Cape school board OKs committees to develop strategic plan

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

A new comprehensive plan for the Cape Girardeau public schools will focus on five areas: at-risk students, parental involvement, facilities and finance, school climate and student achievement.

The board of education Monday night instructed superintendent Dr. David Scala to appoint five committees, one for each topic.

Those committees will be asked to develop goals and strategies to address the five areas singled out by a steering committee of teachers, parents, business leaders and school administrators appointed by Scala earlier this year.

The 34-member steering committee met three times with Scala and central office staff since January, spending nine hours in all to come up with a list of strengths and weaknesses for the district.

The "action" committees are expected to address a number of issues within the five categories. Those issues include Missouri Assessment Program test scores as well as student discipline and salary issues, the steering committee reported.

Those committees likely will include some members of the steering committee as well as other community residents who have expressed interest, school officials said.

Setting the stage

Board members focused on the process rather than the specific issues that the plan will address.

"It's certainly an excellent beginning," said board president Steve Trautwein.

He said it's important for the public to understand that the school board isn't dictating the issues, goals or objectives of the plan now being crafted.

"The board was not involved in any part of it," he said.

None of the board members voiced any opinion about the specific issues listed by the steering committee.

Steering committee member Steven Hoffman praised the efforts of Scala and the district's executive staff in helping to coordinate the planning work without dictating what issues to address in the plan.

Hoffman said he expects the action committees will look at both the district's strengths and weaknesses in developing the plan this spring.

School officials want to have a new plan in place by the start of the new fiscal year on July 1.

335-6611, extension 123

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