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KPBSD revises Strategic Plan

Posted: May 6, 2014 - 9:50pm

Achieving some goals is going to take more time.

At its Monday night meeting held in Seward the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education unanimously approved revisions to the district’s Strategic Plan for fiscal years 2013-2017.

The plan was adopted in September 2012 and progress of goals is reported twice a year, but the plan is rarely revised, Pegge Erkeneff, KPBSD spokesperson said.

The board held a work session about the plan on April 15 to discuss administrative recommended changes to the plan, which focuses on academic success, organizational excellence and community and family engagement.

The adopted revisions to the five-year plan delay the timelines of six goals.

Due the lack of an electronic method to gather and separate information about all the ways student engagement is happening, the goal of student engagement has been delayed to FY15.

“Every school is supposed to be increasing student engagement, but we’re working on a way to be able to know that’s happening,” Erkeneff said.

New evaluation systems that are being implemented measure student engagement based on attendance, student growth from year-to-year, how students do their work, group and independent learning processes and other factors, Erkeneff said.

Work is ongoing to develop a process to examine alternative teaching models and implement them in schools to make learning more fluid. The target year of FY15 has been pushed back to FY16 for the infrastructure goal.

However, some progress is being made such as Seward and Soldotna high schools’ plans to extend their school days.

The board adopted a delay to the target date for a resource allocation goal, pushing it back to FY15.

While the student to teacher ratio increase of 0.5 saved the district some money, Ekeneff said the change in the ratio is just one part of the goal, which looks at everything that has to do with staffing and hiring.

“It looks at all the budget work we’ve been doing this past year that we started in looking through every department ... as well as looking at how we do staffing,” Erkeneff said about the goal.

The collaboration goal date has been delayed to FY15.

The district implemented student early release days this year for teachers to collaborate to become better educators in classrooms and throughout the school, Erkeneff said.

She said the consensus, based survey results, is to continue early release days next year with some scheduling changes.

Key communicators need to be established to reach two goals: increased engagement with parents and the community and better direct communication. The board delayed both goals to FY15.

Erkeneff said a soft-launch for a district phone app is happening now and the full-launch will be at the beginning of the new school year. She said the app will have a staff directory, students and parents will be able to log in to check grades and schedules and school and district event calendars will be available along with other features.

The district has also started an employee quarterly newsletter.

The district also plans to create a survey tool to measure family engagement next fall, Erkeneff said.

“(The plan) is really comprehensive and it isn’t just on a district level,” Erkeneff said. “Every school site is working with their own strategic plan and the goals that they set that align with our three main areas in the Strategic Plan.”

Board member Penny Vadla was the only member who voiced comments on the plan at the meeting.

The plan calls for all KPBSD students to participate in a service learning project.

Vadla, who is an adjunct professor at Kenai Peninsula College, said college students participate in service projects.

“It really involves students and it teaches them how to get out in the community,” she said. “And it says we haven’t made progress on this. Is there a timeline on that progress?”

Superintendent Steve Atwater said no timeline was set for the goal.

Another goal set out by the plan is to develop partnerships with the top teacher preparation programs by the end of FY15 to bring educators into the district.

According to the April 2014 report, the district is considering working with City University and will look into Whitworth University. Both are Washington State based colleges.

Vadla wanted to know if other colleges will be considered for partnerships.

“This is just the first stab at it those two schools,” Atwater said. “We’ll be exploring as many as we can looking for the best fit for coming to the Kenai.”

The next board meeting will be June 2 at the George A. Navarre Borough Administration Building in Soldotna.

Kaylee Osowski can be reached at kaylee.osowski@peninsulaclarion.com

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