Progress report released

Steamboat school district's strategic plan has 'focused efforts'

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The Steamboat Springs School District has issued a report about how it is meeting the goals of its strategic plan.

The Steamboat Springs School Board developed the strategic plan during the 2004-05 school year, using the curriculum-management audit, the technology audit and the facility analysis, as well as other resources. This is the first time the school district has implemented a strategic plan, Superintendent Donna Howell said.

Some improvements, according to the school district's report about how it is meeting the goals of its strategic plan: n Revised polices about developing curriculum. n Implementation of program evaluations through a new format and process. n Changes to the organization for administration and different departments. n Changes to the decision-making process so individuals who have the responsibility and accountability for decisions make the decisions with input. n New school-level plans that span three years but have annual focuses.

Having to report about progress provides accountability, she said. Such progress reports now will be produced quarterly.

The work shows that the school district took to heart the recommendations that came from the various audits, Howell said.

School Board member Pat Gleason agreed that the reports provide accountability, ensuring that goals don't fall through the cracks. The School Board's job is to pass policy and give direction to the school district, so it is key that those directions are implemented, he said.

The report about the district's progress and improvements is 24 pages long, covering changes in curriculum, assessment and instruction; systems and structure; academic achievement; facilities and more.

"We've accomplished an awful lot," Howell said. "We still have work to do, but I think what the plan has done is to focus our efforts."

The goal of the work, she said, is to improve what already is an excellent district.

"We're looking to get even better than we are," she said.

One top goal of the strategic plan is to align the work of the different schools with an overall plan for the district.

In the end, the plans come down to the basics -- teaching and learning, Howell said.

"We have a very talented and dedicated staff, and think the strategic plan and the changes that are being made will support the work of (the) ... staff," she said.

The School Board will review the final report at its Aug. 8 meeting. Anyone interested in reading the report can stop by the school district's administrative offices to get a copy.

-- To reach Susan Cunningham, call 871-4203 or e-mail scunningham@steamboatpilot.com

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