Schools begin work on strategic plan

Published 12:06 am Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The process of developing a five-year strategic plan for Andalusia City Schools began Tuesday morning in a meeting facilitated by three former educators and attended a group of teachers, librarians and individuals.

Dr. Marcia Burke of Tuscaloosa led participants through a discussion that included:

• What are the qualities that define high quality public schools?

• What concerns or bothers you about pubic education in Andalusia?

• What concerns do you hear other individuals or groups in our community discuss related to public education?

• If you could design the dream school system – of the present or the future – what kinds of things would you want to see?

Dr. Burke said it is important to pay attention to what the public thinks, even when the public is misinformed.

“Peoples’ perceptions are our reality,” she said. “What people think is what they think.”

Participants described a dream school system as one that had small class sizes; flexible classroom settings; no technology limitations; strong, consistent library funding; ongoing professional development; mentor teachers; community confidence and engagement; a preschool initiative; parent training; more foreign language opportunities, offered earlier;

more project-based learning; high expectations; the flexibility to incorporate local talent as teachers; and advance placement classes taught locally.

The public will be invited to provide input at a community meeting planned for 6 p.m. on Nov. 4, and a second committee meeting is set for Nov. 19.