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OP/ED: SD 20 chair speaks to strategic planning

Giving our students the tools and confidence they need to be successful in a rapidly-evolving global environment is our first priority as a Board of Education.  To assist us in achieving this goal, we will be engaging our communities in building and maintaining a school system that reflects local priorities, values and expectations.

In  June 2015, the Board of Education began the strategic planning process with senior district leaders, to discuss big picture questions like: what are the attributes of the students we want exiting our schools; what learning opportunities are students provided; what do our learning environments look and feel like; what staff do we need to achieve these objectives and how do we support our staff; how are parents and community members involved with our schools; what are we good at; where can we improve; what opportunities exist for the district; etc. Currently, we are immersed in the process of community engagement to determine our priorities and guiding principles by discussing the same big picture questions. These “district directions” will impact critical aspects of the district including where we spend our limited resources.  Given their impact, we want to be certain that all community education partners are involved during the development process. 

We met with district staff in early November and were encouraged by the valuable, thoughtful input we received.  Next steps include a meeting with parents in January 2016 to hear what they believe are important skills for their children/youth to acquire in order to develop to their full potentials.   Students and community will also be invited to participate in this process as we continue this inclusive work. 

After hearing from all stakeholders in the district, board and staff will develop a draft plan that will identify where we want to be as a district, for our schools, for our students, staff and for our communities.  This will be presented for feedback and adjusted as necessary to develop a directional document that we can feel confident will guide our district to support students to become socially engaged citizens who can actively contribute to positive change in our global world.

We look forward to meeting with you in the near future! 

Teri Ferworn

Chair

Board of Education