Into the 2020s: New Strategic Plan in Works for School District #1

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ROCK SPRINGS — The current five-year strategic plan for Sweetwater County School District #1 was adopted in 2013 and is approaching the end of its timeline.

SCSD #1 Superintendent Kelly McGovern and Chief Academic Officer Wanda Maloney appeared before the district’s Board of Trustees at their Monday evening meeting to lay out the groundwork for creating a new five-year strategic plan for the district going forward.

The district will be soliciting input from community members and stakeholders as part of the Strategic Planning Committee process to develop the vision and values that students, teachers and administrators will be expected to have as goals and objectives through the early 2020s.

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“We want to share with (stakeholders) and also get their insights,” Maloney said.
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Who are the stakeholders?

The community outreach stakeholders that McGovern listed for the board were the Rock Springs Chamber of Commerce, Western Wyoming Community College, Rotary Club, Kiwanis Club, Retired School Employees Association, Women’s Club, Lions Club, Volunteers of America Service, Dominion, ADK, Tronox, and Solvay. Stakeholders will be able to provide input online as well as at committee meetings.

“I want to emphasize that this list is part of a draft process. It is not meant to be all-encompassing,” McGovern emphasized. “There are lots of other groups that we could add to this list of stakeholders.”
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The First Meeting

The kickoff meeting for the district Strategic Planning Committee is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 5 from 5 – 8 pm at the Central Administration Building Board Room. The first meeting is expected to establish the purpose behind having a Strategic Planning Committee for the district.

“Why are we doing this and why is it so important?” McGovern added regarding the initial committee meeting’s agenda.

Other issues expected to be addressed at the Dec. 5 meeting include research on strategic plans, the overall process, roles, norms, background, timeline, and guiding principles.
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The Second Meeting

The second committee meeting is scheduled for Jan. 9 to continue working on guiding principles. Further meetings are slated for Jan. 30 to finish work on the guiding principles and generate a cost savings list; then on Mar. 6 for priority setting based on feedback, and then the last meeting on Mar. 20 to finalize the vision and mission statement and actually draft the strategic plan.

As part of the planning process, McGovern said that trustee school and department visits will take place at all schools within Sweetwater County School District #1.

“These will be listening sessions, not board meetings,” McGovern said. “We’re going to actually go to the schools and work with the staffs.”
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Focus Groups

In addition, focus groups will also be part of the strategic planning process. According to McGovern, there will be seven focus groups: a Wellness Committee, Technology Committee, Student Supports, Facilities Committee, Insurance Committee, Community Curriculum Council, and a Transportation Committee.

The end goal of the of strategic planning process, McGovern said, is “to enlist stakeholder input through two-way communication via strategic planning committee, school visits, forums, social media, newspaper/press releases, and subcommittees to develop a District Strategic Plan.”

All of the board members attended the meeting: Chairman Lenny Hay and trustees Stephanie Thompson, Carol Jelaco, Paul Kauchich, Max Mickelson, Emma Waldner, and Neil Kourbelas.

The board meeting began with the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag led by students from Pilot Butte, Sage and Stagecoach Elementary Schools: Dawson Fantin, Dalton Hager, Danica Hoffman, Daxon Hoffman, Donika Lynch, Hailey Martin, Rylin Plant, Dayanara Ramirez, Marcel Webb, Levi Wright, and Henessie Yoshida.

In an interview prior to the board meeting, McGovern said that there are approximately 5,500 students in K-12 district-wide, with 1,384 students at Rock Springs High School.