Coos Bay School Board approves new strategic plan

After months of listening, looking at data, and collaborating, Coos Bay School District #9 officially has a new four-year strategic plan along with an updated vision, mission and values.

On Monday, the School Board voted unanimously to adapt the strategic plan. Vice Chair Arnie Roblan made a point to say that the plan is meant to be a living document and can be updated.

Superintendent Charis McGaughy said the thoughtful plan is the result of months of extensive community engagement that included multiple steps and perspectives in developing this plan. These steps started in September 2022, shortly after McGaughy started as leader of the district, included:

Data Analysis: We conducted a needs assessment analyzing data about how our students have performed over the past five years, both in comparison to the rest of the state and how different groups of students in our district are doing. The key findings that emerged include:

  •     On average, Coos Bay students perform below state average on all required student outcome measures.
  •     On every measure, there are gaps in the average performance between groups of students, particularly for students of color and students experiencing disabilities. 
  •     COVID-19 significantly impacted student outcomes negatively.

Listening Sessions: We hosted 26 superintendent listening sessions with district staff from every school, many students and families, and a variety of community organizations to find out what the priorities are for Coos Bay, resulting in 260 individual survey responses. The top issues that emerged were:

  •     Offer/Expand Career and Technical Education opportunities
  •     Provide Multiple Pathways for Student Success
  •     Provide/Increase Mental Health Services
  •     Provide Attendance Support
  •     Provide Student Support Services
  •     Implement Strong District Curriculum
  •     Foster Strong Relationships
  •     Improve Math Proficiency

Surveys: We used the key themes learned from the listening sessions, and put together a survey for students, staff, families and community members. We asked people to prioritize the key themes on a scale of 1 to 10 and collected 350 responses. The top five priorities were:

  •     Recruit and retain staff
  •     Provide high quality instruction
  •     Foster a safe and welcoming school climate
  •     Increase Mental Health Services 
  •     Support high school students to stay on track to graduate

Strategic Planning Workgroup: Over a series of four meetings from December to February, 20 participants were invited to draft a four-year strategic plan for board consideration. The participants were selected by the school board and union leadership recommendations. Half of the group was made up of community representatives, and the other half represented school district stakeholders, including students, staff, and our board chair Kim Brick. The workgroup reviewed the community engagement data and drafted the vision, mission, values, goals, and outcome measures included in this strategic plan.

Staff Workgroups: At the same time, we convened nine staff workgroups to map out the specific strategies and activities needed to achieve the goals of our strategic plan. These nine workgroups were tasked with developing four-year action steps that will move the needle on the outcome measures associated with each goal. Here is a list of what plans the work groups were tasked with creating:

  •     Foster a safe and welcoming school climate (e.g. behavior, SEL, mental health, etc.) [Goal 1]
  •      Improve attendance [Goal 1]
  •      Increase student learning (reading, math and core instruction) [Goal 2]
  •      Increase graduation, completion, and on-track to graduate rates [Goal 3]
  • Provide multiple pathways for student success (we broke into two subgroups because of different planning needs) [Goal 3]
    • Diverse course offerings (e.g. CTE, electives, dual credit, etc.)
    • Alternative education options (e.g. Destinations, Resource Link, online learning, etc.)
  •     Recruit, hire and retain staff [Goal 4]
  •     Provide high quality district leadership/stewardship [Goal 4]

Equity Advisory Committee: The district’s Equity Advisory Committee (EAC), composed of a diverse group of students and family and community members, formally reviewed and provided input at two stages during this process. First, on December 6, 2022, the EAC reviewed and commented on our needs assessment data to share their thoughts with the Strategic Planning Workgroup. Second, on February 24, 2023, the group reviewed and provided feedback to the board on this draft strategic plan.

For the final step of this process, the Coos Bay School Board reviewed the draft strategic plan at a public work session on Monday, February 27, and then voted on the final version during their board meeting on Monday, March 13.

 McGaughy said the district is deeply grateful for the time and commitment of so many students, staff members, family members and community representatives in helping us co-create this vision, goals and plan for our students. In particular, we would like to offer a special thank you to the Strategic Planning Workgroup members listed below. They generously volunteered their time and expertise in helping us create this comprehensive plan.


Strategic Planning Community Members

  • Eriq Acosta - Education Director, Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians
  • Becky Cantrell - Assistant Director Culture, Education & Learning Services, Coquille Indian Tribe
  • Scott Cooper - Executive Director, Alternative Youth Activities
  • Stacey DeWater - President of Bay Area Chamber of Commerce; parent of student
  • Jamar Ruff - Executive Director, South Coast Equity Coalition
  • Nichole Rutherford - Assistant City Manager, City of Coos Bay
  • Sara Stephens - Director, South Coast Regional Early Learning Hub
  • Kyle Stevens - Executive Director, Southwestern Oregon Workforce Investment Board
  • Danny Stoddard - Representative of Equity Advisory Committee
  • Ali McGeehon - Vice President of Instruction, Southwest Oregon Community College


Strategic Planning School District Members


  • Kim Brick- School Board Chair, Coos Bay School District
  • Amelia Edd - K-2 literacy TOSA, representative Coos Bay Education Association
  • Alex Garcia-Silver - Marshfield High School student
  • Teri Jones - Representative, Coos Bay chapter Oregon School Employees Association
  • Charis McGaughy - Superintendent, Coos Bay School District
  • Candace McGowne - Finance Director, Coos Bay School District
  • Chad Putman - Director of Teaching and Learning, Coos Bay School District
  • Shelley McKnight - Principal, Sunset Middle School
  • Bella Roberts - Marshfield High School student
  • Melinda Torres - Homeless Liaison & At-Risk Kids Program Manager


Based on the work and the board’s vote, the district’s new plan includes the following:


Coos Bay School District Strategic Plan


Each student completes high school prepared and inspired for the future. 


Ensure each student thrives in an inclusive high-quality learning environment.



Honest communication and effective action advancing the district’s vision. 

Transparency and Accountability 

Facilitation of community access to information documenting our performance, progress and stewardship. 

Partnership in Education 

Collaboration with families and community partners to enhance the learning environment, support and options for students. 


Clear, timely and readily-accessible two-way communication with students, staff and community. 


Openness to new ideas for accomplishing our mission, consistent with our values and responsible stewardship. 


Learning environment acknowledges, respects and honors individual cultural or identity-based ways of being.  

Pursuit of Excellence 

Board and staff regularly expand professional knowledge and skills to meet students’ needs. 

Investment at all stages of learning 

“Each student” refers to every individual student enrolled in any District program, from pre-K through 21 years of age.



Goal #1. Positive Learning Environment: 

Each student feels safe and supported

Goal #2. Ensure learning: 

Each student is prepared for academic success.


Goal #3. Multiple pathways for completion:

Each student has multiple high-quality options for high school completion.

Goal #4. District Stewardship: 

District staff and resources are administered effectively, in partnership with our community.