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Strategic plan to be reviewed

by Andy Bourelle

The Douglas County School District Strategic Plan will be reviewed all day Friday and Saturday by the 19-member committee charged with the task.

The strategic plan, approved by the school district February 1994, will undergo its fourth annual update 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 30 and 31 at the Carson Valley Middle School Library.

John Soderman, assistant superintendent of education services and internal facilitator for the review committee, said county residents are welcome to attend. Public comment times are scheduled for 5 p.m. Friday, 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday. The procedure is somewhat informal, allowing residents to ask questions or make comments during most of the review.

The strategic plan’s mission statement is to “ensure that all students are competent in the basic skill areas and are prepared to be productive, responsible citizens.”

“The elements of this plan will be implemented with certain assurances,” the

plan states, “which include fiscal responsibility, student competency in the basic skill areas, and accountability for producing students who can compete successfully in a complex, ever-changing world.”

Soderman said the plan gives the school district focus and accountability.

“I look at it as it provides direction for the school district,” Soderman said. “Without it, there’s no real cohesion and collective action.”

But the plan is a living, working document. Because of updates and changes, Soderman said, the plan is not the same as it was when first approved. Superintendent Pendery Clark described the strategic plan as a guiding policy document for the school district.

“I personally feel that we have been at such an advantage in the district by having a plan,” she said. “It helps us focus all our energy and resources on the district.”

The review committee is made up of community members, the school board and other members of the school district, including Clark and principals and teachers from various schools in the county.

On Friday morning, the committee will be looking at internal and external factors which affect the school district. Internal factors are those which the district can control. External factors, such as flat enrollment, are ones which the district cannot control but must react to.

The plan outlines 12 strategies the school district has, and much of Friday and Saturday will be spent looking at them. The strategy areas include curriculum, communications, technology, fine arts, learning, facilities and more.

Saturday afternoon, the committee will prioritize the strategies for the following year.

“Each year this process of revising, updating and reprioritizing the strategies is invaluable to us as administrators,” Clark said.

The updated plan must go before the school board for approval at a special meeting on March 3.

Soderman and Clark encourage residents to attend, and anyone wanting more information is welcome to call the school district. As soon as they are available, copies of the proposed revised plan can be given to anyone interested.

“If anyone ever wants to know more about the plan, I’m sure Pendery or myself would be more than willing to talk to anyone about it at any time,” Soderman said. “I think the best plan comes from people knowing what’s going on.”

The Record-Courier E-mail: rc@tahoe.com

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