Westfield School District Outlines Strategic Plan, Goals
Superintendent Margaret Dolan outlined the plans at Tuesday's reorganization meeting.
The Westfield Board of Education discussed the district’s strategic plan and goals for the year during the reorganization meeting on Tuesday night.
The district’s strategic plan was created in 2010 and ends in 2015.
Superintendent Margaret Dolan outlined that the main points of the plan have been focused on student achievement, student personal development, finance and facilities and communication and community engagement, which is an area that they have committed to and continue to do so, she explained.
Dolan reflected on this year and how the district has been successful in implementing Marshall Teacher Evaluation Model.
“Having all of the teachers become familiar with a new evaluation system is a rather daunting task,” she said.
Over the summer the district had weekly meetings with principals and supervisors and school staff meetings were held in Sept., Oct. and Nov.
A manual on the methods and a website database were also created to provide an additional resources for teachers, supervisors and administrators.
Members from the district also met with Kim Marshall, the creator of the method, for a presentation and ongoing training.
Additionally, the district has created benchmarks for student growth that include teachers for individual classes creating Student Growth Objectives. The teacher evaluations also line up with SGO’s. For a teacher to receive a 3 on the Marshall Method their students have to reach an 80 percent, to receive a score of 4 students need 90 percent or more. Any less than 70 percent then the teacher receives an SGO score of one. Each teacher is given a score as required by Department of Education, Dolan said.
The last goal for the district is to improve digital media and communication tools, which includes the district adding a new website provider. Also, they have increased the use of social media and added a mobile friendly website.
“This has become very popular with parents and staff and the use has grown quite a bit since we are so dependent on our phones,” Dolan said.
Lastly, the board discussed their own two goals for the year. Dolan explained that the board has implemented mechanisms for group discussions and brainstorming, which is why they added workshops. The board also plans to embed assessments into significant Board actions, such as following up on actions already taken and creating standard questions and follow-up processes for future actions.
“In my view the strategic plan really just emanates and points back to the mission statement of the Westfield Public Schools,” Dolan explained.
She added that Westfield has a large district, so it is important to have all the teachers and administrations working on the same goal and mission of the district.
Following a question from Board Member Mitch Slater, Dolan said that by next spring the Board should begin to look at creating a new strategic plan in order to have it prepared for the 2015-2016 school year.