Carthage BOE approves strategic plan

CARTHAGE — Carthage Central School District’s Board of Education approved the district’s five-year strategic plan on July 29.

The plan is based off of electronic surveys — completed by district staff, the Board of Education, parents, community members and students in January — to establish clarity as to where the district wants to be and to improve student performance.

“The whole idea behind the plan is just to have a written plan moving forward. It doesn’t mean that you are going to do everything in the plan, but you reach out to your stakeholders to see what needs to be approved and you try to organize it,” said Superintendent Peter J. Turner.

To conduct the survey, collect its data and help compile the strategic plan, the district hired Jennifer Patrick, executive director of the Center for Professional Development at Canisius College. Ms. Patrick was hired for $31,700 through the School Improvement Grant.

Jennifer L. Premo, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, said she and Mr. Turner facilitated workshops with the 21 stakeholder groups surveyed after the data was collected to develop strategy maps outlining the goals of each group over the next three to five years.

A training session was also held for the Board of Education in order for members to understand their role in supporting the superintendent and leading the district.

“What was wonderful was that everybody was really on the same page in thinking of ways to contribute to the process,” Mrs. Premo said. “It’s important for people to know where they are headed and have a focus.”

According to the plan, which will soon be available to the public on the district’s website, parents identified emotional intelligence, critical thinking and a confident ability to navigate adulthood as being essential moving forward.

For students, focus areas are on managing stress and on amounts of homework, arguing it can be challenging when teachers assign “busy work” on top of their already jam-packed schedules. Internal staff stated the focus areas are mainly on literacy and furthering the district’s inclusive practices.

To make sure the district stays focused on the goals presented in its specific strategic plans, Mrs. Premo said the district will be holding meetings and distributing additional surveys in the upcoming years.

To start, Mrs. Premo and Mr. Turner will begin the school year with another trip to each group to go over strategy to work toward the goals of their specific plan throughout the year.

“We have invested a lot of time and energy into this and people need to know we are going to see it through,” Mrs. Premo said.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

Health, nonprofit and education reporter for the Watertown Daily Times.

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