In June of 2019, the Fairbanks Board of Education, Treasurer Aaron Johnson, and I met. This was early in our relationship together. At this meeting, the board set strategic priorities for our district, with the first being developing a unifying mission, vision, and strategic plan for Fairbanks Local Schools. Being new to the district allowed me to listen, learn, and develop a process to achieve this strategic objective.
In January of 2020, a task force of forty-two individuals began taking steps towards accomplishing this objective. In addition to the task force, we surveyed school community members and held community meetings. Our task was supposed to be completed by May 2020, but COVID-19 interrupted that progress and forced us to adjust how we would continue to connect to finish this work together. The task force persisted; completing the work and presenting the newly crafted framework to the board of education in December of 2020. The presented framework was formally voted on and approved by the board earlier this month. Throughout this process, I was most proud of the students that participated and fought for their voice to be heard. They were the drivers of this finished product.
Why is this work important? The answer comes back to clarity. It is not meant to be words on paper, but something that guides our school district’s aspirations, decisions, and provides filters for our direction. Our mission is our ‘Why’, our vision is our ‘How’, and our portrait is how experiences will be crafted for students in Fairbanks Local Schools.
District Mission Statement
“Pride in our past; Passion in the Present; Preparing for the Future”
District Vision Statements
- We will engage each learner with diverse and balanced opportunities to maximize individual growth.
- We will empower each learner to create and cultivate connections for a safe physical, academic, social, and emotional environment.
- We will nurture and inspire trusted relationships that allow for transparency leading to community involvement in continuous student growth.
- We will implement frameworks that support ethical, equitable, and efficient distribution of fiscal, human, and physical resources.
Portrait of a Panther
Over the coming months, our District Leadership Team will extend this work to build goals with measurable outcomes for the next several years. These frameworks will help align our organization leading to continuous improvement. The 2021-2022 school year will see the initial implementation of these frameworks. Fairbanks is a truly unique school community. Our work together serving students will reflect our pride, passion, and preparation for a bright future!
- Adham Schirg, Fairbanks Local Schools, Superintendent