1.3 Develop a regular portfolio review and planning process


+ The planning and review process connects your school performance framework and policies to regularly assess school performance and apply your policy to determine what actions you will take to improve your schools.

This annual process helps district leaders and stakeholders understand the context, assess options, make choices, and develop initial high-level implementation plans for the set of major actions in schools that will be undertaken in each year.

Enacting an annual or regular school portfolio review and planning processes will empower families, district staff, and the broader community to act in the best interest of students.

A review and planning process:

Enhances the quality of decision-making by enabling integrated, data-driven decisions that benefit from the insights of all district functions and other key stakeholders.

Reduces re-work or decisions across district departments by ensuring decisions are sequenced appropriately and well aligned.

Improves potential for execution with fidelity and impact by building commitment and understanding among key stakeholders and by ensuring the requirements for successful implementation of decisions are incorporated into the decision-making process.

+ The product of a portfolio review process is a portfolio plan outlining what actions will be taken in what schools for a given time.

A number of interim outputs are produced along the way towards aligning on the final set of decisions, including:

Annual comprehensive school and neighborhood-level analysis, including school ratings, a refresh of data used to build out the school performance framework policy, and your district’s ‘big goal’.

Assessment of available resources for school actions including budget, central office capacity, school-level talent, facilities, and political capital.

Updated or narrowed list of potential school actions for this year.

Recommendations and supporting analysis on which schools will receive which actions to be reviewed and finalized by district leadership team.

Estimates of resources needed to deliver on decisions including implications for the district’s budget and school and central office capacity.

Stakeholder engagement and communications plans about decisions and their implications.

Draft implementation plans for school portfolio decisions.

+ Portfolio review is an annual process that follows a general rhythm of activity from year to year.

The specific steps may differ based on your district’s context, but overall you can expect the work to follow a general path:

Assess the current portfolio and district context and align on the most critical priorities.

Define the resources available to support school portfolio decisions and define the in-scope school portfolio decisions.

Explore scenarios, narrow options, and make recommendations on integrated portfolio decisions.

Finalize and communicate decisions which should directly inform the work of Lever 2 to create new schools and programs and replicate and expand existing successful programs.

Learn from the process and use this information to improve the next year.