School Begins Strategic Planning
Wolf Point school officials and community members gathered for the first strategic planning meeting at the high school on Monday, Oct. 23. Among the participants were city leaders, teachers, administrators and former school board members.
Debra Silk, attorney for the Montana School Boards Association, served as the meeting’s facilitator and explained that school districts that engage in the process achieve more progress for their children.
“It’s important because successful organizations don’t make things up as they go,” Silk said.
She added that’s it’s vital to make sure students don’t only have opportunities now but develop the tools to be successful in life.
“Parents want the best for their students,” she said.
She noted that the Montana Constitution reads that a goal is to develop the full educational potential of each citizen.
Silk explained why strategic planning is necessary. Reasons include: Planning helps establish clarity and consensus regarding the direction of the school district; planning helps ensure open access to critical information by the entire community and helps broaden the number of people truly invested in the district’s success; and planning helps the district identify and overcome barriers to success.
Silk said strategic planning isn’t an operational plan. “Strategy means you’re looking at it from 30,000 feet levels,” she said. Discussion needs to move the school district and students forward.
She had participants break out in small groups and answer what is the core purpose of the district?
Silk explained that the order of strategic planning consists of: 1. Identity first, who you are; 2. Direction second, where are we going; 3. Activities third, how will we get there.