W-F School Board approves strategic plan
A five-year district stategic plan was approved by the Weyauwega-Fremont School Board when it met on Sept. 23.
“We started the process in January. We have a product,” District Administrator Scott Bleck told the board during its committee meeting earlier last month.
In the summer of 2012, he contacted the Waupaca County UW-Extension office to discuss a strategic planning process.
The School Board then voted last Jan. 28 to move forward with the process.
It was facilitated by the county’s UW-Extension Youth Development and Community Development educators.
“The plan should give you guidance for at least five years,” said Connie Abert, Waupaca County UW-Extension Youth Development educator.
The school district’s administrators, as well as the school board and community members should regularly update it, she said.
From April through June, the district’s Strategic Planning Task Force held a series of meetings to develop the plan.
That was after the board identified the various stakeholders to invite to participate in the process.
The task force included members of the school board, district administrators and teachers, business leaders and community members.
They discussed what is important to the school district and the community and then developed action strategies to address the concerns.
However, the task force talked about what kind of legacy it wants the district to leave for students, families and the community.
Abert said local pride, quality, communication, innovative professionals and preparing students for the real world were among the ideas.
The group identified the district’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges.
Focus groups made up of students, a group of business people and individuals were also interviewed.
The themes were economics/budget, resources, partnerships, staff, facilities, basic academic skills, life skills/workforce, co-curriculars, societal/political change and communication.
The task force was also asked: “What are the strategic issues that will impact the Weyauwega-Fremont School District in the next five years or more?”
Fifteen questions were identifed, and the group then narrowed that down to six main priorities.
“The group had to narrow the suggestions and put together succinct steps which would answer the question,” Abert said.
Break-out groups from the larger task force did that work over the course of the summer before coming back together in August.
The larger group then talked about what can be done and narrowed the initial 15 questions down to six, with action steps identified for each one of them.
The six questions are:
• What actions can we take to creatively grow our funding and most efficiently and effectively use our current resources to meet school/community needs?
• How do we take advantage of current technology, continually invest in new technology and ensure all students have access to it at home and school?
• What strategies can be implemented to attract, develop and maintain quality professionals?
• How can we provide opportunities and engage students of all interests at all academic levels, while preparing them with basic academic skills for their future?
• How can we provide opportunities for our children to develop skills to match their interests and abilities?
• How can we develop and implement common standards and agreed upon expectations for students, parents, staff and community with a clear understanding of desired and necessary outcomes and potential and relevant consequences?
“What you heard from the task force,” Abert said, “is out of the 15 questions, here are the top six. They took a lot of information and narrowed it down.”
She said it would be advantageous for board members to be involved in the subsequent sub committees that address each of the six priorities.
The board is scheduled to begin prioritizing the action steps for the six different questions at its next committee meeting.