School Board retreat turns planning panel into reality
A "retreat" for Lansing school board members this past weekend left them with plenty of work to do toward a strategic plan that will take the district through the next five to 10 years.
Members met Saturday morning at Sallie Zoll school on the Lansing Elementary campus, 210 E. Mary St., to discuss what they expected of the district in the next few years.
Board president Brian Bode said there was "an open and free-flowing discussion" at the meeting.
"All of us had a chance to kind of express ourselves," he said. "It was good for us to hear each other's opinions."
Bode said it was also an opportunity to hear from the new board members about their visions for the district.
"Their input was really good," he said. "New lights went off."
New board member Beth Stevenson agreed that the meeting was useful.
"Sometimes it's good to sit down and look at the big picture," she said.
Some ideas the board discussed were how to recruit new teachers, how to implement more technology in the curriculum and how to expand the vocational programs at Lansing High School, Stevenson said. The board also discussed creating a committee of district patrons to develop a strategic plan, she said.
Bode said the board would officially form the committee at Monday's board meeting. He said he didn't know how many people would be on the panel, but he guessed between eight and 18 people would be large enough to have a cross section of the community but small enough to be manageable.
The committee will help direct the goals of the district in a long-term strategic plan. Bode said he hoped to have business leaders, district alumni, parents and teachers on the committee. Though previous discussion was weighted toward having one or two board members on the committee, Bode said the consensus Saturday was not having board members take part so there would be "no intimidation, no having to be politically correct," he said.
Bode said he hoped to have the committee in place within one month to six weeks.
Also at Monday's meeting, Bode said the board would potentially adjust some of its goals for the current school year to reflect its discussions from Saturday. The board meets at 7 p.m. Monday in the choir room at Lansing Middle School.