ELLINWOOD — USD 355 Board of Education is having a series of strategic planning meetings for the district that includes residents, employees and others interested in the future of the district.
The point of the meetings is to “share ideas. . . to lead us into the future,” said Ben Jacobs, superintendent of USD 355. The district will create a document after receiving the input of the community and use it to provide stability and vision for the district.
The outcome desired is to have students college and career ready for today’s workforce without the need for remediation in a global economy.
Leading the discussion was Linda McCowan of Pawnee Rock who is a master facilitator for Sirolli as well as an international facilitator.
Each person in the audience introduced themselves and listed what they thought a core value should be. At the end of the discussion, each person voted for the Core Value that they though was most important. The most voted for were respect, excellence, accountability, integrity, work ethic and community involvement.
Then, everyone worked in groups. Each group was asked to list the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and absolute threats to the districts.
•Flexibility of staff
•Senior exit portfolio
•Strong extracurricular programs
•Lack of growth in community
McKowan asked the group how to turn the weaknesses into strength.
The groups were once again divided into committees including budget, technology curriculum, personnel, student life and programming. Each of these groups will meet as committees with the goal to turn the listed weaknesses into strengths.
However, McKowan said more volunteers were needed, and each person was encouraged to invite others to become involved.
The next school district strategic planning meetings will be from 6-8 p.m. at the Ellinwood School/Community Library on Jan. 28, Feb. 18 and March 4.
The school board met in executive session after the planning session. The contract with Mark Deighton was terminated and the board voted to accept the resignation of Gretchen Deighton, both as custodian.