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GFW adopts 5-year strategic plan

GIBBON — The school board unanimously adopted a strategic plan Monday that will guide the district for the next five years.

The plan was adopted on a motion by board member Mike Kuehn, seconded by Casey Prochniak.

Conducting a strategic planning process was one of the goals introduced by Horton during his first 100 day plan, as a pledge of what the district would do following the operating levy which was supported by more than 60% of voters in August 2020.

The process involved a number of ways for community members to be involved including several listening sessions with the superintendent that took place in each community, equity and district surveys to community members, staff, and students, and a strategic planning committee made up of almost 50 community members.

The MSBA assisted in the development and facilitation of the planning process and provided guidance to the district throughout.

“During the levy process, we promised to look at every aspect of our district and find ways to define and strengthen our identity, and developing a strategic plan was a big part of that,” said Horton.

“Connecting with community members during this process allowed for a greater understanding of our community and what role we need to play as a district,” added Horton. “Seeing our students take such an active role during the development of our belief, mission, and vision statements was truly inspiring and I know that this plan is absolutely community inspired and community focused.”

The plan provides a series of belief statements that will guide decision making in the district as well as a new mission statement and vision statement to update what GFW Public Schools stands for.

The new mission statement for GFW Public Schools is to provide an equitable and quality education that meets the individual needs of our students to thrive in the 21st century.

A new vision statement was also adopted by the district, one that came directly from community members who served on the strategic planning committee.

“Growing future world class leaders” is the new vision of the district which puts a focus directly on student achievement, which is one of the newly established focus areas for goals.

“Being a part of the session where our community members were discussing vision and mission statements was a highlight of my time as a board member,” said Kuehn. “Our students, staff, and parents are so integral to our success as a district and I could not be more proud of our newly refined mission and vision for GFW Public Schools.”

Focus areas for the strategic plan include student achievement, finance, diversity, equity, inclusion, community and family engagement and a positive school climate.

The board also approved:

• By a 3-1 vote with Dan Merkel dissenting, placing tenured junior and senior high technology teacher Scott Robinson on .75 FTE (full-time equivalent) unrequested leave without pay and fringe benefits, as of June 8, 2021, due to lack of pupils and financial limitations, motion by Kuehn, second by Prochniak. Board members Jason Haas and Marisa Lee did not attend the meeting.

• Unanimously approved placing tenured elementary teachers Anne Hansen and Jennifer Schaufler on unrequested leave, without pay and fringe benefits, as of June 8, due to lack of pupils and financial limitations, motion by Kuehn, seconded by Prochniak for Hansen, motion by Kuehn, seconded by Schmidt, for Schaufler.

Kuehn said the resolutions were redone after the last regular board meeting, due to updated timelines.

Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nujournal.com.

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