SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The Savannah-Chatham School Board dedicated an entire meeting to a SWOT Analysis today. They say it’s important to not only look ahead to the future, but plan for it.
SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.
“This allows all stakeholders an opportunity to look at where we’re doing a good job,” said Dr. David Bringman, a SCCPSS board member from District 6. “Where we can do better and to assess what might impact the ability to educate the students of Savannah-Chatham County.”
It’s a chance to be transparent, get input and set goals for the next five years. While the district began their strategic planning with the Georgia School Board Association back in 2019 it was delayed because of COVID-19, which has impacted how they look ahead.
“Of course I wish we would have never had to experience and learn the way we have, but I do think that there are lessons that we can learn,” said Denise Grabowski, who represents District 1 on the SCCPSS Board. “And innovation that we have had to put in place in such a short time frame in order to continue education for our students that we can take the time and really understand how we can learn from that experience and how we can build and grow from that.”
Board members spent hours discussing a wide range of topics. They feel the district succeeds at preparing students for their next phase, having highly qualified and caring staff. They feel they need improvement on personnel shortages and district messaging. They noticed some things fell into multiple categories of the SWOT analysis like technology and curriculum.
“Every time I do a SWOT analysis it’s nice to see that what I think might be a threat is an opportunity to somebody else, said Bringman. “What I might perceive as a weakness might be a strength to somebody else and I think that is always refreshing to understand that the way we view some of these things can always be a positive or a negative. If we keep that mindset it’s a lot easier to move forward in a positive light rather than here are all the problems we have to fix.”
While the board ranked their top priorities, this exercise is also being done with other stakeholders like school staff, community members and more.
“I want to see what the community has to say,” explained Grabowski. “And how we can use that to better shape our policy in order to ensure that we are meeting the needs and really accelerating academic progress for all of our students.”
Once complete the Georgia School Board Association will collect and analyze the data, and then a planning team will discuss their goals and an action team will set targets and objectives. The school board should vote on the final 2026 strategic plan later this summer.