The Bryan County Board of Education received a draft of a proposed five-year strategic plan during a meeting March 15.
Schools Superintendent Dr. Paul Brooksher said he hopes to get approval for the plan, which he called a work in progress, during the board’s April 28 meeting.
The strategic plan will set a course in the areas of fiscal accountability, organizational and operations effectiveness, business and higher-education partnerships and communication, hiring an effective workforce and having high levels of quality teaching and learning.
The areas build on each other, Brooksher said.
“For example, if you’ve got a real sound financial basis kind of to build on and if you have operational effectiveness and good procedures, and you hire the very, very best and you have great communications of all the stakeholders, your end result (will be) really, really high performing teaching and learning,” he said.
Brooksher gave an example. One goal is better use of social media to communicate with stakeholders, with the first year of that aspect of the plan being used to find a comfort level and what kind of training is needed and capacity the school district has for it.
“We really don’t have any baseline there. We currently have a standard form of communication from a social-media standpoint,” Brooksher said.
Growth has a lot to do with the plan, Brooksher said. The county is on track to grow by about 20,000 residents by 2030.
“Growth impacts a lot from a support standpoint, from a staffing standpoint, from a bus (standpoint) — how many buses do you need? How many routes should you have?” he said.
The planning process started about a year ago, when the school district decided to work with the Georgia Leadership Institute for School Improvement and Georgia School Board Association to facilitate the plan.
District officials brought together some stakeholders — parents, community members, teachers, business leaders and the like — to give feedback at two community sessions to see what the needs would be over the next five years for long-range planning. Then, a large survey was sent to all stakeholders for further feedback. The data were compiled in an effort to identify common threads.
From there, a planning team of about 15 staff members, two school board members and 15 community leaders was assembled for two days of training and two days of development to identify goals. The goals were taken to an action team of about 45 school employees to study how to meet the goals.
Brooksher said the next step is to get board-member feedback to the planning team, which will get together in the next few weeks to look at the action team’s work. The next draft will be reviewed during a board retreat on April 22 on Jekyll Island.