Baldwin Community Schools

Updates around current strategic plans

Our Vision

Through some events and even tough topics, we stay reminded there is significant work to do in creating a more inclusive environment for our scholars, families, staff, community, nation, and our world. As a school system, we must ensure we are doing our part to continue to foster empathy and kindness. Our schools must be diverse spaces where our scholars can learn acceptance and belonging.

We must continue our work to ensure that we close opportunity and achievement gaps for all of our students, including marginalized groups. We celebrate our diversity and will provide the necessary resources and supports to eliminate barriers and disproportionalities so all scholars leave us with the knowledge and skills necessary to become contributing citizens in our diverse society. We want our scholars to become change agents who will work to end systemic wrongs. This is our legacy work.

With this said, Baldwin Community Schools is pleased to announce a partnership with GPS Solutions (Farmington Hills, Michigan) to provide technical assistance and training to foster equitable educational opportunities for our schools.

To all of our students: We see you, hear you, and support you. We will continue to champion all students as one team.

Scope of Work

To bring about change and disrupt any paradigms or systems of coercion, it is up to each of us to commit to act individually, and dedicate ourselves to working together collectively, to continue courageous conversations in our classrooms, homes, and community. GPS Solutions will set forth to provide the following outcomes:

  • Assist in the search for a new Superintendent, who will lead and inform the strategic direction for Baldwin Community Schools
  • Generate a Needs Assessment (report) from multi-sourced data gathered to identify gaps between the knowledge, skills, and practice for a desired equitable, inclusive, culturally competent and emotionally intelligent school community
    • Process that will identify and help address any systemic barriers through data and feedback that prevent an inclusive and equitable environment
    • Restorative, relationship-building protocols that set staff up for co-creating an inclusive plan with informed goals
  • Lead Strategic Planning aims which include a co-created, constructive and inclusive plan with informed goals and progress monitoring mechanisms
    • Guided strategies for creating an equitable, inclusive, culturally competent and emotionally intelligent school community
  • Support the capacity of the Board of Education to cultivate a culture within the district that values development, personal and professional growth, and students’ emotional well-being

About GPS Solutions

GPS Solutions provides education and nonprofit organizations with emotionally intelligent personnel, expertise, and programming. Through the lens of its mission, vision and core values, they aim create a culture of trust and creativity with the individuals, families and communities that it serves.

“We collaborate with public schools working to drive culture, streamline operations, and improve academic and behavioral outcomes.”

The GPS Solutions Mission is as follows:

Mission: “GPS Solutions offers the expertise, processes and personnel necessary to build and sustain capacity within the individuals, organizations and communities we serve by, with our stakeholders, seeking to understand, determining what is working and not working, and creating a plan for positive change.”

Website: www.gpssolutions.us

The Superintendent Search

Baldwin Community Schools is taking a non-traditional approach to hiring our Superintendent. GPS Solutions will lead a nation-wide search for our next District Leader. In addition to the content knowledge necessary to run the District, the Board is concerned with the to-be-named leader’s ability to inspire a culture of equity and change while also possessing the ability to make those around them more emotionally intelligent.

GPS Solutions’ process will/has included screening (e.g., personality assessments), phone interviews, Board interviews and also a non-traditional approach referred to as, “The Town Hall.”

According to GPS Solutions CEO, Dr. Chris Plum says, “The Hiring Town Hall is a way for not just Board members, but also teachers, students and parents to have an opportunity to vet candidates and get engaged in a fair process around hiring.”

Panelists selected by school administration to participate in the Town Hall will be full representation of the district AND community by age/grade, race, gender and roles.

“One of the most exciting parts of the day,” he commented, “is watching the candidates work together to solve problems and creatively plan a project that they actually present as a team back to the Town Hall participant panel! You really get a chance to see what a candidate is all about, how they share power, how they lead and if they actually know when to follow!”

