The School of the Osage wants to be a leader in education.

About a year ago, the board of education defined the district with a new mantra ― “Raising Excellence, The Osage Way.”

The School of the Osage wants to be a leader in education.

About a year ago, the board of education defined the district with a new mantra ― “Raising Excellence, The Osage Way.”

Using that as a catalyst, the board, administration and staff have moved forward with a proposed strategic plan focused on positioning the district for a strong, sustainable future, according to Dr. Laura Nelson, assistant superintendent. After a year of analysis and collaboration, the district has a clearer idea of how to pursue its own unique brand of excellence, she explained.

School officials used the Baldrige Program criteria to guide them through the process.

In July, the board and administrative team identified seven goals. This fall, more than 60 people worked to identify, prioritize and design proposed strategies linked to the goals, all part of a five-year strategic plan.

Dr. Nelson said team members met eight times and spent hundreds of hours of analysis and collaboration to develop strategies.

The plan

Board members were updated on the plan at their regular monthly meeting Monday, Nov. 18.

“There has been a lot of work by a lot of different people,” Superintendent Brent Depeé said, noting there’s a lot of work to be done.

“What I need is for the board to feel comfortable with the plan so we can move forward in January,” he said.

Depeé asked the board to review the strategies and be prepared for a decision at the Dec. 17 board meeting.

Dr. Nelson agreed to provide board members with more details on each of the goals and strategies so they can become more familiar and make an educated decision.

“I’ll need your approval to move forward with the process,” Depeé said to the board, “but before that, absolutely, I want to answer your questions.”

The plan includes a report that will provide an estimate of how many hours it should take team members to complete the strategies. Dr. Nelson said the plan currently includes 5,669 hours of work allocated across “virtually every sector of the organization.”



•Website that responds to multiple needs of district stakeholders

•Strategic communication plan

Faculty and Staff Focus

•Evaluation models for certified and classified staff; process for employee engagement in evaluation feedback

•Process for evaluating employee satisfaction and engagement

•Integrated system for professional development of staff

•System for employee appreciation and acknowledgment

•Wellness program

Fiscal Responsibility

•Plan for communication of fiscal responsibility topics

•Process to fund programming that advances the strategic plan

•Process to maximize financial efficiency

Stakeholder Focus

•Stakeholder needs assessment

•Volunteer process and program

Student Excellence

•Implement K-12 Osage SPEAR (a plan to help students identify, plan for and grow their unique dreams)

•School of the Osage keys for college and career readiness

•Systemic process for creating, revising and implementing curriculum

•Systemic process to analyze data to drive instructional decisions

•Expand preschool student enrollment

•Continued implementation of Osage Learning Communities

Systems Focus

•Systemic approach to process management

•Continued implementation of the Baldrige Strategic Planning Model


•Create or revise policies regarding technology for learning and operations

•Ensure dynamic infrastructure with appropriate staffing

•Curriculum and assessment framework to support students in digital age learning

•Assess current technologies and research emerging technologies

Baldridge Performance Excellence Program

Who They Are

The Baldrige Program is the nation's public-private partnership dedicated to performance excellence. It can be applied to virtually any type of organization, including education.

The Baldrige Program

•Raises awareness about the importance of performance excellence in driving the U.S. and global economy

•Provides organizational assessment tools and criteria

•Educates leaders in businesses, schools, health care organizations, and government and nonprofit agencies about the practices of best-in-class organizations

•Recognizes national role models and honors them with the only Presidential Award for performance excellence

Baldrige Mission

To improve the competitiveness and performance of U.S. organizations for the benefit of all U.S. residents, the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program is a customer-focused federal change agent that:

•Develops and disseminates evaluation criteria

•Manages the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award

•Promotes performance excellence

•Provides global leadership in the learning and sharing of successful strategies and performance practices, principles, and methodologies