A plan of goals and actions is in place for Elkin City Schools. The newly-adopted strategic plan included input from students, parents, community members, staff and faculty and then was presented to the school board at its April 23 meeting for consideration.
The process leading to the presentation came in two phases, explained Dr. Myra Cox, superintendent, to the board. The first phase was led by a vision team and included data collection, polling and input from stakeholders of the school system in the form of focus groups and other feedback methods, and the follow-up phase from December 2017 until the presentation was taking all of that input and data and creating the strategic plan.
The new plan includes not only a mission statement, but also a vision statement, which the school system had not previously had, she said.
“The Elkin City Schools, in partnership with our community, will provide exemplary educational opportunities that encourage lifelong learning and responsible citizenship,” reads the mission. While the vision states, “We envision a school system that ignites the desire to learn in every student by providing them with unique, varied and authentic learning experiences.”
Cox put special emphasis on the words “unique, varied and authentic,” calling them a “recipe for sheer success.”
The process led to 10 belief statements of the school system, which were created in cooperation with staff and faculty, she said.
Four main goals were established, each supported by strategies and key points to help accomplish the goals. Cox said the staff members already have developed 37 action steps tied to the strategic plan.
Not only have they determined the action steps, Cox said individuals within the school system have already been assigned responsibility for ensuring they are tracked and reached according to timelines they set.
Some of those items will be tackled immediately, and others, she said, will be researched so that near the end of the five-year plan timeframe they can be implemented.
The goals and strategies in the plan “reflect where we are, where we want to go and how we want to get there,” said Cox.
Those goals include:
1. Elkin City Schools will prepare all K-12 students for lifelong success, with strategies to prepare students to be independent, responsible and self-determined; to provide authentic learning experiences that lead to academic success; and to equip students with knowledge and skills essential for the modern workplace.
2. Elkin City Schools will be a leading NC Public School system, with strategies to build an innovative culture for teaching and learning by identifying, implementing and embracing unique and distinguished educational opportunities; and to use professional development to ensure faculty and staff will be on the cutting edge of the education profession and apply the knowledge for student success.
3. Elkin City Schools will promote, enhance and sustain a positive school climate, with a strategy to strengthen the bond between students, staff, parents, community members and business partners.
4. Elkin City Schools will secure the funding necessary for innovation, with the strategy to generate additional revenue from internal and external sources.
Key points to tackle those goals include nontraditional paths of learning, national and international travel, apprenticeships and entrepreneurships, collaborating between schools, partnering with neighboring school systems, colleges and businesses, increasing technology for students and individualizing instruction, holding parent workshops to help them help their students succeed, offering school facilities for community use and classes to homeschool students as well as hosting summer enrichment camps.
Some of those points, such as the enrichment camp offerings, are planned as early as this summer, Cox said.
The development of the plan took “hours and hours” and was “a labor of love,” she told the school board.
She recognized nearly 60 people, from students to parents and staff, who were members of teams that helped with the development of the new five-year strategic plan.
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.