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April 2014

18

Hamilton School District strategic plan celebrates success with lower costs per pupil, other improvements

Districts next question is 'Where do we go?'

More than 20 years ago Hamilton leaders, staff, parents, students and community members began the process of strategic planning to help the district deal with its deficiency in nearly every one of the 20 state education standards. Team members at the Dec. 4 Strategic Plan update learned about substantial progress that has been made in the district as a result of the focused approach toward improvement.

"When strategic planning began in this district 20 years ago the question was 'Where do we begin?' " said Human Resources and Organizational Development Director John Roubik. "Now the question for us is 'Where do we want to go?' "

School Board member Gerald Schmitz, who was on the original strategic planning team in 1989, commented on the district's achievement and low cost per-pupil compared to other districts in southeastern Wisconsin. According to information from the district, Hamilton ranks second in the area on per-pupil expenses without factoring in transportation and debt services. Hamilton's cost per pupil is $9,123 which is 14 percent lower than the state average.

"We do a lot more with a lot less money than the majority of school districts," said Schmitz, who credited strategic planning with bringing about results for the district.

The current strategic plan is the fourth the district has created and implemented. A new five-year plan will be created next fall when another planning team convenes. In the meantime, Roubik said staff will be involved in sessions to help the district learn what its future priorities should be.

Strategy managers provided progress reports at the Nov. 28 Strategic Plan update regarding the six current strategies that indicate the district will:

  • Ensure rigorous, relevant curriculum and innovative instruction to support maximum achievement for each child.
  • Engage and empower students, differentiate instruction and ensure continuous progress for each child by implementing quality assessment practices.
  • Focus professional development on the knowledge and skills staff need as they educate student to thrive in an inter-connected, global community.
  • Utilize effective communication practices to promote understanding, support and involvement of our families, community and staff.
  • Create learning environments that nurture social and emotional development, and respect for our diverse world.
  • Integrate and assess 21st century skills in the areas of financial literacy, employability skills and technological literacy.

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