A little wordsmithing was all the Steamboat Springs School Board needed to approve a complete revision of one of its most important policies.
The School Board unanimously adopted a new mission, vision and beliefs statement Monday, putting in print and in policy a direction for the school district as determined by the community it serves.
School Board members didn't hesitate in stressing the importance of having a mission, vision and set of beliefs that reflect the collective input of district stakeholders.
"I think the board is very unanimous in understanding it's not just us making decisions," School Board President Paula Stephenson said. "This district has always had a very large involvement from the community, and that's when the district works best."
The statements, grouped together as the first of the district's four 'results policies,' are a direct result of nearly two months of information gathering through a series of focus forums hosted by Superintendent Donna Howell with various groups and members of the community. The goal of those forums was to re-establish the vision of the district.
The forums culminated in a Dec. 16 meeting of more than 60 people, who sorted through pages of input to craft the foundation of the statements. A subcommittee put the ideas into statements, which were left mostly untouched by the School Board during Monday night's meeting.
"I don't know if it's my place to tinker with these too much," School Board member Michael Loomis said when asked by a fellow board member how he would change a section of one of the statements. "These aren't just the board's (statements)."
Howell also rejected several proposed changes to the wording of the policy.
"We worked very hard to maintain the integrity of the information given to us," she said.
The board's former mission statement was drafted in 1998 shortly after the district moved to policy governance. Stephenson said she thought the mission statement was written by former board members and two policy governance experts who helped the district in its transition.
"Now we have the statements that will drive what the district does, and they come from every stakeholder of the district," Stephenson said.