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Destination 2016 presented PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brenda Johnson Brandt   

A five-year strategic plan for Holyoke School District Re-1J is taking shape.

A final draft of “Destination 2016” was presented at the Feb. 15 school board meeting, and it will be on the March 1 meeting agenda for adoption.

The district’s mission, vision, values and goals are targeted in the five-year plan.

As the district continues to strengthen partnerships that will make it stronger and raise student achievement for all students, it is essential that everyone involved has a clear picture of where the district is headed and how progress will be measured.

“Graduate every student prepared with the necessary knowledge, skill and character to find success in life” is the mission of Destination 2016.

Supt. Bret Miles explained the mission states “why we’re here,” while the vision focuses on “what we believe we can become.”

Destination 2016’s vision statement follows:

“The Holyoke School District provides a positive, safe and stimulating learning environment under the guidance of a knowledgeable and dedicated staff with high expectations for all students.

“The District offers an innovative curriculum and flourishes due to strong partnerships with parents and the community.

“The district graduates students who have developed into self-sufficient, highly motivated, independent critical thinkers who respect cultural differences, are adaptable to change, have positive self-esteem and who have secured the necessary skills to succeed as productive citizens.”

Starting last August, staff began work on the Values piece for Destination 2016. Board members further refined the wording, presenting five values as follows:

“Accountability. The district leads with integrity, accepts responsibility for its outcomes and works to instill these values into our students.

“Knowledge. The district provides each student what he or she needs to grow academically, and supports the overall physical, social and emotional growth necessary for our students to be functioning members of society.

“Compassion. We all learn and perform best when we feel safe and accepted, and therefore, we are obligated to extend that feeling to others.

“Zeal. When we are passionate about our work, dedication, determination, innovation and respect flourish.

“Excellence. The continuous journey toward our personal and organizational best keeps us striving for more.”

Five goals have been highlighted in Destination 2016, each with a measuring piece. The goals follow:

—Increase student achievement with results in the top 25 percent of all schools in the state.

—recruit, retain and develop a high quality teaching and classified staff.

—practice fiscal responsibility and develop a budget focused on district goals.

—demonstrate pride in the facilities and grounds, creating the optimum learning environment.

—continuously improve communication and outreach with the community.

After adoption of Destination 2016 next week, great emphasis will be placed on communication with all partners in the community.

In addition to media coverage, it was suggested the phone system could be used to make people aware, and the information could possibly be included in handbooks.

The living document will be updated to reflect higher expectations or new goals as progress is made.

Annual reports will be prepared, with the first one scheduled for this August.