BETHLEHEM — The Bethlehem Central School District is in the early stages of developing a long-term strategic plan to guide its future, and is inviting community members to be a part of the conversation.
In early August, BCSD Superintendent Jodi Monroe outlined the process for creating a long-term strategic plan for the district, intended to inform its decision-making over the coming years. Last month, the district began that process, which is expected to last through early 2019, and assembled a “strategic action committee,” composed of administrators, faculty and staff, students, parents, community members, and school board members.
“I was doing some reading this summer,” said Monroe, when she proposed the idea at the Aug. 9 Board of Education meeting. She quoted Gary Marx, author of Future-Focused Leadership . . . Preparing Schools, Students and Communities for Tomorrow’s Realities: “A strategic vision helps us lead our students, schools and communities into an even more successful future.”
She said the district looked at what other districts have done to prepare a strategic plan and feels it’s important to:
•Revisit, possibly refine, and recommit
to core values and a vision for education in Bethlehem;
•Ensure that the process is inclusive of educators, the community, educational experts and private industry leaders;
•Take into account things such as
enrollment projections, district operations, financial considerations
and capital planning.
After meeting for the first time in September to review the district’s “core values”– Knowledge, Character, and Value – the strategic action committee is inviting district residents to a community forum on Wednesday, Oct. 11 at 6:30 p.m. in the high school library.
The intent of the forum is to gather input for the strategic plan, tentatively titled ‘Design for Excellence 2025.’ The committee will then examine the district’s core values, along with its mission and vision statements, and begin mapping out goals and strategies.
The next steps in the overall planning process include:
•Forming a data analysis committee
•Reviewing data collected during the
October forum, and
•Issuing a draft survey to solicit
additional feedback and encourage
Early next year, the strategic action committee hopes to have drafted district mission and vision statements. Following that, feedback tools will be employed to identify potential five-year goals and innovation teams composed of students, teachers, administrators and community members will be tasked with developing action plans to reach those goals.
By next fall, the district hopes to have prepared drafts of specific plans and begin discussions with faculty, staff and other stakeholders to refine them further. If all goes according to schedule, a finalized plan should be before the Board of Education for approval by the beginning of 2019.
Those interested in attending the forum should RSVP online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BCSD-Community-Forum and join the conversation on Wednesday, Oct. 11.
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