Bonita Unified School District

115 W. Allen Ave. San Dimas, CA 91773   |  Phone: (909)971-8200
School Safety Hot Line: (909)394-9393 (Anonymous Reporting)


Spring is in the air. I remember as a child my mom would rally the troops for “Spring Cleaning.” We pulled toys out from under our beds, dusted cobwebs away, opened the windows to enjoy the fresh scent, and tried on last year’s clothes to see what still fit and what had been outgrown. As I look back, my mom was laying the groundwork for each of us to stop, reflect, refine and prepare for each season.  So how do we reflect, refine and prepare for each season in education?

Start with Reflection

The first step is to reflect on our organization's Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (S.W.O.T). By taking the time to reflect organizationally, we can determine how we can best support the Hero’s Journey toward Personalized Learning. As I said last month, our focus is not to become a hero, but rather, our focus is to continually engage in a process to become more heroic. This means looking in the mirror to assess how our leadership talents, such as attitudes, skills, knowledge, communication, motivation, trustworthiness, commitment, flexibility, and vision, are supporting the vision of Personalized Learning. Although self-assessment is not easy, it is an important organizational step to grow and stay relevant in our ever-changing world.

Strategic Abandonment

Once we have completed our S.W.O.T. analysis, we will know if there are ideas or programs that need to be abandoned. Often in organizations we add more and more to everyone’s plate, but we rarely stop to consider what is not working. Discontinuing stagnate or ineffective processes is critical to the overall health of the organization.

Prepare for the Next Season

Next year’s plan will include lessons we have learned collectively as well as recognition of the progress we have made. We will use research and data to determine what we should continue to do, what we should stop doing, and what we need to consider starting. Finally, we will review, review, and review to ensure the plan is set and working throughout the next season.

This year, we gathered stakeholders to identify the strengths and weaknesses of Personalized Learning. They helped us celebrate our successes and improve upon what is working. Celebrating is a critical step in the process. Often, we go straight to addressing weaknesses, missing the opportunity to acknowledge and develop our strengths. By amplifying our strengths, we can complement and enrich the many teams we are part of, both personally and professionally. Through this step, we may also find skills we can transfer over to help as we work on areas of growth.

Sharpen the Saw

Once we have celebrated our successes, we will set goals in order to continue our growth, both personally and organizationally. As leaders, it is important to take time to invest in ourselves as a way to refine and sharpen our skills and talents. Whatever the growth goal, the objective will be to continue to improve student learning through Personalized Learning. 

By this time next year, I expect that we will once again find areas of achievement to celebrate, areas that are no longer effective to abandon, and areas to stretch and improve. Spring is the season to put it all in motion. Let’s make the most of it!


Christina Goennier, Ed.D.

Twitter: @BUSD4kids