“All Forward” Lower Merion School District Strategic Planning

Lower Merion School District (LMSD) is a large suburban school district outside of Philadelphia, that has a national reputation for its excellence in academics and outstanding standardized test scores. While LMSD is one of the finest public school systems in the country, its students face crushing pressure—academic and social—and parents and teachers suffered with a vague unease that the skills even the highest performing students leave with are not sufficient for the world they will enter. District leaders felt responsible to shape a bold future for its students—one that would meet the real needs of a global, interconnected, ever-changing society and one that would serve as a beacon for public education.

LMSD partnered with Insyte Partners to lead a 9-month, high engagement strategic planning process. The standards were that the plan be Bold, Simple, and Ours. After nine months of surveys, focus groups, Immersion Experiences and Learning Journeys, LMSD and Insyte created the bold, yet simple strategic plan embraced by the community that it set out to create. Some highlights include:

  • Success transcends test scores to include social-emotional wellbeing, global awareness, creativity and team-based problem solving.
  • Teachers are back on board with the administration, launching prototypes of cross-discipline collaboration, introducing computer coding K-12 and myriad other initiatives.
  • Attention has been re-focused on the individual child, his or her mastery of material, shaping an educational experience that unearths and respects his or her passions, purpose and unique pathway.

“To see a live presentation of this case, that was originally part of the Theory U MOOC, watch the video below.”

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