Cape Girardeau school board to review strategic plan today

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The Cape Girardeau school board will review a wide-ranging strategic plan for the public schools at its annual retreat today.

The discussion at the Cape Girardeau Country Club could leave the board poised to approve the new five-year plan next Monday.

School officials will gather for a continental breakfast at 8 a.m., followed by the start of the meeting at 8:30 a.m.

Board president Sharon Mueller said the meeting could last all day.

"We want to go through everything item by item," she said.

Mueller said a number of proposed recommendations overlap. "Hopefully we can streamline it," she said of the proposed plan.

The board, she said, needs to decide which recommendations need to be addressed first.

School officials said many of the recommendations involve ways to better communicate with families and the general public.

Superintendent Dr. David Scala said the strategic plan could lead to more detailed financial and facilities planning for the school district.

The strategic plan recommends the district conduct a detailed analysis of revenue and expenditures and prioritize building needs.

The plan -- crafted by school administrators, teachers and school district residents -- includes nearly 100 recommendations.

Mueller and board member Laura Sparkman suggested last month that school officials explore the possibility of having year-round school.

But the idea isn't specifically mentioned in the proposed strategic plan. It does include a recommendation that the district incorporate more instructional time into the school year including possibly expanding the school year.

Mueller said the school board wants to look at issues objectively rather than jump to a conclusion. "We are not going to base our decisions on emotion," she said.

"We are going to base our decisions on data and tried and true experience," said Mueller.

At the retreat, the board also may set goals for the superintendent for the 2006-2007 school year.

Board member Tim Arbeiter said the goals would focus on the strategic plan recommendations that the board wants addressed this school year.

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