February 12, 2013
Albemarle County Public Schools kicked off a series of five town hall discussions Tuesday evening at Jack Jouett Middle School. The talk focused on getting community input on a revised strategic plan for schools in the district.
The current strategic plan was written in 2005 and last updated in 2010. The school board is expected to adopt a new plan this summer and will use the feedback from the community conversations to either create an entirely new plan or tweak what they already have.
"Hopefully we'll have a new plan, but it'll build on what we've done before that is right and remove or modify things that aren't quite working as well as they should," said Albemarle County School Board chair Steve Koleszar.
Embracing diversity and incorporating new technology were two common themes brought up by participants at the meeting. Assistant superintendent Matthew Haas says other topics that tend to come up are creativity as well as what kind of work, cooperative and communication skills students will need in the future.
Haas led Tuesday's discussion, asking the crowd to reflect on and share personal experiences with education as well as their vision for what the world will be like for students twenty years from now.
George Cohen, a parent of two students at Albemarle High School, participated in the town hall and says he would like to see the strategic plan address writing, critical reading and critical thinking.
Cohen says, while the group brainstorming sessions may not tackle every aspect of the strategic plan, community participation makes an impact.
"I don't think we're going to get all of the problems solved and all the details worked out, but I think having this kind of discussion is very helpful for setting those kinds of priorities and giving that kind of feedback and guidance," Cohen said.
School leaders will also collect feedback from the public through an online survey in early March. The results of that outreach, along with input from the town hall discussions, will aid the school division's strategic planning committee in developing recommendations for the school board.
For a look at the current strategic plan for Albemarle County Public Schools, CLICK HERE.
Upcoming Town Hall Community Conversations:
February 13th from 6:00pm to 8:00pm - Henley Middle School
February 19th from 6:00pm to 8:00pm - Walton Middle School
February 20th from 6:00pm to 8:00pm - Burley Middle School
February 26th from 6:00pm to 8:00pm - Sutherland Middle School