Tyler ISD is launching its strategic planning process and district officials are asking the community to be a part of it.

During three identical public meetings this week, an outside consultant will inform community and school district members about how the planning process will work and what they can do to be a part of it.

"We wanted to bring in someone that's done this with other districts throughout the state," TISD Superintendent Gary Mooring said. "This gives us an opportunity to involve the community, to really let them drive the focus. This strategic planning group will really drive the focus of the district."

Betty Burks, an associate with The Cambrian Group, will serve as the external facilitator in the process. The district is paying the company $77,000 for its services through next fall.

Ms. Burks will lead the three upcoming meetings, two on Thursday and one on Friday, to give the community details about what is involved.

Kim Tunnell, TISD's chief leadership and performance officer, said the strategic planning will involve looking at the overall district direction and areas of focus.

It's asking the questions such as: What does the community value when it comes to education? And what does the community want to see in its TISD graduates?

There's a bit of nervous excitement about what could come out of the process, Ms. Tunnell said.

"We're not afraid of implementing anything, but what direction is this going to take us?" she said.

There are two levels of planning in the process. First, the strategic planning committee will develop the plan objectives and strategies.

Up to 30 community and school district members will serve on that committee, with the school board giving final approval to the members.

School district staff and students will be among the members, but community members will make up at least half of the committee, Ms. Tunnell said.

A key requirement to participate on this committee is the ability to commit to seven full-day work sessions over the next six months. In addition, the district wants the committee to be an accurate representation of the district as a whole so that will factor into the selection process.

A large part of this committee's work will take place in a three-day period from Oct. 31 through Nov. 2 when members will come up with the objectives and strategies for the strategic plan.

The district will then form one action team to address each of the strategies. These teams will be responsible for creating the plan, identifying the resources and establishing the communication and support procedures for that strategy.

The action teams will work from November through February to create the plans, and the overall strategic planning committee will review their work in late February.

The school board is scheduled to hear a presentation about the plan and vote on it in March.

Provided the board approves the plan, the district will begin training the central office staff, campus administrators and campus staff about its implementation. The plan likely will have a three- to five-year implementation period.

For those people who can't commit the time to be a part of the process, but still want to offer input, they can contact the district or fill out a survey that will be made available this fall, Ms. Tunnell said.

Each year, the district will update the plan as necessary and review its progress, Ms. Tunnell said.

"It allows the community to know where we're going and how they can come alongside us and help," she said.