Graham strategic plan outlines programs, hiring


ST. PARIS – A new Graham Local Schools strategic plan highlights district goals for the next several years for staffing, programs and more.

The plan was approved by the Graham school board at its July 25 meeting. The plan was developed with input from staff, students, community members and administrators over a four-month period, Superintendent Kirk Koennecke said.

“Graham’s plan is methodical and progressive with regards to expanding resources and new learning opportunities for students, and in supporting staff and community partners to realize our shared goals,” he said. “I am excited for the children, staff and community that our board of education has taken the steps to strategically plan ahead with a long range vision of what Graham can become. The vision statement ‘Success Today, Prepared for Tomorrow’ ties these goals of the future to our work.”

The district worked with the Ohio School Boards Association to develop the plan. The cost to the district was $4,000 for OSBA’s assistance, along with small costs for refreshments at the planning sessions, Treasurer Judy Geers said.

The plan is for the years 2016 to 2020. The document sets out a district mission, core values and several district goals. Each goal has a list of objectives, and each objective includes action steps and specific personnel assigned to it, along with a deadline for the objective to be completed.

Goals include promoting learning through adaptive environments; providing consistent and transparent communication to all stakeholders; seeking to understand all challenges and limitations of community members and families and impacting their lives positively; recruiting, retaining and supporting high-quality teachers and staff; and working for financial stability to maintain and expand educational opportunities.

Objectives under each goal range from bringing in new staff to providing professional development. It even looks to the potential for seeking a tax levy in the future.

Some new staff possibilities include hiring a school resource officer, a district technology coach/social media coach, an education support worker (such as a social worker) and a grant writer. The school board already authorized hiring a school resource officer for the 2016-17 school year.

The plan also outlines as objectives implementing an elementary art program for kindergarten to grade 5; identifying professional development options for teachers and principals; identifying strategies to impact kindergarten to grade 8 math programming; implementing a new districtwide website with parent portal; providing professional development on poverty issues; studying a change in the pre-school schedule; studying homework reduction; and implementing a mentoring program for students.

One of the financial objectives is to investigate a levy by 2017 and identify and implement a levy campaign by October 2016.

Also looking financially, the plan sets objectives that include investigating comparable competitive benefits models; providing programs for orientation and membership for all staff; identifying needs and wants from staff; communicating spending priorities and historical spending information; and re-evaluating current expenditures and vendor contracts.

The plan will be posted soon on the Graham website: Copies can be requested from Koennecke or Geers.

Considers potential levy

By Casey S. Elliott

[email protected]

Casey S. Elliott may be reached at 937-652-1331 ext. 1772 or on Twitter @UDCElliott.

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