(Essex) -- Essex school officials are hoping a good cross section of the community will participate in charting the district's future.
At its regular meeting Wednesday evening, the Essex School Board set the schedule for the district's five-year strategic planning process. Essex School Superintendent Dr. Mike Wells tells KMA News the first meeting takes place Wednesday, September 11th at 6 p.m. Subsequent meetings are slated every other Wednesday evening at the same time. Wells says invitations are going out to community members to join the board in the planning process.
"We'll be sending out invitation letters to people in our community," said Wells. "Any parents who want to be part of that can stop by the school if they're not invited, and we'll let them be part of it. Then, we'll have students, teachers, board members and administrators on that committee."
Wells says the goal is to have the plan formulated by mid-December.
"We anticipate being done December 18th," he said. "Then, the strategic plan will be presented to the community. We'll get feedback from community and staff, and we'll tweak it. Then, the board will approve it at its January board meeting, and we'll begin implementing it in January."
Wells says the plan is necessary in order to guide the future of Essex schools in several categories, including finances.
"We'll have a five-year finance plan that tells you how we're going to spend our money, set goals for unspent balance, and budget limits that we will adhere to," said Wells. "So, finances is a big part.
"Our facilities--Essex has wonderful facilities. But, we do have some roofing issues. We have to look at windows, we have to look at some of our air conditioning, because when we did the air conditioning, we didn't do all parts of the building. Some of those things will be built into a five-year plan," he added.
Another category involves technology, and its importance for preparing students for job skills required by local industries.
"For example, Pella--Pella windows," said Wells. "That is a very complicated process they use to make their windows. They use a lot of milling machines that take a lot of tech skills. So, we'll be working with our local industries to develop that tech plan."
Also covered in the plan: teaching, learning and innovation. The strategic planning process is similar to that undertaken in the Hamburg School District, where Wells is also superintendent. Friday is the first day of school in the Essex district.
In other business, the board approved the resignation of Monica Carlson as paraprofessional, and the contracts of Linda McGargil as TAG/elementary instructor, Kim Ashlock as elementary instructor, Shirley Maxwell for certified annual report preparations, and Louis Zager as custodian/maintenance employee. The board also approved the extra duty contracts of Vicki Hume for E-stars, Pam Allumbaugh for custodial ordering, and Jasmine Glasgo as cross country coach, and the letters of assignment for Kim Burns as junior high volleyball coach, Patti Gray as high school volleyball coach, and Todd Franks for junior high football.
Also approved were contracts for the district's Teacher Leadership and Compensation Program's various teams. The District Leadership Team consists of Vicki Hume, Kathleen Johnson, Tammy Johnson and Martha Sunderman. Building Leadership Team members are Taylor Johnson and Amy Resh. Data Team Leader is Martha Sunderman, and the School Improvement Advisory Team is Any Resh and Steve Schuster. Rachel Cabeen, Vicki Hume and Amy Resh will serve as mentors.