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BLUE BOMBER VOICES: Community helping school district with strategic plan

September 4, 2014
By MARY DIETRICH - LPCS Board of Education President , Lake Placid News

Last October, as part of the process of setting goals and objectives for the 2013-14 school year, the Lake Placid Central School Board committed to developing and implementing a course of action to create a long-term strategic plan.

The purpose of the plan is to identify and define district values, establish goals and targets, outline key strategies, set priorities, and serve as a means for involving the school and community in setting the school's direction. In addition, it will also include a spending plan that ensures students are college and career ready and receive a broad-based education, review and update a long-term facilities plan, including expenditures, for capital improvement and routine maintenance.

Recognizing that an important component of strategic planning is gaining feedback from the stakeholders the LPCSD organized focus groups representing the different segments of the community - parents, faculty and staff, business and community members, school administrative leaders and students. These groups met in December under the direction of Bill Rusak. They provided insight on the strengths and weaknesses of the district, opportunities and threats to the district, and issues that need to be addressed in the next few years. The Board and Administrative leadership team then organized this information into themes that led to the establishment of six strategic goals:

Article Photos

Mary Dietrich

Students First and Foremost: Prioritize the central importance of a diverse student culture that values all students regardless of backgrounds, strengths, interests, and future plans. Ensure all students are equipped with the skills and knowledge to be successful responsive stewards of the world, personally fulfilled, academically challenged, and prepared for individual college and career paths.

Education: Continuously ensure that educational programs and extracurricular activities offered by LPCS provide all students with the academic, cultural, physical, social and vocational skills, experiences, knowledge and understanding they will need to thrive in a diverse, dynamic, global society. The school succeeds when the students succeed, and are proud of it!

Community Outreach and Involvement: Establish structures and practices that ensure the school district communicates and collaborates with community members and organizations.

Leadership: Continuously ensure that district and school leaders, as role models for others, build and strengthen a mindset of individual and collective success, and a culture of mutual respect and positive collaboration.

Technology: Utilize technology to engage and inspire students through innovative programs integrated into the curriculum.

Finance: Ensure that district officials will conduct the financial operations of the school in an open, stable, responsible and fiscally sound manner to adequately provide for student learning, staff compensation and facility maintenance and improvement that is sensitive to both the community's ability to pay and the community's expectation for excellence in education.

The next step in the process was to develop specific steps to accomplish these goals. Again, recognizing the necessity for involving the whole community in this phase of the project six task forces were established to craft an action plan for each goal. Throughout the summer these groups, consisting of parents, community members, teachers, students, and school administrative leaders met to discuss and develop concrete ways to accomplish these objectives.

Most of the task force committees are now ready to present their ideas to the Board of Education at the Sept. 16 school board meeting. Those unable to present at this time will do so at one of the October meetings. The Board of Education, after having an opportunity to review these plans, will devise an action plan and timeline for the implementation of these strategies as well as a plan for the continued review and measurement of the success of the implementation.

Community members are invited and encouraged to attend the Sept. 16 meeting to hear the presentations. The Board prior to adoption of the plan will develop a procedure whereby public input can occur.

More than 50 people have participated in this project and the members of the Board of Education are aware that this participation disrupts family schedules and activities. We are very appreciative of their time, effort and expertise.



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