Los Cerritos Elementary School students
Strategic Planning » Strategic Planning

Strategic Planning

To ensure that all our students receive an exceptional, inclusive, and equitable education, South San Francisco Unified School District (SSFUSD) has been engaging with students, alumni, staff, families, and community members throughout the 2022-23 school year to find out what SSFUSD students need to know to be successful after high school.
This process of long-term planning happens every five to seven years and requires the support and engagement of the SSFUSD community, so that we can create a strategic plan that determines what resources are needed to help our students thrive. 
By June 2023, SSFUSD will:
  1. Create a new “Portrait of a Graduate";
  2. Refresh our mission statement; and
  3. Start a new strategic planning process to match that vision. 
Get involved and stay involved, so you can help shape a new vision for SSFUSD!

Portrait of a Graduate

After receiving feedback from the community on the first draft of the district's new portrait of a graduate, our visioning working group has updated the description of the knowledge and skills students need to be successful after graduating from high school and produced a new mission statement to align with the community's vision for SSFUSD students.
The school board unanimously approved this new language at its May 11 meeting, and the district is now ready to finalize a strategic plan to map out what we need to prioritize and do over the next 3-5 years to prepare our students for success after high school graduation.
Alta Loma Middle School teacher Kelly Duncan (r) moderates a panel discussion with (l to r) Baden High junior Donna Guerra and El Camino High junior Eza Vedar and sophomore Jamie Wong. Participants discuss what SSFUSD students need to know to be successful after high school during the district's March 4 town hall event.
As an educational community united in our commitment to equity, we work together to build relationships and ensure that every graduate has the essential academic and social-emotional skills, knowledge, and habits to:
Graduate aim Characteristic Description
constantly as their life and world change
Intellectual curiosity and critical thinking Embraces a growth mindset and love of learning by seeking understanding, asking questions, and using data and evidence
Academic excellence Demonstrates mastery of all academic disciplines needed for post-secondary success 
Creativity and resourcefulness Explores their creativity and finds new and innovative ways to solve problems 
as a person
Self-awareness  Confidently embraces their identities and understands their values, intentions, and impact on others
Wellness Lives a healthy lifestyle that promotes their physical, mental, and emotional well-being
Real-world readiness Uses life skills including time management, goal setting, self-discipline, motivation, and self-advocacy to navigate day-to-day responsibilities, overcome obstacles, and feel successful
their future purposefully
Career and/or college readiness  Understands their options after high school (education, careers, entrepreneurship), and is prepared for success in whatever path they choose
Technology skills  Uses current technologies fluently to meet their needs and solve problems 
Financial literacy Understands the importance of money management and has the skills to make informed short and long-term financial decisions
their community for the better
Collaboration Demonstrates empathy, compassion, kindness, teamwork, effective communication, and respect to collaborate effectively toward a common goal
Community service and engagement Finds opportunities to support others and be involved in their communities
Como una comunidad educativa unida en nuestro compromiso a la equidad,trabajamos juntos para construir relaciones y asegurar que cada graduado tenga las habilidades, los conocimientos y los hábitos académicos y socioemocionales para:
Objetivo para el graduado Cualidad Descripción
constantemente a medida que su vida y el mundo cambian
Curiosidad intelectual y pensamiento crítico Adopta una mentalidad de crecimiento y amor por el aprendizaje, buscando el entendimiento comprensión, hacer preguntas y usando datos y evidencia
Excelencia académica Demuestra dominio de todas las disciplinas académicas necesarias para el éxito postsecundario
Creatividad e ingenio Explora su creatividad y encuentra formas nuevas e innovadoras de resolver problemas
como una persona
Conciencia de sí mismo Acepta sus identidades con confianza y entiende sus valores, intenciones e impacto en los demás
Bienestar Vive un estilo de vida saludable que promueva su bienestar físico, mental y emocional
Preparación para el mundo real Utiliza las habilidades para la vida, incluida la gestión del tiempo, el establecimiento de metas, la autodisciplina, la motivación y la autodefensa,  para navegar las responsabilidades diarias, superar obstáculos y sentirse exitoso
su futurocon determinación
Preparación para la universidad o una vocación Entiende las opciones disponibles al terminar la escuela secundaria (educación, vocaciones, emprendimiento) y está preparado para tener éxito en cualquier camino que elija
Habilidades tecnológicas Utiliza con facilidad las tecnologías actuales para cubrir sus necesidades y resolver problemas
Conocimientos financieros  Entiende la importancia de la administración del dinero y tiene las aptitudes necesarias para tomar decisiones financieras informadas a corto y largo plazo
a su comunidad para el bienestar
Colaboración Demuestra empatía, compasión, amabilidad y respeto, puede trabajar en equipo, y usa comunicación efectiva para colaborar de manera eficaz  y  alcanzar un objetivo común
Servicio comunitario y compromiso Encuentra oportunidades para apoyar a otros y se involucra en sus comunidades

