Strategic Plan 2022-2025

Photo of Superintendent of Schools Dr. Edwin M. Quezada working with young students
  • Dear Yonkers Public Schools Community,

    It is my pleasure to share the Yonkers Public Schools Three-Year Strategic Plan. Every three years, we engage in the process of re-evaluating our long-term district goals. This systematic approach provides us with an opportunity to celebrate our accomplishments and re-focus on those areas of need that will help us strengthen our programs, identify priorities, leverage partnerships and allocate resources accordingly. Our strategic plan, along with our yearly District Comprehensive Improvement Plan (DCIP), serves as a framework for everything we do in our district — the instructional goals we establish; the type of professional development we provide; the partnerships we cultivate; and the grants to which we apply. We expect that each of our 39 schools will use the district’s strategic plan as a guide and will align their school vision, mission and goals to support our collective efforts.

    As we begin another academic year, I want to give you some context about the importance of our new strategic plan. Over the course of the past three years, we have had to face the many challenges of the pandemic. As a result, the conditions changed dramatically for our students, their families and our schools. As a district, we learned to be resilient and responsive to the needs of our students. Our staff worked long and hard to make sure that we continued to provide an excellent education to all of our students, and I am grateful for their efforts. It is imperative that as a result of the lessons learned, we work in smart and innovative ways. This plan will be our road map as we seek to provide the best, most equitable and diverse educational opportunities possible to the children of our district. Our new strategic plan focuses on our commitment to provide quality instruction and social emotional support that is culturally responsive and sustaining, helps empower our students to become independent thinkers and life-long learners, and provides opportunities to all students — of every race, gender, ethnicity, religion, language, sexual orientation and identity, citizenship or socio-economic status, neurological status and ability, and zip code — to be successful.

    Therefore, our strategic plan continues to focus and center our work on the students of our district, and that commitment helps us to define our thematic goals:


    Strengthen academic outcomes and graduation pathways through culturally-responsive and sustaining curricula and instruction

    Every student deserves an excellent, culturally, and linguistically relevant education that is supportive of who they are as individuals, as well as providing them with opportunities that help them achieve their full potential in both a local and global society. Therefore, equity and access for all children requires the best possible education so they master 21st century skills and can acquire the global competencies necessary to adapt and be competitive in the shifting terrain of our world. Our response as a district must be bold, deliberate, and explicit, and our actions must eliminate opportunity and achievement gaps so that our efforts will be strengthened for our most vulnerable students at every grade.


    Continue to develop teacher content and pedagogy to increase opportunities and outcomes for each student

    As an educational-based organization, we need to invest in our staff in order to promote their growth and professional performance, so that they may maximize their impact on students. Offering, improving and monitoring meaningful professional learning will contribute to successful outcomes for all students. Our approach includes encouraging the capacity of teachers in their leadership development, supporting our current and new school leaders in their positions within the district, and developing a group of strong future leaders from within the ranks of our current school staff.


    Create a school-wide culture based on high expectations and accountability using qualitative and quantitative data to support decision-making and address inequities for each student

    Continuous analysis of quantitative and qualitative data provides our staff with the needed tools to improve on the instruction and supports that our students need to excel. One important tool for data-informed instruction is using formative assessments such as Measure of Academic Progress (MAP), Benchmark, DataMate, iReady and practice Regents tests. Administering these assessments is the first step. Then, data teams at each school must analyze the results following the established Data-Liaison Professional Learning Community (DLPLC) protocol, which will guide the team in the following: determining instructional areas of strengths and challenges; identifying students who may need intensive supports; and monitoring progress of students towards grade-level proficiency.


    Establish learning communities that support students with diverse social and emotional needs for equitable student growth and development

    Providing tiered supports that are both academic and behavioral, is an effective means of addressing all student growth and developmental needs. We recognize that students develop at their own individual pace, and that they have increasing needs in a post-pandemic environment. Using a Multi-Tiered System of Supports (New York State Education Department, 2019; Sailor, 2021) will provide all Yonkers students with interventions of increasing intensity, through academic, behavioral, and social-emotional services. In a similar way, using the New York State Education Department (NYSED) Blueprint for English Language Learners/Multilingual Learners (ELL/MLL) Success (n.d.) will provide teachers and administrators with guidance on appropriate supports for the academic and social emotional development of our Multilingual Learners.


    Develop family and community partnerships through active engagement, participation and communication to support stronger and meaningful connections

    Research indicates the importance of parent involvement and engagement and how it is an essential element of student achievement (National Parent Teacher Association, 2022). Regardless of a student’s age, grade level or their parents’/guardians’ subsequent level of education, the willingness of their family to actively engage in their schools and education improves classroom dynamics, increases teacher expectations, and impacts student–teacher relationships and cultural competence (National Parent Teacher Association, 2022). Children are likely to view parents and caregivers as advocates. When they have parental and caregiver support, their educational experience leads to an improvement of self-confidence in individual ability and attitude towards school.

    To conclude, it is important to understand that this plan is a living document. While it provides us with the framework that will help us to refine our goals, targets, actions and ways to measure success for the next three years, we will evaluate the plan yearly, in a continuous learning cycle, and will refine our goals and targets as needed. It is our mission to prepare all learners for the opportunities of today and the future within a culture of inquiry. All are encouraged to take initiative for their own development, think critically, and acquire decision-making and leadership skills. It is not enough to have students graduate and meet standard measures of success, but we want our students to move beyond graduation, seek post-secondary opportunities and become viable and contributing members to our society and to the world.

    Through our theme of Restoration, Renewal and Hope — the Journey Continues, we are working diligently to create a district and school culture where everyone is valued, respected and cared for. As we continue this work, we invite you to contribute to the successes and triumphs of our students, staff and families because through the power of this collaborative effort, we will guarantee a bright future for ALL children.


    Dr. Edwin M. Quezada
    Superintendent of Schools, Yonkers Public Schools

Lea esta página en español