1-3 finalists will be recommended by GPS Solutions for the Board to interview. GPS Solutions will also be engaged in the transitional planning once a District Leader is hired.

High Level Updates on Scope of Work Being Conducted by GPS Solutions, and Other Activity

October 23, 2021 – GPS Solutions will present its Needs Assessment (report) to the Board of Education on Tuesday, November 16, 2021. The report speaks to the gaps of the knowledge, skills, and practice for a desired equitable, inclusive, culturally competent and emotionally intelligent school community.

October 12, 2021 – The Board of Education votes to extend search for new superintendent until 2022. The Board will meet with GPS Solutions to hold conversations around next steps; feedback about the overall process; and collective experiences from community stakeholders.

October 7, 2021 – GPS Solutions CEO and the Board of Education President interview with the Lake County Star to provide updates, context and description of the Suptertendant search and hiring process. [Full article can be read here: ]

October 4, 2021 – One candidate withdraws from consideration for Superintendent

September 30, 2021 – Three candidates panelists participate in Town Hall.[NOTE: Out of respect to candidates and the hiring process, names of only finalists will be made public when GPS makes its recommendation to the full Board.] Itinerary for the day included:

Meet and Greet

Morning Q&A

Building Observations w/ Debrief

Writing Exercise

Group Interview

Collaborative Exercise

Closing Circle

Panelists Debrief

Panelists also were requested to submit 30/60/90 Day Plans for their first three months IF hired.

Participants included: Board President and Board Hiring Committee members; building administrators; selected teachers (elementary, middle and high school); selected parents (elementary, middle and high school); selected students (upper elementary, middle and high school); and GPS team members.

September 20-24, 2021 – Administrative interviews were conducted – facilitated by GPS Solutions Consultant - to reflect on their experiences of equity and inclusion within the district, as part of the Needs Assessment being conducted by GPS Solutions.

September 17, 2021 – Interim Superintendent resigns

September 13, 2021 – An anonymous, Staff Perception Survey was delivered to Baldwin Community Schools staff to reflect on their experiences of equity and inclusion within the district, as part of the Needs Assessment being conducted by GPS Solutions. The data aids to understand and improve the racial and cultural climate: “ ….. used to gather and identify gaps between the knowledge, skills, and practice for a desired equitable, inclusive, culturally competent and emotionally intelligent school community for Baldwin Community Schools.”

September 13th & 14th, 2021 – Parent and student focus groups were conducted by GPS Solutions Consultant to reflect on their experiences of equity and inclusion within the district, as part of the Needs Assessment being conducted by GPS Solutions. Four Parent Focus Groups were conducted – two Elementary, two Jr./Sr. High; two Student Focus Groups were conducted – one for Jr. High, another for High School students.

September 7, 2021 – Flyers are delivered to students to take home that invited current Baldwin Community Schools parents to participate in upcoming focus groups being conducted by GPS Solutions

August 9,2021 – GPS Consultant meets with the Interim Superintendent and administrative team to discuss next steps relative to the Needs Assessment – the scope of work and responsibilities, schedules, and capture thoughts/concerns/challenges from the leadership team. GPS Consultant also begins observational work applicable to the Needs Assessment.

July 15, 2021 – Board of Education holds special meeting to approve Interim Superintendent …… agreement is until December 31, 2021.

July 1, 2021 – GPS Solutions began process for Suptertendant search. ….. 2-4 Qualified candidates will eventually be invited to “Town Hall.” First step embarked on updating job description …… process for viable candidates includes initials screening (e.g., checking for credentials, experience, personality assessments, outmatch, etc.) and phone interviews.

June 15, 2021 – GPS Solutions proposes to engage with Baldwin Community Schools on providing services around conducting the superintendent search; Needs Assessment on equity and inclusion; strategic planning to implement structure of becoming an emotionally intelligent and culturally competent school district; and board development …… Board of Education votes in favor of contracting the proposed deliverables with GPS Solutions

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