Madison-Plains assembling strategic planning committee


(Posted Jan. 27, 2016)

By Sandi Latimer, Staff Writer

Madison-Plains school leaders are shaping a strategic plan to set the school district’s direction for the coming years.

For input on the plan, Superintendent Tim Dettwiller is assembling a five-person committee that will meet in three sessions in late February. At a special meeting on Jan. 21, he asked school board members to provide him with names of possible committee members.

Dettwiller said he is looking for members of the clergy, farmers, politicians, business people, senior citizens, parents, and lawyers to serve with the board.

“I’d like to have students on it,” said board member Kelly Cooley.

The committee will set a one-sentence mission statement, discuss strengths and challenges in the district, and set three to five goals with a deadline for each. Steve Allen from the Madison-Champaign Education Service Center helped to set the guidelines for the group’s tasks.

“We had a plan six years ago,” said board member Dave Hunter. “We followed it for a while, then it became like a ‘flavor of the month’.”

“Once you do the plan, you have to visit it often,” Allen said. “Conditions will change and can change drastically.”

“Any decision we make, we have to ask ourselves, ‘Does it support our plan?’ ” said board president Mike Datz.

To demonstrate the topics the committee will explore, Dettwiller led an exercise in which he asked the five school board members to answer nine questions:

  • When you think of Madison-Plains, what comes to mind?
  • What is the best aspect of Madison-Plains?
  • What is the worst aspect of Madison-Plains?
  • What would you like to see different about Madison-Plains?
  • Should Madison-Plains offer more academic programs?
  • Do we need more facilities? Why?
  • Does the community support Madison-Plains? Why or why not?
  • Where do you see the reputation of Madison-Plains five years from now?
  • If you were able to decide, where would you build new facilities?

The committee will look at these questions and others when they meet Feb. 22, Feb. 25 and Feb. 29. Each meeting will start 6 p.m.

Dettwiller hopes to have the committee members named by the next board meeting on Feb. 16.

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