Five-year plan for schools

Clarkston News Staff Writer

As summer draws to a close, Board of Education President Elizabeth Egan and  Vice President Kelli Horst hope to work out the district’s next five-year plan during the new school year.
The previous five-year plan focused on balancing the budget, which has been achieved, Egan said.
The board president hopes the new plan will focus more on student success.
“We want our kids to be able to adjust to life’s changes,” she said. “We’re keeping our culture, keeping our traditions, but helping prepare kids for jobs that maybe don’t even exist yet.”
Horst added building the new plan will consist of more system-wide discussion between themselves, the community and Clarkston educators.
Major objectives of the strategic plan will be community engagement, the culture of Clarkston and possibly new ways to identify student data, Egan said.
“I truly believe we will have some real, tangible outcomes from this,” she said.
Ideally the strategic plan covers the next five years, but Horst described it as a living, breathing document that the board will continuously review and update.
The school board is also implementing projects for the $75 million school bond.
Egan and Horst are excited for the new school year, especially with their recent touring of the soon-to-be-completed summer bond projects.
“The bond is always going to be a top priority of ours,” Horst said of the board’s second goal.
Over the summer, bond dollars were spent creating more secure entrances at Bailey Lake and Andersonville Elementary. Those two schools are also getting new parking lots, along with Springfield Plains, which is getting new playground equipment as well. The high school got an updated sports stadium with new turf and a new track.
“Everything is looking so fresh and bright for the kids,” Egan said.
The new parking lots have created safer and separated loops for parent and bus drop-off and pick-up. The secure entrances added more windows to the buildings so office personnel and principals can see who’s entering and who’s on school property.
Though the updates will add more consistency to all the elementary school entrances, the board still wants the buildings to remain unique.
“We’re taking care to preserve some historic elements of the buildings,” Horst said, citing the care the construction workers took in moving a mural at Andersonville to a different part of the building, rather than destroying it.
These goals were discussed at the Board’s retreat last week. The first Board of Education meeting of the 2017-2018 school year will be Aug. 28 at 7 p.m.
“The idea is come to the table with an open mind,” Egan said about the upcoming school year. “We want to really focus on the strategic plan this year and then move forward.”

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