in Spanish. The first round of community
forums in January and February focused on participants reviewing data, completing root cause analysis,
and prioritizing goals from research-based best practices. The second round of community forums in
April invited participants to review work-to-date and provide suggested strategies that should be
implemented to achieve the goals outlined in the draft strategic plan. At the end of each community
forum, participants were invited to provide additional feedback via Let’s Talk.

The registration process was facilitated by OCCR, where registrants received a confirmation email with a
link to preview all of the materials ahead of time. Childcare and interpretation services were provided at
every community forum. Several communication strategies were implemented to promote the community forums, including email, text, public and internal website, toolkits, flyers, social media, Key Communicators, and other external groups. Additional outreach was implemented via text, email, and voice recording to Spanish speaking families. School leaders promoted the community forums via their newsletters. Approximately 240 FCPS staff members were trained by staff from the Office of Professional
Learning (OPLE) and PFI to serve as table facilitators. Students interested in a leadership role were invited to serve as volunteers at the community forums. All materials used at the community forums and the online registration form were translated into Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Urdu, and Vietnamese.

Total number of Community Forum Attendees: 396.

Ongoing Feedback via Let’s Talk

K12 Insight created the Let’s Talk feedback form so stakeholders could provide ongoing feedback
throughout the strategic planning process. The form launched on January 30 in conjunction with the start
of the community forums and remained open throughout the strategic planning process. The form could
be translated in multiple languages. The feedback form was promoted through social media, newsletters,
toolkits, the division website, at the end of the community forums, and on printed materials. PFI
completed thematic analyses of the responses, which were presented to the School Board. The highest
percentage of feedback forms were submitted by parents/caregivers (42%), followed by staff (38%),
community members (14%), and students (5%). Throughout the process, FCPS received 1,372 dialogues.

Total number of Let’s Talk! Feedback Forms Submitted: 1,372.

Summary of Outreach

Collectively, this outreach resulted in 124,302 engagement touch points.

  • Student Engagement
    • Target Audience: Students (grades 3-12)
    • # of Participants: 93,050 
  • Feedback Surveys
    • Target Audience: Parents/caregivers, staff, community members, students
    • # of Participants: 28,669 
  • Let’s Talk! Feedback Forms
    • Target Audience: Parents/caregivers, FCPS staff, community members, students
    • # of Participants: 1,372 
  • Planning Teams (Core, Instructional, Family, Alignment, Faith, Student)
    • Target Audience: Parents/caregivers, FCPS staff, community members, non-profit organization representatives, faith-based leaders, elected officials, higher education institution representatives, students
    • # of Participants: 575+
  • Community Forums
    • Target Audience: Parents/caregivers, FCPS staff, community members, students
    • # of Participants: 396 
  • Table Facilitators
    • Target Audience: FCPS staff
    • # of Participants: 240

The communication strategies implemented by OCCR for both staff and community surveys are found in the appendices.

Outcomes of Engagement: Final Feedback Opportunity Survey Results

The development of a strategic plan using a community-focused approach resulted in high levels of overall stakeholder satisfaction with the plan. Final survey results can be found below for the Goals, Associated Measures, and the Pillars from the strategic plan.

Goals: Final Overall Stakeholder Satisfaction

bar graph

Accessible data for "Goals" graph above

Goals: Final Overall Stakeholder Satisfaction

  • Goal 1 (N=7,975) - 89% very satisfied or satisfied
  • Goal 2 (N=7,996) - 82% very satisfied or satisfied
  • Goal 3 (N=7,989) - 87% very satisfied or satisfied
  • Goal 4 (N=7,987) - 87% very satisfied or satisfied
  • Goal 5 (N=7,964) - 88% very satisfied or satisfied

Associated Measures: Final Overall Stakeholder Satisfaction

bar graph

Accessible data for "Associated Measures" graph above

Associated Measures: Final Overall Stakeholder Satisfaction

  • Goal 1 (N=7,940) - 86% very satisfied or satisfied
  • Goal 2 (N=7,961) - 80% very satisfied or satisfied
  • Goal 3 (N=7,958) - 80% very satisfied or satisfied
  • Goal 4 (N=7,967) - 84% very satisfied or satisfied
  • Goal 5 (N=7,944) - 85% very satisfied or satisfied

