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Weigh in on schools' strategic plan
The School Board will have a town hall meeting on Monday for feedback on its strategic plan.
By JEFFREY S. SOLOCHEK, Times Staff Writer
Published November 16, 2007
LAND O'LAKES - For years, Pasco School Board chairwoman Marge Whaley has pushed for the district to adopt a strategic plan.
"A strategic plan is extremely important," she says, "because it's where we're going and how we're going to measure if we've gotten there."
Past boards and superintendents listened and did nothing. Now that's changed, and the district is on its way to adopting its first-ever strategic plan.
And leaders want to hear what you think about it.
"I want us to relate the community and board's long-term objectives and desires into that strategic plan," said board member Allen Altman, who on Monday will host the first of five planned town hall meetings.
The board has set forth some of its ideas during workshops. It also has made clear its desire to have a document that's written in plain English, and not in educrat-ese. Before settling on the content, Altman said, the public needs to have a say.
Added superintendent Heather Fiorentino, "In order for us to maximize the plan's effectiveness, we must have the active participation of all stakeholders."
One of the key things the board wants to do is set measurable goals for student achievement. In the past, Whaley said, some officials have been reluctant to set benchmark goals, such as a percentage of students reaching a certain level on the FCAT by a specific date.
"We want numbers," she said. "Even if we don't reach those numbers, it's important to know that's what we're stretching to."
With the targets set, the district can better determine where to focus its curriculum and its spending priorities, Altman said.
"The strategic plan and long- term visioning, in my opinion, should drive our programs and budget," he said. Parents and other interested members should "help us formulate where the strategic plan and vision should go."
During the sessions, administrators will present the plan's major points. They will ask the audience to talk about what they consider the challenges that Pasco schools face and to make recommendations for how to solve problems and otherwise improve the district.
The board members said they hope to find ideas to incorporate into the five-year strategic plan.
Visit the district Web site at pcsbstrategy.wordpress.com/ to view a draft version of the plan and submit comments.
Jeffrey S. Solochek can be reached at email@example.com or 813 909-4614. For more education news, visit the Gradebook at blogs.tampabay.com/schools.
If you go
Share your views
The Pasco school district is writing its first strategic plan and wants your input. It will have five town hall meetings to collect comments.
- 4 p.m. Monday: Pasco High School, 26859 State Road 52, Dade City
- 7 p.m. Nov. 26: Deer Park Elementary School, 8636 Trouble Creek Road, New Port Richey
- 5 p.m. Nov. 27: Land O'Lakes High School, 20325 Gator Lane, Land O'Lakes
- 6 p.m. Nov. 28: Bayonet Point Middle School, 11125 Little Road, New Port Richey
- 6 p.m. Nov. 29: Paul R. Smith Middle School, 410 Sweetbriar Drive, Holiday