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story.lead_photo.caption NWA Democrat-Gazette/DAVE PEROZEK Tim Hudson of the Fayetteville School Board makes a point during Monday's board work session as Superintendent John L Colbert, left, and board member Keaton Smith listen.

FAYETTEVILLE -- A plan intended to guide the School District for the next five years is near completion and will be rolled out to the public this fall.

The plan consists of four major goals, with three to five objectives listed under each goal. School Board members and district administrators spent about five hours during a board work session Monday reviewing the methods they'll use to measure progress toward each objective. The goals include equitable access and support for all students to excel in a culture of integrity.

Strategic Plan

The Fayetteville School District strategic plan for 2019 to 2023 features four goals, each of which comes with several objectives, according to a draft of the plan distributed Monday.

Goal 1: All students will have equitable access and support to excel in personalized learning experiences and to meet academic challenges.

1.1: Students will achieve equitable rates of growth as measured by standardized assessments.

1.2: Students will participate in a variety of learning experiences that reinforce rigor.

1.3: Students will experience rigorous, aligned curriculum and access to resources that will enrich their learning opportunities.

1.4: The district will identify and address inequities and inconsistencies in providing equal opportunities for all students, including increased advanced course enrollment by underrepresented populations.

Goal 2: All students, with support, will set and monitor academic and career goals in order to achieve their full potential.

2.1: Schools will use early warning indicators to identify and support struggling learners.

2.2: The district will develop and maintain an enrollment and scheduling process that effectively facilitates progress toward individualized career goals and academic planning for high school students.

2.3: The district will develop career-focused pathways and increased access to relevant career experiences through internships, trade certifications, soft skills and community service opportunities.

Goal 3: All students will learn in a culture of integrity, honesty and trust.

3.1: The district will create an atmosphere of equal opportunity and mutual respect through transparent communication and professional staff interaction.

3.2: The district will implement recruitment, hiring and employee retention policies and processes that promote the highest quality learning and professional environments, and effectively diversify the staff to better reflect the student body and the community.

3.3: The district will create pathways for feedback and dialogue to allow students, staff, parents and community members to be heard and valued.

3.4: The district will engage our stakeholders in a way that establishes partnerships toward the betterment of our students and our broader community.

3.5: The schools will establish a culture of equity, integrity and trust.

Goal 4: All students will have equitable, financially sustainable access to safe and innovative physical and technological resources.

4.1: Identify inconsistencies and opportunities within our physical assets that could be more effectively utilized toward the goal of student success.

4.2: Meet and exceed community expectations of safe, secure and well-maintained facilities.

4.3: Implement digital literacy standards and training opportunities for all students and all employees including equitable access to technology resources.

4.4: The district will develop a six-year facility master plan to ensure and maintain safe and inviting spaces for learning throughout the district.

Source: Fayetteville School District

Nika Waitsman, a board member who took a leading role in developing the plan starting last fall, said she's been encouraged by how many people have supported the effort.

"People have really worked together, come up with some really good metrics, and I think it's going to be a very useful document," Waitsman said.

Both she and board president Justin Eichmann noted the plan was developed internally without guidance from an outside consultant.

The plan has its roots in Framing Our Future, a community outreach and input initiative in 2014 and involved a few hundred community and staff members. Framing Our Future resulted in a 127-page report laying out a plan for student success that was submitted to the board in September 2016.

Amber Pinter, a Fayetteville High School teacher, was part of the Framing Our Future task force. Pinter, who attended Monday's session, said she sees several of the task force's recommendations articulated through the plan's goals.

"So it's nice to see that work being carried forward," she said.

Pinter said she's impressed by the thought that's gone into the plan.

"We have strong targets to meet and I think if we implement the goals as expressed in the strategic plan, our district will continue to grow and be one of the best in the state," she said.

The board began working on the plan in October, when members solidified their goals and objectives.

"But as we learned at that time, just having goals and objectives wasn't going to get us to a place where we could really see what we needed to see," Waitsman said. "We needed certain reports coming back to us on a semi-annual basis that would tell us whether we were accomplishing what we wanted to accomplish."

That's where the harder work of identifying the metrics to go with each objective came in. Much of that work came during a two-day board retreat in February.

The plan still requires some tweaking in a few areas. Superintendent John L Colbert will discuss it with his cabinet at a leadership retreat next month and set the course for the next school year based on the plan's content.

Bob Maranto, a board member, said he generally views strategic plans with skepticism, but he's "cautiously optimistic" about the district's plan. He complimented Waitsman for the time she's invested in it.

The district will release the plan to the public in a variety of platforms, both online and in hard copies. A draft of the plan includes an introduction, which states the plan is a "dynamic document that will define and guide our decision making and priorities at the district and school level."

NW News on 06/18/2019

Print Headline: Fayetteville School Board reviews strategic plan

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