Goals for the 2017-2018 School Year

Goals for the 2017-2018 School Year
Posted on 06/29/2017

With the calendar flipping to July, the School District of the Menomonie Area (SDMA) officially begins the 2017-2018 school year.  Even though the first day of the regular school year for students is not until September 1, 2017, the new year for district finances, most service contracts, and many school district employee agreements begin on July 1. In order to maximize effectiveness in the new school year and to successfully align resources with the expectations of our community, district administration will once again be working toward goals that have been directed by the school board, developed with input from various school stakeholders, and aligned with the district’s strategic plan. 

In the area of Learning Experience, we will work to improve SDMA student readiness for kindergarten, and district officials will work to successfully implement the use of Academic Career Plans. A review of K-12 curriculum will be conducted during the upcoming school year, and public access to curriculum maps will be improved.  District administrators will collaborate with building principals and instructional staff to increase student achievement throughout the district, and the policies and practices used for grading and reporting in the school district will be reviewed. Other goals in this area include improving district intervention efforts for more consistency in closing achievement gaps, updating gifted and talented program processes and procedures to a more site-based supervision model, providing professional development for the SDMA leadership team and staff to further the district’s commitment to Professional Learning Community concepts and practices, and utilizing professional development opportunities to stay current and learn more about important and upcoming educational trends/issues.

With the implementation of the M-Powered Learning 1:1 student technology device initiative in grades 6-12, there will be much to accomplish in the strategic area of Technology this year. Other goals in this area include hosting quarterly technology events for district staff and community members, studying home technology and internet access, investigating possible partnership opportunities to expand student and staff access, and following through on current technology projects, which include the expansion of the Chippewa Valley Internetworking Consortium (CINC) network in our community.

In the area of Facilities, we will once again complete an annual review of the district’s 30-year maintenance plan, and we will continue to investigate possible efficiencies that could lower operating expenses. We will also review, evaluate, and improve the protocols for building and grounds upkeep as necessary. With Mike Meyers leaving the SDMA at the beginning of August, we will work will also need to be done to ensure a successful transition with a new Buildings and Grounds Director in the school district.

Much work will continue related to the Personnel area of the school district’s operations, and some of it will be led by the new Director of Human Resources who will be hired this summer.  We plan to create an ad hoc committee to study and make recommendations related to compensation for hourly employees in the SDMA, we will be redesigning the teacher and hourly Quality Improvement Committee (QIC) structure, and I plan to improve support for new teachers by offering fall “onboarding meetings” with the superintendent. Other efforts in this area include continuing to improve communication, transparency, and climate in the school district and to build trust with district staff through school listening sessions, holiday recognition, and by offering another round of “brown bag lunch” opportunities for staff to have lunch with the superintendent and share feedback.  We also plan to collaborate with UW-Stout to offer SDMA teaching staff a master’s degree cohort for emphasizing professional development, continuing education, and providing a mechanism for growing teacher leaders; and to continue to evaluate and support the performance and professional development of our principals and district directors.

In the area of Resources, we will continue to analyze, plan, and make recommendations to the Board for the sustainability of district systems and programs. Much policy work will be prioritized in the school district this year, so we plan to use tools from the Wisconsin Association of School Boards to help develop recommendations for policy changes and updates. We will once again host a mid-year budget meeting in January to offer stakeholders another opportunity to provide feedback before the development of the preliminary budget estimate, and we will continue to investigate ways to expand partnerships with higher education institutions.

Community Engagement will continue to be a high priority in the SDMA, and we plan to create a council to study and make recommendations related to further supporting diversity and culturally-sensitive instruction within the school district. Since it has been a few years since the creation of the district’s last strategic plan, we plan to investigate current strategic planning practices and recommend a process to be used in 2018-2019. With nearly 1,000 followers on Facebook and Twitter, we will continue to use social media to help “tell our story” in the SDMA, and I will continue to write this School Crossings column and make presentations for various community groups in order to further engage school and community stakeholders.

Should school families or community stakeholders have any questions or concerns about my administrative goals for next year, I invite you to visit me at the Administrative Service Center on Pine Avenue, or contact me at 715-232-1642. More information about our schools can be found on the school district website (www.sdmaonline.com), and I regularly post school-related information on Twitter (www.twitter.com/sdmaonline) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/menomonie.schools)