Pickerington Local Schools Superintendent Dr. Karen Mantia recently asked district staff and members of the community to complete a survey and, based on the responses, she created a "Team Goal" for the district.
The "Team Goal" is to "be a high performance school district with high quality learning environments for every student."
To achieve the goal, the staff must focus on five "success drivers." The team goal and the success drivers will be posted in every classroom throughout the district as well as local businesses.
The first driver is "Accountability." Each staff member must be held accountable for the achievement of individual students.
If "Johnny" struggles in class, the teacher must contact the parents for help and possibly look to colleagues for answers, Mantia said.
The second driver is "Data Driven Decision Making." The district will analyze data from state and classroom test scores to create plans for individual students.
The third driver is "Finances." This year, the district will audit the expenses of each school.
"Everyone wants to know (the district has) invested wisely," Mantia said.
As an example of fiscal responsibility, Mantia said the district hired four new administrators without incurring "additional cost to the overall function." As district staff retired, instead of filling the vacancies, the district reorganized to create new positions.
For instance, the new human resources position held by Varina McDuffie replaced the district’s recruiter.
The fourth driver is "Communication." Teachers must call at least three to five parents a month to inform them of their child’s progress. In addition, the district will provide information to the staff, parents and community via the new Communications Director Amanda Morris.
The last driver is "Diversity." Everyone regardless of background will be "embraced," "respected," and "welcome" in Pickerington schools.
"Our job is to educate," Mantia said. "We are not a private school. Understanding diversity is essential for students wanting to enter the workplace."
For every school district that Mantia served as superintendent, she created team goals and success drivers. It helps "every employee squarely focus on a particular outcome," Mantia said.
The desired outcome for Pickerington would be to reach the highest achievement level in the state (currently a rating of "Excellent") and maintain that rating. When students graduate from Pickerington they will be able to compete with graduates from any other district, Mantia said.
At a meeting at World Harvest Church before the school year began, Mantia presented the team goal and success drivers to all 1,000 members of the district’s staff.
"We are very, very happy with the staff’s contribution," Mantia said.