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USD #343 Establishes New District Goals

October 22, 2018

The process of developing and approving district goals began with a special Board of Education meeting in August 2018.  During this meeting, all seven Board members and the district’s administrators were guided through the process by Dr. Doug Moeckel of the Kansas Association of School Boards.
 
Information from this meeting included over twelve pages of notes, thoughts, and ideas from board members and administrators.  This information was then disaggregated into strengths, improvements, and future needs of the district as a whole.  During this goal-setting meeting, we found that our district has many strengths to offer our students and in fact, our district’s performance in terms of graduation rate, student involvement, college credit options, and ACT test results are considered at a high level when compared to other districts in Kansas.  Current communication strategies were also identified as strengths of the district as the newly adopted social media platform by buildings and the district appears to have connected with more students, parents, and patrons.  Although social media is not the only means of communication for our district, it does seem to be the most widely used by our stakeholders.
 
In terms of improvements, the condition and age our current facilities were at the top of the list for most.   The previous budget reductions from the State caused maintenance issues to be deferred or put off until the budget dollars for repair became available.  Some of these maintenance issues included HVAC, (heating and cooling units) roof repair, and foundation concerns.  Another concern identified by the group was the state-wide problem of staffing.  There is currently a teacher shortage in Kansas, which has been realized during the last two years.  Fewer students are choosing education as a career field due to the cost of college and the starting pay for teachers.
 
Below are the short-term goals and focus areas adopted by the USD #343 Board of Education at the October 8th meeting.
Goal: Address facilities needs.
Focus: Improve efficiency, appearance, and maintenance of district facilities.
 
Goal: Increase school safety for students.
Focus: Review current Emergency Operations Procedures and update where needed.
 
Goal: Retain and recruit quality staff.
Focus: Provide a quality staff for USD #343 students.
 
Long-term focus areas identified and adopted:
  • Establish a long-term sustainable facility plan.
    • Develop a plan for needed growth.
    • Maximize district facility resources.
  • Recruit and retain quality staff.
    • Promote a positive image of the district which is enticing to new staff members.
    • Maintain a competitive salary for staff members.
  • Communicate to stakeholders.
    • Post current and supportive information to online sites.
    • Use School Messenger system and social media to provide timely information.
  • Continue to support college and career ready graduates.
    • Maintain on-line and college credit options for students.
    • Continue relationship with Washburn University Institute of Technology.

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