2021 Education Reimagined

Learn more about the Strategic Planning Process:

Onward Salida Strategic Plan Presentation
22 Strategic Plan Cover

Update June 2022

ONWARD Education Consulting has continued work on the Salida School District’s Strategic Plan Renewal and Graduation Guidelines Policy recommendation. 

Phases Two and Three of the Salida strategic planning process are now complete and the recommended Salida Strategic Plan has been submitted. In order to continue high levels of community engagement, the next step will be to administer a community survey to inform the prioritization of district actions based on the proposed plan. The survey will be conducted in July and early August of 2022. Once the survey has been administered and feedback received, the final phase of the process, prioritization, implementation, and performance management may begin. It is recommended that prioritization take place late Summer or early Fall of 2022, while implementation and performance management will be an ongoing process that spans several years. 

Update February 2022

The 2022-2027 Salida School District Strategic Plan is the culmination of a process that began in August of 2021 and consistently prioritized the highest levels of stakeholder voice and engagement. The process is grounded in an Appreciative Inquiry approach. This positive, highly participatory approach asks organizations and their stakeholders to answer the question, “What is it that we do already that is working for us, and how can we leverage our assets and strengths going forward?” The process encourages all participants to share their values, hopes, and dreams for the future of the organization. We want to thank the entire Salida community for their active engagement in identifying strengths and strategic priorities. The Strategic Goals outlined in this plan are a direct reflection of the community’s collective voice and vision for the future of the district.

Based on community input, Salida Strategy Teams and the Salida High School Technical Workgroup engaged in a multi-day process to further define the community’s Strategic Goals. The process placed great emphasis on participatory values of full participation, mutual understanding, inclusive solutions, and shared responsibility. By engaging in a process to develop shared understanding of Strategic Goals, these teams were able to create plans that will close the strategic gap between current district strengths and opportunities and the community’s aspirations and desired results for the district. This included a deep dive into current research relevant to each Strategic Goal. The Strategic Objectives and Strategic Actions included in these plans represent the very best thinking of the Strategy Team and Technical Workgroup. We want to express our deep gratitude to the Strategy Team and Technical Workgroup members for their commitment to the process and for their many hours of work to bring the thinking of the broader Salida community to life in these plans.

Finally, on behalf of the ONWARD Education Consulting Team, it has been an honor and a privilege to support the work of the Salida community as it joins together in support of the Salida School District and, most importantly, in support of the students of Salida.


The Salida School District Board of Education is considering a multi-faceted program change to Salida High School to address a budget shortfall and to meet the school district’s mission to prepare every student to succeed in life by providing quality and progressive curriculum.

As it stands now (April 2021), because of recent federal COVID relief funding, the district is able to balance the budget for the school year and take more time for proposed program changes. The teachers and staff will consider what is feasible and bring them to the community for discussion during the upcoming school year. Thank you everyone for your feedback and participation thus far, as it has made a difference and impact.
This short video provides an overview of the financial standing of the district and how it relates to the proposed graduation changes that will be discussed during the 21-22 school year:

In addition, board member Jeannie Peters wrote a letter that expresses the importance and desire of the board and what the goal is behind the proposed changes:
Jeannie's Letter - The big WHY.

Process Timeline for Graduation Change Updates

Timeline with use of Federal ESSR Funds allowing more time for conversations:

April - Discuss 21-22 Budget

May - Approve Initial 21-22 Budget

June - Finalize 21-22 Budget

July - No Meetings

August- Start School

September - Community & Staff Meetings to discuss strategic planning and graduation requirement changes

October - Community & Staff Meetings to discuss strategic planning and graduation requirement changes

November - Community & Staff Meetings to discuss strategic planning and graduation requirement changes

December - Finalize Audit of 20-21 fiscal year, certify revenues for 21-22 fiscal year, allocate staff pay changes for 21-22 fiscal year

January - TBD

February: Finalize any graduation requirement changes, codified in Policies IKF-2 and IKF-2-R

To frame the proposed changes, the board is asking these questions: 

program infographic


The below document links provide background, research and information pertaining to the ideas proposed in the graduation requirement change:
FRESHMAN ACADEMY - Research brief on the benefit of a ninth grade academy
SCHOOL-SPONSORED ACTIVITY RESEARCH - Benefit of student involvement in activities
NATIONAL CLEARINGHOUSE DATA - Statistics on how many SHS graduates pursue higher education.
THE HECHINGER REPORT - Opinion: 9th Graders do better with less class work report.
THE NEW YORK TIMES - Financial Literacy is Important for Graduates

How to Get Involved

Parents and other stakeholders are invited to listen in on Board of Education meetings and District Accountability meetings. Reach out to your School Board and DAC members for specific questions and concerns. This is a community process, but to answer many impending questions, the staff and teachers need to develop curriculum recommendations to determine what is feasible.

Listen to Heart of the Rockies Radio on Wednesday mornings at 7am for a weekly chat with Superintendent Blackburn. 

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