Middlesex school officials set goals
by Larry Chowning
The Middlesex County School Board introduced a draft of a strategic six-year plan to the public at a board meeting Monday night. The school board and other school officials worked on the draft at a school board retreat held at Camp Piankatank in Hartfield on April 18.
“We focused on what we thought and wanted our school division to look like in six years,” said school superintendent Dr. Thomas Taylor. “It is a bold and aggressive step forward and a skeleton that will grow and grow as we work to make this plan part of our everyday life.”
The main goal of the plan is for all students, by 2020, to be on a path to graduate on time and, once graduated, to be prepared and productive citizens. The proposed plan will be considered for official adoption at the board’s June meeting.
The plan holds a series of beliefs that includes:
- All students will learn and demonstrate high levels of achievement.
- Everyone in the schools has the right to work and learn together in an orderly, safe, positive and engaging environment.
- Holding high expectations for students will improve outcome.
- Students learn in different ways and should be exposed to a variety of educational approaches to support their learning.
- It is essential that every school provide opportunities for children to innovate and grow personally and academically.
- Use of innovative and research-based teaching and learning tools will better prepare students for current and future success.
- It is the responsibility of school professionals to demonstrate good citizenship and leadership characteristics for students.
- Living and working in a unified community that supports public education improves student outcomes.
- Our community has valuable and unique characteristics.
The plan’s “paramount concerns” are: safety of students; decisions based on what is best for students; students, parents, community members and staff will be treated with respect and dignity; all actions will be the model of good communication, transparency and integrity; to be responsible stewards of the community’s resources; and trust and discrimination based on race, color, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, national origin, marital or veteran status and physical or mental disability will “not” be tolerated.
The strategic objectives are to continue toward distinguished instruction that is designed to meet the needs of individual learners; accurately measure student progress and achievement; provide and maintain a positive learning environment that promotes goal setting, achievement, safety, collaboration, reflection and innovation; build capacity by promoting high expectations for performance and professionalism; and strengthen connections to life after high school by fostering strong relationships with parents, business leaders, community members and organizations in active partnership to support student achievement.