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School strategic plan taking shape PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brenda Johnson Brandt   

Valuable time was spent on Holyoke School District’s mission, vision, values and goals when the board met for a retreat Saturday, Jan. 8.

Reviewing retreat progress at their Jan. 20 meeting, board members discussed a five-year strategic plan that was the focus of the retreat.

The plan will be presented as a document at the Feb. 1 board meeting, with adoption scheduled for Feb. 15.

When approved, the strategic plan will be in the form of a living document, which means as progress toward goals is made, the plan will be updated to reflect higher expectations or perhaps even new goals.

Board president Dan Kafka highlighted the five goals the board considered for the strategic plan. They include the following areas:

—Student achievement.

­—Quality staff.

—Fiscal responsibility.

—Pride in facilities.

—Continuous improvement in communication and outreach with the community.

Kafka emphasized it is key for the community to feel a part of the school district.

Each district goal has specific strategies identified to meet the goal and a clear measurement target designed for continous monitoring of progress.

Linda Jelden explained the process the board used to assess each of the five proposed goals. She added it will be good the goals are on paper and in front of them for continuous evaluation.

Citing achievement is related to attendance but also needs attachment, Jelden said she’s excited about the student achievement goals.

Kim Killin mentioned board input from the retreat, when members shared positive things they feel the board is working on.

Laura Krogmeier also referenced this, noting the positive impact of working as a team with individual ideas but toward the same goals.

Kafka pointed out this board and prior boards have looked to focus on a five-year vision for the district. He said he’s excited to get something down on paper that reflects what they’ve been talking about.

“This is the “big rock” stuff, said Jeff Tharp. He added it’s a nice concise way of communicating “big rock” core values to the community.

Visions and missions are plainly stated so stakeholders can see exactly where we’re headed, added Tharp.

“Graduate every student prepared with the necessary knowledge, skill and character to find success in life” is the proposed mission statement for the district.

Jelden commended the administrative team for changing the current seven line paragraph mission statement to 16 powerful words.

Values specified in the living document include accountability, knowledge, compassion, zeal and excellence.

Krogmeier commented on the word zeal, noting the opposite of that is complacent. She said if zeal is involved, everyone wants to be part of it. “We’re fortunate to have that zeal in this district,” she added.

Supt. Bret Miles addressed potential ways to get the strategic plan information to the district, in addition to newspaper and radio reports.

To start with, the first-Friday meeting in March will find staff walking through the document.

Framed pieces currently located in classrooms will be replaced with a page highlighting the district’s mission, vision, values and goals.

Kafka feels a unified plan has been accomplished, and the board looks forward to presenting the goal document at next week’s meeting.