CK schools to update strategic plan

Marnie Ferraro of East Bremerton has four sons in the Central Kitsap School District, ranging from a kindergartner at Woodlands Elementary School to a senior at Olympic High School. She hopes to see more foreign language education starting at the elementary level and greater community involvement in schools.

“Being involved means more than giving dollars,” Ferraro said at one of the school district’s strategic planning forums earlier this month. She added that aside from donating money, people can help by volunteering in schools, such as mentoring students.

School staff and parents like Ferraro can still learn about the strategic planning process and give their opinions in two remaining public forums next week. The school board is updating the district’s mission statement and goals, and input from the community will help in redeveloping these items. The last time the district assessed its goals was five years ago and the board is looking to renew for the next five years.

The district’s goals are not specific benchmarks, but policy outlines, such as “Maximize learning for each student.”

“Goals are something we strive for,” Superintendent Greg Lynch said. “Our work is never done.”

Lynch added that the district uses different means to assess achievement and improvement, including SAT exam scores, student attendance and the number of high school graduates. The district’s SAT scores are among the highest in the nation, he said. In 2010, the average SAT verbal score for the district was 533, which was higher than the average for Washington state students at 524, and the national average at 501. Average SAT math scores have also been higher than the state and national averages, as well.

After the community’s input is received at the end of the month, a consultant with Washington State School Directors’ Association hired by the district will analyze the information and help the board rework the mission statement and goals. In February, the consultant will come back to the board with feedback trends and by June the board will make updates to the strategic plan.

“We want to be able to have a roadmap for where we want to go in the future and we value what the community has to say,” said Chris Stokke, school board president.

The district hopes more people will attend the remaining forums so that as much input as possible can be received.

“You can’t complain, if you don’t give,” Ferraro said.

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