Pillars: Final Overall Stakeholder Satisfaction

bar graph

Accessible data for "Pillars" graph above

Pillars: Final Overall Stakeholder Satisfaction


  • Pillar A (N=7,944) - 86% very satisfied or satisfied
  • Pillar B (N=7,929) - 86% very satisfied or satisfied
  • Pillar C (N=7,886) - 82% very satisfied or satisfied
  • Pillar D (N=7,899) - 82% very satisfied or satisfied


Appendix A. Survey Outreach Strategies

  • Strategic Communicators - 23 total outreaches
    • Superintendent Teacher’s Advisory Council (STAC)
    • Key Communicators (inc. representatives from parent orgs)
    • Presidents of FCCPTA and SEPTA
    • Family School Partnerships meetings
    • Business Partnerships newsletter
    • Strategic Planning Teams
    • Chair of TPAC
  • Family and Community Emails/Newsletters - 22 total outreaches
    • Family emails/newsletters
    • Military Families Newsletter
  • Email Communication - 15 total outreaches
    • Employee Emails/Newsletters
    • Email to Representatives (includes School Board Citizen Advisory Committees, Education Associations/Organizations, Certified Education Organizations, staff advisory councils, parent leadership/community advocacy, minority/multilingual groups, CBO's, Business groups/Chambers, civic groups, County Communications Manager)
    • Students (FCPS-issued email addresses, SAC Student President)
  • Social Media - 7 total outreaches
    • Facebook and Twitter
    • Spanish and Korean promotion with YouTube videos
  • Toolkits - 6 total outreaches
    • Family Liaisons
    • Principals
    • School Board
    • School Communicators
  • Text messaging - 4 total outreaches

Appendix B. Engagement Timeline

  • September
    • School Board held retreat to frame and launch the strategic planning process
  • October
    • 11 planning teams membership identified
    • Governance structure for the strategic planning process established
  • November
    • Student Survey and principal-led focus groups launch
    • Core Planning Team holds first convening
  • December
    • 5 planning teams (Alignment, Core, Faith, Family, and Instructional Focus Team) convene to review student achievement data and complete consensus goals tally
  • January
    • Hosted the first Community forum and launched Let’s Talk! Feedback form
    • Stakeholders review student achievement data and complete consensus goals tally
  • February
    • Hosted 11 community forums (both virtual and in-person)
    • Core Planning Team reviews feedback from planning teams and creates first draft of
      strategic plan components
    • Held first round divisionwide student focus groups
  • March
    • Stakeholders provide feedback on draft goals, pillars, and measures in the first staff and community survey (Strategic Plan Feedback Survey)
    • The School Board reviews work-to-date and refines goals and drafts measures
    • Instructional Focus Team drafts professional practices
    • Held final divisionwide student focus groups
  • April
    • Hosted three community forums
    • Stakeholders provide feedback on updated goals, associated measures, and pillars in the second staff and community survey (Final Feedback Opportunity Survey)
    • Held final convening for the Alignment, Core Planning, Faith, and Family Teams
    • Cabinet creates Strategy Map
  • May
    • Held final School Board retreat and work sessions to finalize the goals, measures, equity commitments, and review the pillars
    • The strategic plan presented to the School Board as new business
  • June
    • The School Board votes and approves the strategic plan

Appendix C. Planning Team Membership and Convenings

65+ planning team meetings & community engagements held across 11 teams

graphic of numbers of planning teams

Accessible Format for Data in Graphics (above)

65 Meetings and Forums

  • Core Planning
    • 160 participants
    • 6 convenings
  • Instructional Focus
    • 120 participants
    • 4 convenings
  • Student Voice
    • 117 participants
    • 8 convenings
  • Family 
    • 61 participants
    • 5 convenings
  • Alignment
    • 49 participants
    • 3 convenings
  • Faith
    • 43 participants
    • 3 convenings
  • Principals/Administrators
    • 291 participants
    • 4 convenings
  • Schools/Departments
    • 28,242* participants
    • 2 convenings
  • Superintendent/Cabinet
    • 11 participants
    • 19 convenings
  • School Board
    • 12 participants
    • 8 convenings
  • Community Forums
    • 396 participants
    • 15 convenings


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