Column: District 518 creates clear strategic planWORTHINGTON — The development of a strategic plan is the base for many school districts and businesses across our nation that guides the future direction of the organization. District 518 has worked on a strategic plan for a couple of years with input from a number of folks over that period of time.
By: John Landgaard, District 518, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — The development of a strategic plan is the base for many school districts and businesses across our nation that guides the future direction of the organization. District 518 has worked on a strategic plan for a couple of years with input from a number of folks over that period of time. In November the school board approved the district’s mission, vision and goals that will guide the direction over the next few years. Of course, in our business, this is centered on improving student performance and the effective operation of the district.
The new mission statement of District 518 is “Educational Excellence for All Learners to be Successful Citizens in the Future.” This is a very simple statement that is very inclusive to the entire system and speaks volumes about the expectations we all have for the education of our children. We all would like to see our children be more successful and have opportunities that were not available to us as students. This new mission can be summed up in three words that may develop into the motto “Excellence in Action” over time. This is due to many highly qualified, dedicated and exceptional educators that teach our children each and every day.
The following are the goals that have been determined to help reach this mission over the next five to ten years.
* Provide education for all staff so that they can differentiate the curriculum and instruction for all learning abilities.
* Expand and enhance use of data and data-based decision making.
* Utilize continual interventions, support, evaluations and accountability to ensure student achievement.
* Embed technology into the curriculum to increase achievement of all students.
* Encourage students and families to be active participants in the educational process.
* Financial Health — Sustain the district’s sound fiscal status over the next five years.
* Utilize professional learning communities (PLCs) to promote student learning.
Under each of these goals are specific points that identify additional pieces for reaching these expectations over time. These specific points include: closing the achievement gap, increasing graduation rates, additional training for staff, continual assessment of the district’s success on effective use of technology, increased parent/community involvement and many more. This information is available to individuals at one of the offices or will be on the new district website when it is available sometime in January.
Due to the vision and commitment to excellence, the district has developed what is believed to be the value of a diploma with a statement that will assist in reaching this vision. The district’s vision statement is: “By 2016, District 518 will be recognized as a leading, renowned school system in southwest Minnesota by providing educational opportunities for all students to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to be productive global citizens and successful lifelong learners, while we capitalize on collaboration that leads to student success in school and the world”. This statement, along with the established goals, will lead in the decisions that will and must be made for future growth of the district and overall success.
The district would like to thank all those that have been involved in the process, as well as helping to shape the future direction of the district. As we continue to move forward, the district will be looking for additional input and involvement in order to accomplish these goals.
Thank you for all the support and efforts to make District 518 a wonderful place to have our children educated.
John Landgaard is the District 518 superintendent.