District looking into future
Planning for the future was one of the topics stressed at Monday night’s Basehor-Linwood School Board meeting.
Jim Edwards of the Kansas Association of School Boards gave a presentation to board members at the regular meeting that stressed the importance of having a long-term plan for the district’s future.
“Organizations that fail to plan are essentially planning to fail at some point,” Edwards said. “The cost of not planning is much, much greater than that fear of the planning itself. You need to have some idea of what the future is going to hold.”
Two of the key questions Edwards said the district would need to ask during this strategic planning are where is the district going, and how does it get there? The answers to these questions might vary greatly from district to district, Edwards said, because no two are exactly alike.
“School districts are like people,” Edwards said. “They all have different personalities.”
Once officials determined the direction the district should navigate toward, the real work begins, Edwards said. In order for the plan to actually come to fruition, it needs to be a collaborative effort of not only district staff members but also parents and community members. A group of such people should be formed, and discussion should begin about the best way for each school to achieve its future goals.
Edwards said to compile genuine information and avoid biases, this group should not include school board members.
“You play a key role in forming that group and taking the information you get from that group,” Edwards said to the board members. “But that piece in between isn’t where you need to be involved.”
This is not a process that happens overnight, Edwards said, but it is vital for the district to start the wheels in motion.
The board will discuss its long-term strategic planning at future meetings.
Also on Monday night, the school board:
• Heard a presentation from Brenda Wood of PCI Cleaning Services. The district is considering using the company’s services for its janitorial needs at the new intermediate school. Wood said PCI could save the district more than $20,000 because of its low rates and included cleaning supplies. The board will make a decision on using PCI for a six-month trial period at a future meeting.
• Discussed adding five new courses at Basehor-Linwood High School for the 2010-2011 school year, including two dual high school and college credit classes, advanced creative writing, a new literature course and a new physical education class.
• Distributed a classified staff handbook for a first reading.