Grand Canyon Unified School District


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    Posted by webmaster on 7/16/2018
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Message from the Superintendent

  • Beginning in late April, the Grand Canyon Unified School District began soliciting input for a 2018 strategic plan. We pulled in as much community input as we could get during the month of May, collecting more than 700 comments from students, parents, faculty and the community.

    But we are not done yet...

    We have taken that information and created a draft Strategic Plan, and we'd appreciate your feedback on two of the key components of that strategic plan, the mission and vision.

    Below, please read through our proposed mission and vision statements, and if you'd like to provide feedback, please do so in the comment blog.

    Thank you,

    Shonny Bria, PhD

    Superintendent, Grand Canyon Unified School District #4

Mission Statement

  • A mission statement describes why the organization exists. It is intended to be inspirational. It is kept reasonably short so it can be committed to memory, with the intention that it remains a constant reminder of why we do what we do.

                   We foster compassionate thinkers who are inspired to reach their full potential.


    The wording used in this mission statement is the result more than 700 comments from multiple constituencies, and formulated by the school board. The board discussions regarding the specific wording used here is based on the following intention:

    Foster: Meaning to encourage or promote the development of (something, typically something regarded as good). We believe we should do more than simply teach, we believe we play a crucial part in developing the whole person.

    Compassionate: We believe it is important that our students function as part of a community, and to do that requires compassion.

    Thinkers: As compared to learners; we believe education is more than filling our students with facts. They need to be able to solve problems and make meaningful, informed judgments from the information overloaded world around them.

    Inspired: We believe success is as much, perhaps more about what our students learn and do beyond the walls of our schools, and so we seek to inspire a continued love of learning and achievement.

    Full Potential: Students have different interests and aptitudes, we recognize this and work with them to tailor their learning to the fulfillment of those interests and aptitudes.

Vision Statement

  • The vision statement is intended as an inspirational, high level description of what success looks like. This is quantified in specific strategic goals, which we will publish shortly:

    We are a community of students, staff, parents, and involved citizens who are dedicated to enabling the success of our students, from pre-school through high school.  

    Our Schools are vital centers of community life enriched by the diversity of that community. We embrace our diversity, act respectfully, and contribute responsibly to the community. We are dedicated to creating a comfortable, safe and simultaneously challenging learning environment that enables all to continuously grow together.

    Our facilities offer a clean, safe, welcoming space for all community members. We strive constantly for frequent, open, honest communication.

    Our students are curious and creative learners, who possess the knowledge and skills needed to independently solve problems and to go beyond surface impressions, to understand cause and effect relationships in the world around them.

    We offer an enriched learning environment and a comprehensive system of supports to address the needs of the whole child. Our environment kindles excitement for the possibilities in each student’s future, and encourages the personal initiative and sustained effort which will enable them to fulfill their dreams.


  • Values establish boundary conditions which constrain the pursuit of our goals.  For example, as we pursue exelence in student learning, we agree to do so while maintaining positive language.  We have adopted the following values for the Grand Canyon School District:

    Growth Mindset

    • We value the persistent pursuit of accomplishment by individuals and the community as a whole
    • We encourage curiosity and creativity, and we value the growth of the whole person
    • We challenge each other and seek opportunities to be challenged in order to grow as a learning community

    Positive Language

    • We transform blocking language into opportunity language, for example: 
      • From: "But" to "Yes and..."
      • From: "High Stakes" to "Standard, difficult etc."
      • From: "We've never done it that way..." to "Tell me more..."
      • From: "It's the Grand Canyon Way..." to "How does this fit with our strategic plan
      • From: "You always..." to "I observe/hear/feel..."

    Mutual Respect

    • We show respect for our peers, teachers, parents, and other adults
    • We respect other people’s physical and intellectual property
    • We respect individual privacy and maintain confidentiality
    • We only use names in social media with permission
    • We respect personal space
    • We respect the right of each individual to limit engagement to that which is emotionally safe
    • We pay attention to, and make allowances for internal weather


    • We follow the community rules
    • We honor community and group agreements
    • We complete our individual commitments
    • We hold our peers accountable to rules and group agreements
    • We acknowledge that privileges are a form of Accountability, which must be earned, and can be lost.

    Attentive Listening

    • We acknowledge the person speaking with full attention
    • We hold comments until appropriate
    • We exercise reflective listening and  paraphrasing
    • We acknowledge the feelings behind the words
    • We exercise appropriate use of technology


    • We challenge everyone to NOT use put-downs
    • We encourage statements of appreciation
    • We recognize and embrace our differences, for example gender, race, religion and ethnicity
    • We welcome new members through formal newcomer ceremonies and rituals

    A Memory mnemonic for this might be GPM-A3 (GPM A-three)

Strategic Goals

  • Strategic Goals are a quantification of our vision; they are specific, measurable targets we set to measure success in achieving that vision.  For this Strategic Plan, we define our Strategic Goals to be:

    1. The school is preparing students for post high school success, specifically including:
      1. All students successfully complete an ambitious and rigorous course of study
      2. Instruction and interventions are provided to ensure all students are meeting minimum performance standards
      3. Opportunities exist to excel well beyond minimum standards, to meet all student capabilities and interests
      4. While recognizing that some students must overcome significant barriers, these obstacles are not seen as insurmountable

    2. The school has a safe, civil, healthy and intellectually stimulating learning environment:
      1. Students, staff, parents, community and leadership feels respected
      2. Students feel connected with staff who are engaged in learning
      3. Instruction is personalized and enables student contact with teachers
      4. Learning occurs in clean, safe, well maintained facilities
      5. Procedures and rules are collaboratively developed and adopted, and there is shared ownership in enforcement of those policies and rules
      6. Policies are developed with community input

    3. Communications between all stakeholders are current, clear and transparent, including:
      1. There is a single source of truth for all school information, easily accessible inside and outside the school on multiple device types.
      2. Standard procedures, forms and other documents are easily accessible for all staff in the school, and all staff knows where to find them and use them regularly in their daily work.
      3. Parents feel there are adequate, useful, friendly, relevant communications to and from the school in appropriate native languages.
      4. Parents and community members feel welcomed in the school.

    4. The School is the center of community life for the Grand Canyon residents:
      1. The school provides spaces for multiple forms of recreational athletic sports and extracurricular activities.