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story.lead_photo.caption Matthew Wendt

FAYETTEVILLE -- Superintendent Matthew Wendt wants to give his leadership team more time to study proposals included in a five-year comprehensive plan before it goes to the School Board for approval.

The new superintendent read the document developed by School District employees and community volunteers as part of the Framing Our Future planning process.

Framing Our Future work in Fayetteville School District

• July 23, 2015: School Board hears first presentation on Framing Our Future planning process

• Sept. 24, 2015: Board approved formation o planning committee

• Oct. 12-14, 2015: Planning team drafts mission statement, accompanied with a set of beliefs, objectives and strategies

• Nov. 19, 2015: Board approves mission statement

• January-April: Volunteers for 10 action teams develop plans to implement strategies set by planning team

• May 17-18: Action teams report back to planning team on recommendations for steps to implement the strategies

Source: Staff report

"The outcomes and the strategies they have created are just exceptional," Wendt said.

He anticipates being ready to have a conversation with the board in late fall about the full plan. Approval of the five-year plan is on hold during his transition.

Former Superintendent Paul Hewitt retired in mid-June, with Wendt taking his place July 1. Steven Weber, the district's new associate superintendent for teaching and learning, also started work earlier this month.

The School District also has two contested board races, so it's likely the board will have at least one new member after the Sept. 20 election, Wendt said.

Steve Percival decided not to seek re-election for the Zone 1 seat, and Nika Waitsman, who was appointed to an at-large position on the board, decided to run for Percival's seat. Farla Steele-Treat is running for the Zone 1 seat, as well. Maria Baez de Hicks and Megan T. R. Hurley are running for the at-large position.

The proposals in the five-year plan don't have an estimated cost, Wendt said. He said he needs to be able to inform the board of the potential financial impact of each piece of the plan.

"In my reality, tax dollars are tight, and we have to be good stewards of the budget," he said.

The board went forward with Framing Our Future because of a desire to have a five-year plan in place, even with the transition in the district's top leadership, said Tim Hudson, board president.

Hudson understands Wendt and his team need time to review the proposal and to research the cost. And the district has time with a five-year plan, he said.

The process has been ongoing for a year. A 30-member planning team drafted a new mission statement the board approved in November. A couple of hundred volunteers representing the school district and community were divided into 10 teams that met through the first few months of 2016 to draft specific, measurable steps for the district to take to achieve the new mission.

The team leaders reported back to the planning team in May.

Framing Our Future brought together the diverse perspectives of educators, parents, community members and students in thinking about the identity of Fayetteville School District, its strengths and ideas about how the district could improve, said Denise Roark, a parent who was on the planning team.

Roark said she hopes the superintendent and board consider the ideas in the plan carefully and consider how to prioritize them. She understands they will have to determine which ideas can be implemented.

"In the end, we want to make it a more valuable experience for the kids," she said. "We want them to learn things they can take out into the real world and apply."

NW News on 07/30/2016

Print Headline: Wendt pushes back plan's approval for schools

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