The Carroll County Public Schools Board of Education worked to tighten up language in its strategic plan before the March 21 session, which will be used to discuss measures of success for the plan.
Superintendent Stephen Guthrie told the school board its Wednesday, March 7, work session was a “check-in” meeting, and the next-to-last scheduled meeting on the plan.
“The goal of this work session is to confirm decisions that were made in the past and generally go through what expectations are for the next work session,” he said.
The four pillars of the plan are: provide multiple pathway opportunities for student success; strengthen productive family and community partnerships; develop and support a successful workforce; and establish safe, secure, healthy and modern learning environments. During the Wednesday work session, board members went through the objectives under the four pillars.
School Board Vice President Donna Sivigny voiced the importance of having objectives that are measurable.
“If you can’t measure it, there’s no way to say that you achieved it,” she said.
Sivigny wanted to include objectives about transportation and facilities under Pillar Four, and wanted to include references about being an efficient system.
“There needs to be something in here about operational efficiencies,” she said.
But, board member Devon Rothschild disagreed. “Is that really what we want to make a cornerstone of our strategic plan?” Rothschild asked.
Rothschild said their overarching goal is continuous improvement of student success.
“I feel like [operational efficiencies] is not equal to continuous improvement of student success,” she said. “That is our goal. This is what we’re doing.”
Sivigny said a culture of continuous improvement should be throughout the entire plan, adding if there’s no mention of it, “then why are we bothering?”
Assistant Superintendent of Instruction Steven Johnson suggested adding the concept as an objective under Pillar Three to encapsulate the concept. He suggested: “CCPS leaders promote a culture of continuous improvement, of academic achievement, employee growth and operational efficiencies.”
That was voted down, 3-2, with Sivigny and board member Marsha Herbert in opposition.
Rothschild amended the vote to use Johnson’s objective, but to leave off efficiencies and just use operations. That vote passed unanimously, 5-0.
The school board went through each pillar, tweaking words or phrasing as they saw fit. For Pillar One, they added the word “all” to read: Provide multiple pathway opportunities for all student success.
“Just the simple word ‘all’ sends a big statement,” Board of Education President Bob Lord said.