Strategic plan clarifying path to success

Published 10:20 pm Monday, June 10, 2024

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Lowndes County Schools are working to formulate a plan, a strategic plan designed to clarify the path toward improvement and, ultimately, to student success

Superintendent Samita Jeter said the plan, once complete, will map a course toward the future.

“The overall goal is to outline a vision for the future,” Jeter said. “It will identify clear deliberate priorities and measures of success.  In addition, it will reflect the perspectives of stakeholders.”

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To gain community perspective, Jeter said the system has been gathering stakeholder input, through in person and virtual discussions.

“To gain community input, we have held two town-hall style meetings, are currently conducting an online survey and are requesting participation on various sub-committees.”

School board president Steve Foster said meeting turnout has been good and the system is receiving positive community input.

“I attended one of the community meetings and there was a good representation of the community present,” Foster said. “There were parents, supporters, teachers, administrators and a wide array of people who came. They had ideas and were supportive. We were encouraged by the turnout and the level of interest everyone displayed.” 

According to Jeter, she and the school board members participated in an orientation on the strategic planning process. School faculty and staff are completing online surveys and will be assigned to various sub-committees during plan development.  

While input is still being gathered, Jeter said she already knows that improving student achievement and employing highly qualified individuals for all positions are among the top priorities for the district. 

Measures like the June 4 job fair are already underway to fill open positions with qualified personnel to serve as teachers, counselors, paraprofessionals, custodians and bus drivers.

“It is difficult to meet staffing needs in the classroom because of the reduction in the number of graduates who are going into the field of education,” Foster said. “Of course, it is not just teachers that lead to success. People work together. Excellence in the classroom is an extremely high priority for us and we want to pull all the pieces together to improve the outcomes.”

Once all data is compiled, the school board will look at the results while developing the plan.

“We will review the concerns expressed during the town hall meetings and analyze survey results,” Jeter said. “At that point, committees will begin meeting to draft the strategic plan.”

Jeter said the goal is to have the final adoption of the plan between August and September.

Community buy in is of the utmost importance to achieving success, Jeter explained.

“The community needs to know their input is valued,” Jeter said. “The establishment of partnerships between home, school, and community is of extreme importance in the academic success of the students we serve.”