By Heather Mullinix
Board of Education is taking public comments on its proposed strategic plan, with hopes of making final changes and approval at its March 27 meeting.
In the strategic planning goals for the school system developed by a committee of administrators, teachers, students, parents and community members, goals are set to meet all annual measurable objectives, the number of students proficient and advanced in each area, set by the state. It also wants to decrease the achievement gap between subgroups, particularly economically disadvantaged students, students with disabilities and black, Hispanic and Native American students. The school system would like to see an increase in ACT benchmarks by five percent, and see that 93.7 percent of students graduate from high school with their original group of classmates.
The county will also begin collecting data on students passing certification exams and earning college credits prior to high school graduation.
Other goals include increasing the amount of physical activity for all students and focusing on developing strong student character, personal responsibility and community and world involvement.
A technology plan is being developed to ensure the school system represents a 21st century learning environment. That plan could include leasing of computers to help ensure schools are properly equipped and able to be kept up-to-date at the least cost.
A five-year maintenance plan with plans for preventative maintenance was also discussed to help prolong the useable life of facilities.
Director of Schools Donald Andrews explained the strategic plan was built from the annual plan developed by the board and done with the assistance of a cross-section of community members, teachers, students and other stakeholders.
Those interested in reading the plan and providing input can go to the Cumberland County Schools website, ccschools.k12tn.net.
The board will soon begin work on its 2014-’15 budget, with a timeline presented by Director of Schools Donald Andrews, calling for a work session with the board on a proposed budget in early April.
Andrews also updated the board of education on the athletic task force, which is looking at school athletic programs. The first priority for the group, Andrews said, was to define the purpose of elementary athletic programs. The committee will also be looking at athletic calendars to avoid overlap of seasons and keep in line with high school seasons; the relationship between high school and elementary school coaches; the athletic teams offered by county feeder to high school and school teams; grade levels supported by school teams; participation numbers or feeder programs for high schools; collaboration with local youth leagues; funding of athletic programs and coaching supplements; the qualifications of school and lay coaches; and the promotion of all sports.