Dr. Cedrick Gray's entry plan focuses on engaging the following three groups:
• The Jackson Public School's Board of Trustees and the superintendent's staff;
• Community and religious leaders, members of the state Legislature, the mayor, City Council, county supervisors, parents and scholars from the university community;
• Principals, teachers and students.
The Five Goals
- Focus on academic achievement and academic growth through the alignment of resources and organizational efforts to ensure students are college and career ready.
• Analyze student achievement data from each school to evaluate current school performance.
• Identify underperforming schools, determine root cause, perform SWOT analysis and collaboratively determine effective resolution.
• Analyze budget to determine appropriate levels of financial support for building teacher capacity through professional development.
• Create a balanced assessment program that regularly monitors and evaluates the performance of students.
• Review current "zone structure" or feeder-pattern performance results with principal coaches and determine proactive actions for support and improvements.
- Develop and support a unified governance team that results in consistency of purpose, stability and teamwork by building a trusting and collaborative relationship with the Jackson Public Schools Board of Trustees.
• Engage in one-on-one meetings with board members to ascertain strengths in governance create communication protocol and broaden perspective.
• Hold board retreat to discuss roles and responsibilities, expectations and agenda setting.
• Review process, structure and timeline of current strategic plan and budget for the district.
- Establish a positive climate throughout the learning community that is focused on high expectations for student achievement and continuous improvement.
• Establish productive, positive relationships with teacher organizations, student organizations and key district leadership.
• Create Student Board of Trustees consisting of one high-school senior from each of the seven high schools to meet once per nine-week period.
• Schedule meetings with principals and school leadership teams and establish regular meetings with these groups.
• Hold three Parent Impact! Symposiums throughout the school year to obtain parent feedback.
• Schedule a visit to each school to build relationships with school faculty and staff.
- Increase organizational effectiveness and operational accountability to ensure consistent support to schools
• Review job descriptions, standards of practice and expectations of executive staff. Identify and hire critical new executive staff members.
• Review current central-office organizational structure for efficiencies and focus on student achievement.
• Conduct one-on-one interviews with department and division heads, reviewing all vital documents, organizational charts, employee handbooks, procedural manuals, department specific strategic plans and student achievement data by school.
• Conduct retreat with executive staff to review pertinent district data, strategic plan, achievement data and position vacancies throughout district.
• Conduct an organizational audit using expert practitioner to review alignment, coherence and efficiency to the current organizational structure.
- Establish a positive, learning-focused district culture centered on student achievement, development and growth.
• Schedule group sessions to secure feedback regarding future hopes and plans from external entities.
• Conduct communication audit to determine effectiveness of programs, protocols with news media and comprehensive communication plan.
• Visit area churches and schedule meeting with key parent groups.
• Schedule meetings with student groups for initial listening and learning sessions.
• Meet with leaders of local media outlets, editorial boards, and education reporters to establish a framework for collaboration that is open and transparent.
Gray joined JPS in July, taking the reins from Superintendent Dr. Jayne Sargent.