Danville Public Schools Uses Data to Drive Strategic Change

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When Superintendent Dr. Stanley Jones arrived at Danville Public Schools (DPS), he initiated a strategic planning process that outlined five strategic areas for the district. He wanted to make sure the process included a way to gauge the community’s perceptions and have some tactics to communicate effectively with stakeholders about the plan.  

Partnering for Success

As the strategic planning progressed, Dr. Jones realized that with a limited internal capacity, the district needed to leverage the research abilities of an outside party to successfully execute some aspects of the planning. DPS partnered with Hanover Research to develop and implement a data tracking report and a climate survey. 

Using Data to Tell the District’s Story

According to Dr. Stanley Jones, the district wanted to use data to tell the story of what was happening across its system. Hanover developed a multi-year report to track key data across five strategic areas: 

  • Student achievement 
  • Operations and internal processes 
  • Staff learning and growth 
  • Stakeholder engagement and communication 
  • Culture and climate 

Surveying the Community to Drive Change

Next, Hanover developed and carried out a district-wide climate survey to help DPS gauge multiple stakeholder sentiments on each of the five strategic areas. The data and findings from the survey provided Dr. Jones with the insights he needed to understand how to successfully communicate the district’s plan and its implementation progress with students, staff, family members, and community members. 

"When you're a superintendent, you deal with a lot of perceptions and opinions and emotions. Part of what we’re trying to do is not minimize the importance of that, but really look at how we measure progress and how we measure performance. A third-party partner enables us to ... make sure we're analyzing our performance at a very objective level so we can plan accordingly."

Dr. Stanley Jones, Superintendent, Danville Public Schools


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