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Fresno Unified School District Develops Its Strategic Plan with Stakeholder Feedback as the Cornerstone

The district enlisted Hanover to gather stakeholder opinions used to inform the development of its mission, vision, and goals.

The Challenge: Gather Community Input

Fresno Unified School District (FUSD) serves more than 74,000 students, from preschool through grade 12, preparing career-ready graduates through high-quality instruction, district programs and services, and resources. The district was at the beginning stages of redesigning their strategic plan and wanted to gather stakeholder opinions to inform the development of its mission, vision, and goals.

“As we develop our strategic plan, we knew it would be critical to gather feedback from our students, parents, and staff. Our district stakeholders’ input is invaluable for helping us understand where we are, and where we need to go next to make our school community a welcoming and enriching environment,” says Bob Nelson, Superintendent.

The Solution: Four Community Perception Studies

To support FUSD’s strategic planning efforts, Hanover Research analyzed data from four studies conducted by Hanover and FUSD to gather stakeholder perceptions.

Research Questions:

  • What are family, student, and staff perceptions of the district’s mission, vision, and goals?
  • What are FUSD staff members’ top strategic priorities for the district?
  • What are student, family, and staff members’ sense of belonging and connection to the district?
  • What are student and family perceptions of the overall environment, school involvement, engagement, and connectedness?


Hanover analyzed data from four studies conducted with FUSD: District Stakeholders Strategic Priorities Survey, Mission-Vision-Goals Staff Focus Groups, Strategic Planning Student Focus Groups, and the School Connectedness and District Vision Parent Survey. FUSD also worked with Hanover’s advisors to conduct a situational analysis and create a roadmap for formulating clear goals and targets related to district priorities.

With Hanover’s Advisory Services, FUSD engaged in practical application, reflection, and collaborative learning opportunities, as well as leveraged Hanover’s custom research to build tools and resources to guide its strategic planning efforts.

As a result, Hanover offered recommendations for how FUSD may improve its parent and family communications and prioritize staff recruitment, retention, and development in its strategic plan. Additionally, Hanover made recommendations for how the district may boost student engagement and motivation through its programming and set actionable district goals that can be monitored to track their progress over time.


The Outcome: A Well-Informed Strategic Planning Process

As a result of Hanover’s analysis and advisory services, Fresno Unified School District is able to:

  • Inform strategic planning with student, parent, and staff feedback
  • Establish district goals that are measurable and actionable
  • Develop monitoring metrics to track district progress


Learn how to support your schools’ long-term improvement with our toolkit, Transforming Strategic Plans into Results: A K-12 Action Planning Toolkit

“Hanover’s multi-methods approach was just what we needed to collect in-depth stakeholder feedback across many areas, like their sense of engagement, connection with the school community, and strategic priorities. Hanover’s Strategic Planning Advisory Services offered us unparalleled access to Hanover’s bench of K-12 expert advisors who partnered with us every step of the way to generate insights that will serve as a foundation for our district’s mission, vision, and goals.”

Bob Nelson,


Fresno Unified School District


K-12 Education


Fresno, CA

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