Strategic Planning for Learning by Design

At the heart of Surrey Schools is a district-wide shared vision for learning – Learning by Design – where we prepare our learners for a world in which they think creatively and critically, communicate skillfully, and demonstrate care for self and others. Developed through continuous engagement at all levels of the district’s work, our strategic plan is one embodiment of this vision.

Beginning in 2014, Surrey Schools began to review the overall direction of the district, responding to feedback and adding clarity to our vision for learning. During this review, we developed our Learning by Design vision, which anchors all our work. Over the next few years, we worked to solidify Learning by Design and ensure that it effectively speaks to all of the work we do across the district, within the classroom and beyond. This effort to restructure our vision for learning and chart a new direction for the district included organizational changes, shifts in how certain portfolios are managed, and changes to our curriculum oversight structure.

Through this, we have aligned and refined the Learning by Design vision to be a true anchor for our work. Our priority practices form the practical application of Learning by Design in the classroom. Our focus on transitions, literacy and numeracy, and well-being provide the evidence that we use to make important decisions about how to employ each of our priority practices in the service of our vision for learning.

It is a broad framework for our district as we move into this new decade of continuing to seek the best ways to implement Learning by Design across the district. Developing our strategic plan is an ongoing, collaborative process. It is designed to be a framework for the district to build upon year after year, incorporating new knowledge and insights, and giving voice to new perspectives on learning as they emerge. All of this is anchored by the learning, structures, and tools that create the environment for student success.

Effective strategic planning requires effective strategic engagement. For years, our district has engaged with stakeholders who are affected by the learning vision in our schools. Our strategic framework of Learning by Design was developed to be proactively responsive to our unique context as the largest and most diverse school district in British Columbia. It prioritizes our commitments to reconciliation and strengthening our relationship with Indigenous peoples — including by strengthening the way our priority practices reflect these commitments. It reflects local education agreements and action plans and Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreements. And our strategic framework was developed with careful attention to provincial goals for education, most importantly with the Framework for Enhancing Student Learning.

Throughout this website, you will find a broad description of our strategic plan, and more detailed descriptions of our priority practices, our focus on the evidence we collect about student transitions, literacy and numeracy, and well-being, and steps we are taking to achieve truly inclusive learning in our schools.