Mixed reviews for district plan

The Carson City School District is doing a good job of connecting students to learning beyond the classroom and creating a relevant curriculum, according to an audit of its strategic plan. However, it falls short when it comes to engaging parents, promoting student wellness and retaining exceptional staff.

Superintendent Richard Stokes announced at the school board meeting Tuesday evening the results of the survey of community members who serve on the Professional Learning Community that monitors the implementation of the strategic plan.

The plan was drafted in 2011 during a series of meetings where hundreds of members of the community shared their ideas with school district officials.

During the process, five themes were determined to be the most important: Community Partnerships, Engaged Parents, Healthy Students, Curriculum, and Exceptional administrators, teachers and staff.

The strategic plan was adopted in 2012, with the provision the district’s progress in meeting the goals of the plan would be reviewed each year.

Survey results indicated the district was “on pace or ahead of expectations” when it comes to creating partnerships with the community.

Stokes said the goal moving forward will be extended partnerships beyond the high school to younger students and involve more community members and business leaders.

“Everybody in this town needs to be involved in providing some level of information and education to students,” he said.

The committee could not come to a consensus on how well parents are being engaged because of “varied understanding and interpretation of what has been accomplished.”

Stokes said communication plans will be implemented as well as training for parents on how to use programs to access their students’ data.

“We really do need our parents’ help,” Stokes said.

The survey showed the district “falls somewhat short of expectations” when it comes to creating healthier students.

“That’s something we need to dig into and probably get some help,” Stokes said. “We do have curriculum throughout our secondary schools that talk about students making healthy choices.”

In creating curriculum that matters, the committee found the district to meet or exceed expectations.

“I attribute the terrific work going on here to our staff,” Stokes said.

Stokes said increasing internal communication will help attract and retain “a preeminent faculty by supporting innovation, creativity and performance in our administrators, teachers and staff.”

The committee concluded the district fell somewhat short of that goal.

Stokes commended the board for starting the process to create a strategic plan and said it has been a “tremendous experience” to be a part of the collaboration of the school district and the community.

The school board will join with the Carson City Board of Supervisors for a joint meeting Thursday to discuss goals the two entities have in common.


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