Engaging the Community

Initial Survey. From November 1 through December 11, 2022, SSFUSD distributed a bilingual survey to allow community members to share their thoughts and ideas. More than 3,700 responses from families, employees, community members, and alums (including 1,400 from current students) were received.
Outreach. To boost survey participation, SSFUSD sent paper fliers home with students, posted reminders on district social media, sent e-mails to families and employees, texted multiple reminders to families, made targeted phone calls, and talked to families at drop-off and pick-up locations. The leaflets, materials, and phone calls were in  English and Spanish, and we targeted additional outreach to our Title I schools to ensure that the most marginalized school communities were engaged in the process.
Meetings and interviews. We also wanted to talk directly with students, families, employees, and community members. As of December 5, 2022, SSFUSD had discussed strategic planning in more than 26 meetings or focus groups and conducted 12 one-on-one interviews. These included school-level meetings (e.g., PTA, school site council, ELAC, students) as well as district-level meetings.
Visioning Working Group. SSFUSD invited community members to nominate themselves or someone else to join a visioning working group. More than 60 individuals were nominated, and a diverse and representative group of 21 community members was created. The group represents every school in the district and includes parents, employees (certificated, classified, and admin), alumni, community members, and partners. Sixteen identify as people of color, 16 are currently parents, 11 are SSFUSD alumni. The visioning working group will guide our efforts to listen and engage with our community, reflect on the community’s ideas and feedback, and develop the Portrait of a Graduate and a refreshed mission statement based on the guidance of our community. 
Working with the right partners. SSFUSD engaged Attuned Partners to help facilitate the visioning and strategic planning process. They have worked with many other school systems on similar processes. SSFUSD also partnered with the Bay Ed Fund, which plans to invest in SSFUSD over the next 10 years.
SSFUSD school board members Patricia Murray and Chialin Hsieh attend the district's March 4 town hall.


New vision, mission & plan. Create a vision and strategic plan that reflect our school community’s values and beliefs, and that provide clarity and focus for our work together for the next five years.
Inclusive, equity-centered process. Design a process that represents a deep commitment to engaging all members of our SSFUSD community, especially those who have historically been underrepresented.
Shared ownership. If our new vision and plan are developed by and with our diverse community members, we will all feel responsible and committed to making it come to life.

SSFUSD New Mission Statement 

In partnership with our community, South San Francisco Unified School District (SSFUSD) will provide exceptional instruction, engaging experiences, and equitable and accessible opportunities and resources to further support our diverse student body, so that students are equipped to learn, thrive, and navigate their future with purpose and impact their community.

Nueva declaración de la misión de SSFUSD

En colaboración con nuestra comunidad, el Distrito Escolar Unificado del South San Francisco (SSFUSD) proveerá instrucción excepcional, experiencias interesantes y recursos y oportunidades equitativos y accesibles a nuestra diversa población estudiantil, para que los alumnos estén preparados para aprender, prosperar y, navegar su futuro con determinación, e impactar a su comunidad.