It's mid-July and it feels like summer. For the Bozeman Public Schools, summer means taking the time to reflect on the year's progress and setting our specific course for 2010-11. We have reviewed the implementation framework for this past year, begun the formal communication of this progress to all stakeholders, and started the dialogue about the implementation framework for next school year.

Bozeman School District's Long Range Strategic Plan, just finishing its second year of implementation, has provided great focus on performance and a culture of meaningful change. Four goal areas, Goal 1: Academic Performance, Goal 2: Operations and Capacity Building, Goal 3: Community Engagement and Goal 4: Student Success/Safety/Health/Welfare encompass plans to make progress on a 3-5 year planning horizon while aligning with longer planning horizons of 5-10 years and beyond, our Envisioned Future, and the Core Ideology of the district.

This helps us to measure progress in incremental steps while keeping our eye on the big audacious goal and our future in a thoughtful, cultural way. It is truly a journey -- interesting, complex, exciting, and important, because we are shaping the future of the children in our community.

On July 9, the Board of Trustees was presented with the Long Range Strategic Plan Annual Report 2009-2010. This report may be found by accessing the district's home page at and clicking on LRSP Annual Report 2009-2010 on the Bulletin Board under Latest News. This report contains: an LRSP Overview of Development and Progress, the Implementation Framework for 2009-10, an Executive Summary of 2009-10 Progress, and a set of Acknowledgements.

The report serves as an illustration of how the work of our education team aligns with the purpose of our schools: "Bozeman Public Schools exist to provide an outstanding education that inspires and ensures high achievement so every student can succeed and make a difference in a rapidly changing world community."

A quality product is dependent on a quality process. We know that lasting, exceptional progress takes time. We appreciate the effort of all in the past and continued effort in the future to provide the very best opportunities for our students. It is not a race to the finish, but a journey to excellence. We are, in fact, a-ways down the road on our journey to excellence.

We are fortunate, in our Bozeman community, to have outstanding children, committed parents, and a community that cares about education. These are human components of critical scaffolding necessary for our Board of Trustees and over 730 staff members to provide a quality education and support students in high achievement.

We kicked off the 2009-10 school year with all schools/departments developing and then implementing 166 action plans in all four goal areas critical to the operation of this organization. The Action Plan Matrix can be found on our district Web site by clicking LRSP Action Plan Matrix 2009-10. You can look at any Action Plan by clicking the X in the cell on the matrix.

Work continued throughout the year and culminated in 165 Status Reports, detailing progress on each Action Plan. A Status Report Matrix, organized by Strategic Objective and school/department, gives the reader easy access to the status reports, and can be found on our district website by clicking LRSP Status Report Matrix 2009-10. You can review any Status report by clicking the X in the cell on the matrix.

In all, 112 Status Reports relate to Goal 1: Academic Performance, 15 relate to Goal 2: Operations and Capacity Building, 17 are associated with Goal 3: Community Engagement and 21 support Goal 4: Student Success/Safety/Health/Welfare

Throughout the year, schools and departments provided public presentations related to progress on goals. In addition, a Balanced Scorecard was established to assist the Board of Trustees in governing the LRSP. The Balanced Scorecard focuses attention on key Indicators under each of the plan's four goals to determine the climate of progress on the Plan. Key Indicators are defined, a baseline established, targets set, and strategies developed to measure movement toward the targets. he Balanced Scorecard, developed by the LRSP Committee, will be used by the Board to focus attention on the mega issues and trends necessary to be studied in the 5-10 year planning horizon.

Updating the LRSP Balanced Scorecard will happen in the fall of 2010-11 when final data for the 2009-2010 school year are available. An Implementation Framework for 2010-11 is being prepared to guide the LRSP work for the coming school year. Please take time to look at our progress and take pride in our schools, our community, and most importantly, our children.

Kirk J. Miller is the superintendent of Bozeman Public Schools.

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle welcomes public comments on stories, but we do require you to abide by some ground rules. In general: be polite, don’t post obscenities, stay on topic, respect people’s privacy, don’t feed the trolls and be responsible.