By Fiona Davis
Before the school year began, parents, faculty, and district staff members were hard at work formulating a new strategic plan, according to Superintendent Pamela Beaudoin.
The plan consists of a unified approach to school improvement that combines community partnerships, resources and school climate to achieve core values of whole child and student achievement, she said.
“It’s all interwoven…if one piece isn’t really working, then the other pieces can’t work,” Beaudoin said.
According to both Beaudoin and director of student services Allison Collins, the plan is a team approach.
“In terms of student services, our contribution to the strategic plan is that we work in partnership with general education… we work together to support the students,” Collins said.
In order to facilitate achievement for all students, Collins said she has been working to implement programs for students with learning challenges, physical disabilities, economic hardships, and social difficulties across the district.
“We have some programs that have been implemented to help students who otherwise might have a hard time remaining in the district…and also trying to bring students back who might need a specialized placement,” she said.
Curriculum director Scott Morrison said the new plan emphasizes meeting the needs of all students.
“If you handed out medium T-shirts to an auditorium full of people, they would fit some people perfectly, but for others they would be too large or too small. It is the same idea when instructing students. It is a tall order trying to make sure we form instruction to fit everyone,” he said.
According to Beaudoin, improving the school climate is an important part of the plan that will develop the student achievement aspect.
Collins said she hopes to create a welcoming environment for all students. According to her, students can help in accomplishing this goal.
“I do think students have a responsibility…I would like to see students…work with some of the students who have learning and social challenges by being welcoming and supportive and taking peer leadership roles,” she said.
According to Collins, developing community involvement in the district will also aid the staff in promoting the strategic plan.
“Community partnerships is having the community develop a better understanding of what is happening in the schools so that we can better work towards our goals for children in the community,” she said.
Finance director Avi Urbas said the school must be thoughtful in investments in people and resources in order to capitalize on contributions from taxpayers in the community.
“Resources are a big part of public education, and we have one of the best school systems in the state. We want it to continue to improve, but there is a lot of funding that goes into making the school system work. We have to balance improvement with fiscal responsibility,” he said.