Westerville schools to focus on '21st century student'
District hopes to have a proposal for changes and programming by winter break
With a new superintendent at its helm, the Westerville City School District is embarking on a strategic planning process.
The district has been working with OhioHealth, which donated the services of its planning team, to create an outline for the plan and the process, district spokesman Greg Viebranz said.
The district has titled the plan "Creating the 21st Century Student." It will focus on six dimensions:
•Every student achieves academic success;
•Learning and working environments are safe, nurturing and efficient;
•Student learning is driven by recruiting, developing and retaining highly effective and skilled staff members;
•Community, parents, students and staff are engaged as partners;
•Financial resources are maximized to support academic success; and
•Resources are provided to support student development and well-being.
Superintendent John Kellogg said the district intends to move quickly through the strategic planning process because district leaders would like to begin implementing changes for the next school year based on the plan.
"We know there are some pretty critical issues that need action on them going into next school year," Kellogg said.
Beginning this week, the district planned to notify around 180 community stakeholders that they had been selected to participate in the first public-participation portion of the process.
District administrators focused on inviting people who may not have been involved in previous district initiatives, Kellogg said.
The stakeholders will be broken into groups, with each group focused on a dimension of the plan, Kellogg said. The groups will be led in their discussions by community facilitators.
From the stakeholder meetings, a framework of the plan will be created, which will be presented for community feedback, Viebranz said. The plan will be fine-tuned based on that feedback, he said.
Administrators hope to put a plan before the school board before the end of the year, Viebranz said.
"The goal is to have a proposed plan ready for a first report to the board by winter break," he said. "That would allow the board to adopt a plan early next year so the board and administration can begin work on implementing some elements for 2014-2015."
Kellogg said he knows the timeline for the plan is aggressive, but with the help of OhioHealth, he believes the district can create an effective plan in a short time.
The district can slow down the process if needed, he said.
"If we need to slow things down, regroup, we'll do that," Kellogg said. "This is about getting the information in a succinct fashion."