On Thursday, November 17th the strategic planning committee met for the first time to begin developing the 2011 strategic plan. The committee is comprised of 16 community members and is currently looking at four areas of focus which include academics & curriculum, technology, facilities, and relationships.

Wrangell Schools Superintendent Richard Rhodes says it’s too soon to be speculating on what the committee will decide to focus on for this year’s plan, but he says he and the committee plan to begin looking at educational goals and how they can be met in the next few years.

“The plan works as a guideline, looking at whether we are spending the money we have to the best of our ability to get the results that we want in the community of Wrangell. We want fully educated students, so this plan makes us look at the areas we need to improve and the ones we need to maintain,” he says.

The last time the strategic plan was reviewed was in January of 2008. Rhodes says with constant changes in technology as well as the economy it’s important to review the plan every few years to make sure school district is current and financially sound, as well as moving forward academically. He says the first step is the plan, and the next step is the budget.

“We are waiting for the Governor to come out with his budget proposal. In January we should have a clear understanding of what that will look like; at that point we will begin lobbying legislation to help us fund what we see as most important to help students in Wrangell become more efficient and proficient in core academics,” he says.

The next strategic planning meeting is December 1st from 3 to 5 p.m. at Evergreen Elementary School Room 101. The topic of focus will be school facilities and relationships. Rhodes says once the planning committee is comfortable with their list of top priorities of focus, the School Board and Committee will hold two public meetings for elementary, middle and high school parents to acquire further public input. Rhodes anticipates for the strategic plan to be complete and the budget process underway by January of 2012.
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