Laura Kohler read the New Albany-Plain Local School District's mission statement July 26, as is done at the beginning of every school board meeting.

Laura Kohler read the New Albany-Plain Local School District's mission statement July 26, as is done at the beginning of every school board meeting.

Before long, however, she might be reading a new mission statement.

The board heard a draft of a plan that a 35-member strategic-planning committee has been working on since December 2009.

The strategic-planning committee, which parent Debra Lowery and district communications director Jeff Warner started, developed a new vision, mission statement and promise to the community, among several other components in the district's new plan.

Warner said more than 130 people were involved in the process, which included the planning committee and 10 action teams that developed strategies for reaching the planning group's objectives.

Kohler estimated the volunteers who worked on the committee spent 3,500 hours, which, she said, would have cost the district $350,000 if it had hired a consultant at $100 per hour.

"That commitment to excellence and your support is what will propel this district to excellence in the state and in the country," she said.

The existing mission statement reads: "The mission of the New Albany-Plain Local School District is to create a learning community that empowers our young people to develop the knowledge, talents and virtues necessary for success in a changing world."

The new mission statement, if adopted, would read: "To ensure the development of ethical, self-directed and intellectually curious citizens of the world."

It is accompanied by a vision, "to become the leader in reinventing education," and a promise to the community, "to provide a culture that encourages students to pursue and realize their dreams and aspirations through passionate, inspired teaching and learning and personalized programs and services accomplished in collaboration with our entire community."

Interim superintendent Bill Reimer called them "a wonderful vision and mission" statement and said he supported the strategic-planning committee's goal of "reaching to become the best."

Warner said the planning committee developed some lofty objectives, requiring 100 percent of the district's students to have the knowledge and skills to identify and meet real-life challenges; to have the awareness and competence to succeed in a global society; to have the skills to achieve their aspirations; to be self-directed learners; to be ethical, informed and engaged citizens; and to have a lifelong passion for learning.

He said though many have questioned whether those objectives are obtainable, the committee members said they were not negotiable. If the board approves them, teachers and administrators will begin to implement the ideas.

The most recent strategic plan developed for the district was in the 1990s, when the district was a rural farming community, Warner said. It now is a suburban district with 4,200 students.

Strategic-planning committee members Greta Manning and Brad Griffith gave the board a synopsis of the 10 strategies in the plan:

To reinvent curriculum, instruction and assessment through internal and external collaboration to meet the unique needs and interests of every student.

To attract, develop and retain teachers and staff members who advance the vision, mission and promise of the district.

To adopt a philosophy and implement a system to empower all students to take charge of their learning, growth and development.

To seek creative resources to enhance programming and encourage innovation and leadership.

To provide leadership opportunities for all students, teachers and staff members.

To develop the character of each student to be ethical, informed and engaged citizens.

To educate students in an inspirational, safe and supportive environment in facilities that meet the changing needs of students.

To make available the diverse experiences of the community to all students.

To develop teachers and programs that inspire students to be globally engaged.

To develop an internal and external communications process that establishes and enhances credibility and trust and strengthens community support.

Reimer said he would work with staff members in the next few weeks to prioritize the strategies and determine ways to implement them. He said he plans to present a recommendation to the board in September or October.