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Hitting the Ground Learning
July 1 – December 31, 2015

A change in leadership is a unique time in any organization.  It provides an opportunity for the the people in the organization to take pause and reflect on its past, understand the present, and create a future.  With the change in superintendency, an entry plan helps craft this opportunity by engaging the many stakeholders in the district through a listen and learn process.

The entry plan process described below extends formally over a six month period and is sequenced into four (4) phases:

Phase 1: Entry

(July 1 – September 1, 2015)

The purpose of this first phase is to create direction for the first two months of entry into the Superintendent position.  The activities described below are meant to provide personal introductions and begin establishing relationships.

  • Create opportunities to meet and greet the various constituent groups, such as school board members, administration, professional and support staff, and community groups.
  • Partner with previous Superintendent and district leadership team in critical transition activities.
  • Schedule participation in New Superintendent’s Academies (PSBA and BCIU).  Along with attendance in these programs, seek out mentor Superintendents.
  • Use initial observations and reflections to generate interview questions during phase two.
  • Consult with school board members and other administrators to draft and publish final entry plan for public awareness.

Phase 2: Seeking to Understand

(August – October 2015)

In Phase Two, meetings are held with members of the various constituent groups (ex. school board, administration, teachers, support staff, etc.).  In these meetings, the opportunity is created to listen and learn and begin capturing critical feedback, perceptions, and information to be used to develop a picture of past and present.  The activities described below also work to generate trust, respect, and credibility as a result of this process.

  • Engage in active conversations with school board members, district and building leadership, professional and support staff, parents, students, and community stakeholders.
  • Schedule a series of 90 minute interview meetings with members of each of the aforementioned groups.  In addition, a survey instrument may be used to generate perception feedback.
  • Collect, review, and organize a comprehensive profile of the school district based upon multiple measures categorized by demographics, perception measures, school processes, and student learning.

Phase 3: Making Sense

(October – November 2015)

    Phase Three provides back to the participating members of the constituent groups the collective results of the interview phase.  The findings from the interviews and surveys, coupled with the data profile of the district, are now used to create a picture of the present realities in the district to drive a vision for the future.  The activities conducted in this phase are used to build understanding, consensus and new thinking.

  • Facilitate an internal review with district administration team of the present realities and patterned perceptions, insights, processes, and performance data gained from the first two phases of the entry plan process.
  • Meet with constituent groups to share data specific to their groups as well as how it fits comparatively to other groups.
  • Develop an awareness and understanding of present and future external forces that must serve as a guide in informing our approach in providing an exceptional and responsive education.
  • Formulate with school board members and district stakeholders a future vision and direction that is innovative, responsible, accountable, and well-communicated.

Phase 4: Engagement

(November – December 31, 2015)

The final phase of the entry plan marks the culmination of a number of activities that have been conducted to collect information from district stakeholders and use this information to plot a vision and direction for the future.  The work conducted in this last part of the plan seeks to now engage the entire community through a comprehensive communication and engagement approach.  The activities are characterized by action plans that describe strategies that will be employed in the near- and long-term to create new behavior and practices across the school district community.

  • Review with the school board members the status of the entry plan and activities that will take place through the next two months.
  • Work with school board members and district stakeholders to create and implement the actionable strategies necessary to understand and realize the vision.
  • Conduct a multi-pronged communication approach that engages our entire school district community through a State of the District presentation (January 2016).

Now is a great time in education. As we move through this entry plan together as a community, we will be able to better define a common future, a common course, based in a common cause to provide each student of the Governor Mifflin School District with an exceptional education.


Dr. Steve Gerhard
Superintendent of Schools

Bill McKay
Assistant Superintendent for
Elementary Education

Phone: 610-775-1461  Fax: 610-775-6586