School Board announces its new goals

The goals that will govern the Warren County School District for the next year are in place.

While the school board did not formally approve the goals brought to the public that were derived from its closed-door goal-setting meeting last month, administration was tasked with continuing the process of developing an action plan for the goals.

Board President Arthur Stewart detailed the process for the public during the board’s meeting Monday evening at the Warren County Career Center.

Stewart said that all board members as well as central office administration were in attendance “and the first part of our process is to just take a reading of the pulse of where we are,” examining strengths, weaknesses and opportunities. He said the next step of the process was listing the district’s needs and ranking them “as needs we see unfolding not only for the coming year but in (future) years.

“This year it was an interesting dynamic because as we began to collectively gather the needs, (there was) such unanimity of thought,” said Stewart, that the needs “created its own set of tentative goal items, if you will.”

Administration was then tasked with taking the information and crafting specific goals.

Superintendent Dr. William Clark said the entry plan he completed upon arriving in the district “provided some of the conduit” for information prepared for the session.

Of the goal-setting process generally, Stewart said, “This is a product of a recommendation of the Pennsylvania School Boards Association (and) their notion that the board takes the time to stop and take a look at goals annually.

“By adopting those goals, it is a way for the board to be accountable to its constituency,” he added, explaining that the goals are also “a sign of a healthy relationship between the board and community.”

He said the board will review the goals at least every month at the committee level.

Regarding specific goals, Clark said the technology plan and strategic plan goal number two are “not always aligned.” He said the focus needs to be making those plans “go in the same direction.”

The consistency in goal three, according to Clark, is both for teachers and administrative staffing. He said that he hopes to be able to “grow from within for administration.”

Documentation prepared during the goal-setting meeting and unveiled Monday identified consistency needs as a priority for staff regarding morale and teamwork but also for students.

Goal four, improving teacher effectiveness and student support, will take time and financial resources to achieve, according to Clark.

“If you were to take a snapshot of the goals we had five years ago, a huge majority of the needs were to build public trust (and) try to come up with a building plan,” said Stewart. The focus has now shifted to implementing that (building) plan.

“We’re really on the other end of that long journey,” he said. “(We are) now seriously talking about (spending) a lot of time toward looking at education and how the board can support excellent education out in the district.”