FAQs about ACSA Strategic Planning

posted in: News & Resources | 0

Download the FAQs as a PDF


What is the purpose of ACSA’s Strategic Planning process?

Strategic Planning aims to propel the association into the future poised to best serve all school leaders. The process will allow the association to remain vital and relevant through the achievement of specific measurable, observable, and demonstrable results.

Why is ACSA undergoing this strategic planning process now?
It has been 20 years since ACSA last adopted a strategic plan. The ACSA Board of Directors felt the time was right to reassess where we are as an association and where we want to be in the future.

How is this planning process being undertaken?

ACSA’s process is led by Bill Cook, president of The Cambrian Group, and involves three parts: Strategic Thinking, Strategic Planning and Strategic Action. The Cambrian Group has led this process for more than 1,200 school systems throughout the United States and internationally.

What is the timeline for ACSA’s strategic plan?

Strategic Planning began in May 2012, initiated by the ACSA Board of Directors. The process will continue throughout the 2012-13 year. It began with the selection of planning team members, who participated in Strategic Thinking training and have developed a draft Strategic Plan. Action Teams, consisting of more than 300 ACSA members, will ensure the strategies of the plan are operational. The nine Action Teams will meet from January through April 2013. Then, the Planning Team will meet again to review the Action Steps, revisit the draft plan and adopt necessary changes. The final plan will be reviewed and voted on by the ACSA Board of Directors in July 2013. An implementation phase will follow, during which staff resources will be aligned to the plan.

How can I review the draft plan?

The plan is posted online at www.acsa.org/draftplan.

What are the components of the plan?

The draft plan contains a statement of beliefs, mission, parameters, objectives and strategies. The beliefs establish the moral dimension of the plan. They represent a composite of the personal values of the people who make up our organization. They energize the process and provide a starting point for the strategy. The mission is the identity to which we aspire. It’s a transformational concept and an expression of what we intend to be. The parameters are the ground rules. These are the strategic boundaries we’ve set to assert priorities and to define and limit expectations. The objectives are the end result. They describe what the organization must achieve if it is to accomplish its mission and stay true to its beliefs. The strategies define how the organization will acquire and deploy resources to accomplish its mission and objectives.

Why does the draft strategic plan contain a name change for the association?

The Strategic Planning Team felt strongly that transformational change requires a new brand and marketing strategy for the association. The notion of changing our name and brand has generated rich discussion throughout the association, as the ACSA brand has been recognized for more than 40 years. The name change will be a major focus for Action Team 6, which is charged with determining how to boldly brand and aggressively market our identity. The Action Team will present its recommendations back to the Strategic Planning Team in April 2013 and at that time, the Planning Team can modify the plan. The Board of Directors will review and has a final vote on the plan in July 2013.

In addition to branding, what other strategies are being discussed and by whom?

More than 300 members have volunteered to serve on Action Teams that focus on advocacy, professional learning, alliances, networks, learning and teaching, transformational technologies, governance and finances. These Strategies and Action Team Leader contact information can be found at www.acsa.org/strategicplanning.

How can I share my comments about the draft plan?

You can comment online, through emails, in person or by phone. You can post your comments online at www.acsa.org/input. You can email comments to . You can discuss your recommendations and concerns at region meetings or at ACSA’s upcoming Delegate Assembly on Feb. 7 in Ontario. Or you can call Julie White, ACSA’s Assistant Executive Director, at 916.329-3832.