Strategic Planning

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Your strategic plan can be focused, and integrate multiple voices

A good strategic plan can take into account the diverse voices within your district or school. CES will develop and facilitate a planning process that is created and customized for your district, school, or initiative’s specific needs. Based on your needs, we’ll assemble an experienced team that has facilitated strategic planning in multiple schools and districts, urban and suburban, regional and rural; and brings to your project the expertise you need across disciplines.

Group of adults and students talking in a circle

You may be:

  • Sunsetting your current district or school strategic plan, and building a new plan
  • Hoping to better align your district, school, and educator plans
  • Facing significant changes to your financial picture and needing an intentional plan to help you prioritize  
  • Welcoming new leadership and developing a plan together
  • Seeking a strategic planning process that is inclusive and equitable, and aligns with your DEIB (diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging) commitments
  • Seeking to develop a strategic plan for a specific initiative, like strengthening math education at the secondary level; improving articulation in academic rigor across grades 8-12; or revising the K-12 world languages program to align with state and national standards
  • Struggling to create annual implementation plans that make progress toward strategic goals 

We can support you in:

  • Choosing a framework for strategic planning; for example, Planning for Success, with which our consultants have extensive experience
  • Hosting and facilitating leadership and staff retreats
  • Coaching leadership through an effective planning process
  • Helping you to align plans at all levels within your district 
  • Developing data-informed recommendations
  • Supporting you to create logic models and theories of action/change
  • Providing thoughtful, equity-informed program evaluation
  • Researching effective practices to achieve your goals
  • Helping you to build community commitment to your plan
  • Creating a framework for monitoring your district or school progress toward goals

Our Team Members

CES will assemble an expert team based on the needs of your project. We can draw from specialists in evaluation, ELE, special education and inclusive practices, social justice in education, technology, early childhood, and across content areas. Below are some of our team leaders.


Albert Johnson-Mussad, Ph.D.

Dr. Johnson-Mussad serves as a staff consultant in leadership and instruction at the Collaborative for Educational Services. He travels nationally to facilitate professional development for school leaders, teachers and other licensed educators in instructional leadership; English learner education; world language and bilingual education; adolescent literacy education; improving outcomes for students in poverty; and social-emotional learning. In addition to professional development, he provides individualized leadership and instructional coaching, curriculum development and strategic planning, and educational program evaluation.

Johnson-Mussad is a seasoned K-12 teacher and curriculum leader who has worked with central office and school-based administrators to increase achievement for both striving learners [or less ready learners] and gifted and talented [more ready] learners. He has taught K-12 English learners and high school Spanish. Albert served as an assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, and also in the role of elementary school principal. He has been helping K-12 writers who are English learners, including EL’s with disabilities, to communicate personally compelling meaning for 30 years. He is the middle son of immigrants from Egypt, and a heritage speaker of English who also speaks Spanish and some Arabic.

Learn more about:

Dr. Johnson-Mussad is currently serving a 3-year term on Massachusetts DESE’s Gifted and Talented Advisory Council.

His publications include:

  • Responsive Collaboration for IEP and 504 Teams, book. Co-authored 2022, Corwin.
  • Instructional Techniques including Artists in Residence, Pair Shuffle, Who goes there? in New ways in Teaching English at the Secondary Level, Deborah Short. 1999, VA: TESOL

Among his recent conference presentations are Teaching Writers Learning English or Who Have IEPs, presented at the 2023 LitCon, the largest K-8 literacy education conference in North America, in Columbus, OH; and Culturally Responsive Practice in Using Federal Grant Resourceat the Nov. 2022 the Massachusetts department of education Federal Grant Programs conference. He presented on Teaching students in poverty at the 2019 ASCD Conference on Educational Leadership.

You can also hear Albert in two podcasts, In Search of Meaning (This PhD Thinks, 2022) and Reflections on Effective IEPs (Phenomenal Spotlight W/Mr. Short: Albert Johnson-Mussad, 2023).

“Albert creates a great community within his instruction where all levels of educators are welcomed and appreciated. As a result, every member of the course is engaged and contributes knowledge based on their experiences. This means that the participants come away with enormous “hands-on” strategies with ways to use them in different settings because of the discussions we have.” –5th Grade ELA/SS Teacher

Position: Leadership and Instruction Continuous Improvement Specialist


Phone: (413) 200-8294

Kate Lytton, M.S.

Kate Lytton brings over 20 years of experience in social research, including needs assessment, strategic planning, evaluation design, survey research, and qualitative methods, to her program evaluation work at CES. She has designed and led studies of educator professional development, teacher preparation, child abuse prevention, interagency and community collaborations, and truancy prevention initiatives, among many other education, social service, and community health projects.  

Kate brings a passion for participatory approaches that engage stakeholders in identifying and addressing questions that are critical for program improvement and that keep family and child needs at the center. She facilitates collaborative efforts that focus on collecting and using data to understand an educational challenge and to assess program effectiveness and outcomes. She has a BS in mathematics from Williams College and an MS in Science and Technology Studies from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Position: Director of Research and Evaluation


Safire DeJong Ed.D.

Safire is a mama, auntie, daughter, practitioner, and scholar. She is co-editor of Readings for Diversity and Social Justice and holds a Doctorate of Education in Social Justice Education from UMass Amherst. Her research focuses on young people’s experiences with status and power in schools and communities. At CES, Safire works with a team of talented and experienced co-facilitators (the Joy & Justice team!) to provide equity-focused consulting and professional development for PK-12 schools. She has 20 years of experience facilitating social justice work, intergroup dialogues, and training skilled facilitators. These experiences have enabled her to develop a broad set of tools and skills that can support groups to find the most generative possibilities for liberatory futures, together.

Position: Program Director, Social Justice and Equity in Schools


Phone: (413) 586-4900 x5929

Laurel Peltier

Laurel Peltier holds an Ed.D. in Special Education Leadership and C.A.G.S. in Special Education from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, as well as a professional license as a Special Education Administrator in Massachusetts. She has over 25 years of experience in transition assessment, planning and service delivery, and has provided leadership for transition in public schools and at the college level. Prior to joining the team at CES, Laurel developed and led public and private secondary school programs for students with disabilities, taught undergraduate and graduate courses in special education and writing, and acted as a consultant and professional development provider for more than 20 school districts in Massachusetts. Her most recent post was with the Amherst Pelham Regional High School. In addition to her professional experience, Laurel brings experience as the parent of a child with autism and intellectual disabilities.

Position: Curriculum and Instructional Specialist in Special Education


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