Barrington school officials share draft of strategic plan

District's mission: Empowering all students to excel

Posted 1/10/18

Barrington recently moved a step closer to adopting a new strategic plan.

Officials released a draft copy of the five-year strategic plan, which includes everything from the district's mission …

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Barrington school officials share draft of strategic plan

District's mission: Empowering all students to excel

Posted

Barrington recently moved a step closer to adopting a new strategic plan.

Officials released a draft copy of the five-year strategic plan, which includes everything from the district's mission statement to a list of potential goals. 

In the draft plan, the district commits to "make student-centered decisions; engage in transparent, clear, two-way communication; demonstrate respect in our relationships; and practice transparent, efficient, and effective financial management."

Barrington Superintendent of Schools Michael Messore said the district has created an online survey — it can be found at www.barringtonschools.org — to gather feedback about the various aspects of the draft strategic plan.

"At this time, we encourage community members to visit the district website page on strategic planning to view the Draft Strategic Plan and to provide feedback via an online survey," he stated in a press release. "Students, parents, families, employees, and all community members are welcome to contribute feedback via the survey, which is designed to glean stakeholders’ priorities among the many options we’ve heard about for our next plan…"

The survey will be available through Friday, Jan. 12.

At least one member of the public has already weighed in on the draft strategic plan. Resident Liana Cassar shared some of her feelings in a letter to the editor

"Instead of achieving this stated goal, the Draft Plan more resembles a compilation of education jargon," she wrote, in part. "I believe all parties involved have best intentions. However, the plan doesn’t fulfill the needs of the community which paid for a tailored, evidence-based, forward-looking plan to guide the next 5 years. The town has not remotely received its money's worth for this plan."

The Barrington School Department hired the firm StuderEducation to help draft the strategic plan. The district paid StuderEducation $22,400. 

The process of building a new five-year strategic plan started in June 2017 when officials created a strategic plan steering committee. The group has held five meetings. StuderEducation also administered anonymous online surveys to students' parents and employees of the district. 

"Participation was impressive: more than 200 employees and at least 665 parents participated in the online surveys," stated a district press release. "In early October, members of our community were invited to participate in one of 15 focus group sessions with our StuderEducation facilitators to discuss our district’s vision of success, values, strengths, and areas for improvement."

The draft strategic plan includes a handful of potential goals, such as "increase perceptions of success as recorded in graduate check-ins" and "teach students to be of service to others, to be global citizens, to demonstrate respect and to show character." 

Some "potential actions" include "add more school psychologist and social worker services" and "increase honest 2-way communication between supervisors and employees, central office and schools."

Mr. Messore said the steering committee will meet on Jan. 25 from 4 to 6 p.m. to analyze feedback from the survey. The draft plan will later be presented to the school at a February meeting. 

"Barrington Public Schools and its leaders are grateful for the wide participation and dedicated commitment of the community to making a powerful plan for continuous improvement," stated the release.

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.