Scant turnout again for schools' strategic planning

By LARRY C. BOWERS
Posted 9/20/19

The strategic planning community meetings of Cleveland City Schools continued to be poorly attended Thursday evening at Cleveland High School.Director of Schools Dr. Russell Dyer joked that …

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Scant turnout again for schools' strategic planning

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The strategic planning community meetings of Cleveland City Schools continued to be poorly attended Thursday evening at Cleveland High School.

Director of Schools Dr. Russell Dyer joked that Thursday's attendance in the CHS Library "almost doubled" the turnout from the initial meeting a week earlier at Blythe-Bower Elementary School, where two parents and two students attended.

There were seven visitors at this week's session, including Cleveland High School's student representative to the Cleveland Board of Education, Hayes Martin.

Despite the low turnout, Dyer and school administrators are not disillusioned.

The director pointed out that the information-gathering survey, being discussed at the meetings, is also online.

"We have already received more than 30 responses," he said.

The survey will remain online through December.

Dyer took time at the start of this week's meeting to discuss the purpose of the survey, and the importance of collecting responses from parents on what they feel the school system and its officials are doing right, parents' concerns and suggestions for compiling a strategic plan for the Cleveland City School System for the next five years.

He said he wanted to explain how strategic planning works.

"The goal is to gather information, and compile a plan (of action )," he continued.

The school system's administrators will take information from these meetings, combined with information from  online survey responses, then make decisions for school system action over the next five years.

Dyer said the collection of information will continue on through the end of the year. There will be a meeting of faculty and staff, and then on Nov. 13, school administrators will meet with business and industry partners for additional comments.

In December, school administrators will meet in focus groups to fine-tune the information gathered to begin to put together a five-year plan.

Dyer said the early thought process includes strategic planning, key indicators for success, the portrait of a graduate, anticipated pathways for kindergarten through grade 12, STREAM/STEM, safe and healthy schools, and communication. 

Thursday's limited crowd then broke out into four small discussion groups to discuss questions on the survey, and to provide feedback for administrators.

The community meeting broke up early, with administrators compiling responses for future consideration, and to be combined  with comments from online participants.

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