Dear Students, Families, Staff and Community Partners:
I am pleased to share with you Lowell Public Schools’ districtwide strategic plan - Equity. Excellence. Empowerment. – which will guide our collective work over the next five years to build on Lowell’s longstanding tradition of success to create the best school district in the Commonwealth. This plan was built through the hard work of both staff and community members and based on input that was accumulated through hundreds of stakeholder meetings, including nearly 60 listening sessions with staff, over 40 gatherings with external partners and community representatives, and 100 school visits in the first 100 school days of the 2019-2020 academic year. A special thank you to all of you who participated directly or indirectly in the strategic planning process – your commitment to the long-term success of our district ensured that the strategy, priorities, goals and tactics outlined within this plan truly capture a path forward that is reflective of the needs, desires and demands of Lowell’s richly diverse community.
This strategic plan is centered on our district’s core beliefs which define a high quality education as a fundamental civil right of every child in Lowell Public Schools.
Delivering on this philosophy is critically important in our great city which supports one of the most diverse student bodies in all of Massachusetts with 69 different languages spoken among our 14,500 students across our 28 different schools. To make our District one that is truly fair and just for each and every one of our students and family members – regardless of race, language, nationality, income level or neighborhood - this plan goes significantly further than other similar plans in defining equity and codifying the district’s overarching commitments to increasing equity throughout the system as central to every aspect of our work, including (1) eliminating the racial, ethnic and linguistic achievement and opportunity gaps among all students; (2) providing equitable funding and resources among the district’s diverse schools; and (3) engaging all families with courtesy, dignity, respect and cultural understanding.
Throughout our nearly year-long strategic planning process, across all stakeholder groups, an overarching theme of access and opportunity emerged and is reflected within this plan.
Lowell carries a proud tradition of graduates across all walks of life and over multiple generations who have achieved extraordinary things in both private enterprise and public service. Building on the success of Lowell’s countless past graduates to ensure that the extraordinary opportunities that have been historically available for many students become opportunities that are accessible to all students is the charge of this plan. Lowell High School was the first racially integrated high school in Massachusetts, dating back to 1843, and the notion of equity has been a driving factor in Lowell for more than a century. Embracing this history and building on the district’s past success to create the highest performing school district in the Commonwealth is within reach and this 5-year plan, aptly titled Equity. Excellence. Empowerment, lays out Lowell Public Schools blueprint for achieving that ultimate goal - delivering on that promise for our community will also establish a model for urban education which sheds light on what can also be achieved in other gateway cities across the Commonwealth.
The four goals outlined in this strategic plan are big and ambitious, but I am confident they are also reasonable and achievable if we sustain the collaborative city-wide effort that was emphasized in the planning process - working together as one district, one community, one Lowell.
Dr. Joel D. Boyd
Superintendent of Schools