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The Spotsylvania School Board will hear public input on a new strategic plan for the school division at its meeting Monday.

Superintendent Scott Baker presented the draft five-year strategic plan, titled “Engage 2025: Innovative Pathways to the Future,” at a special School Board meeting last month.

The proposed plan retains the mission statement from the existing strategic plan, which is “Together, we prepare students for their future.”

But it introduces a new vision statement for the division: “We inspire and empower each student to develop essential skills and access multiple pathways in pursuit of their dreams. Every day, each child yearns to come to school, excited about learning.”

It also introduces a new set of core values, which include quality, equity, innovation, inclusivity, collaboration, citizenship and stewardship.

The proposed new strategic plan includes four overarching goals for the school division, adding “student and staff well-being,” “professional growth” and “community engagement” to “student learning.”

Baker said at the School Board’s Aug. 26 meeting that the new strategic plan represents part of an “intentional student-centered culture shift.”

He said the goals in the draft plan highlight the division’s focus on preparing students for success in the 21st century by “engaging all students in authentic, real-world learning experiences” beyond those that can be assessed by standardized testing.

Baker said the strategic plan emphasizes supporting student and staff physical, mental and social-emotional needs to promote equity.

“Many students and staff have needs that must be supported before they can get to the level where they can learn,” he said.

The strategic plan also calls for strong professional growth opportunities for staff, increased community partnerships and engaged families.

“Our vision is that students feel a healthy, good kind of tired [at the end of the school day] and our teachers are feeling excited and energetic for the next day because they haven’t been teaching so hard, but have been engaged in facilitating learning experiences,” Baker said.

He hopes there will continue to be strong advocacy among division staff and parents for adequate school funding.

“We need to go beyond maximizing our resources and we continue to need more resources,” he said. “I don’t believe that’s just a function of the local government or school board. We are at a point where we need to continue to engage our state General Assembly. It is time for the funds that used to flow to public education to be restored, especially before there is another recession.”

Division spokesperson Rene Daniels said the draft strategic plan is “the result of many months of work” by more than 60 stakeholders, including parents, teachers, principals, support staff and community members.

She noted the plan is a draft and “will include strategies when it is finalized.”

The draft strategic plan can be found on the school division’s website: spotsylvania.k12.va.us.

The board is expected to adopt a new strategic plan in October.

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Adele Uphaus–Conner:

540/735-1973

auphaus@freelancestar.com

@flsadele

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