District 233 hires consultant to start strategic planning

The District 233 school board agreed on a 6-1 vote to hire a consultant to help the board develop a new strategic plan.
 
At the June 19 board meeting, members agreed to an $11,900 contract with Robert Mandonia of RJM Consulting Services, Inc., who will help develop a five-year strategic plan. The contract spells out nine tasks that he will undertake for the board. 
 
Mandonia offers additional services, such as reviewing the mission statement and facilitating meetings for stakeholders, but they will come with added costs. 
 
Mandonia made a presentation on his services at the May 15 board meeting. He said he would solicit information on Homewood-Flossmoor High School from the administration and staff and recommend the board appoint committees of interested community volunteers to serve on focus groups, offering their opinions and ideas on what H-F will need over the next five years. From that input, the school board could develop its long-range plan. He recently completed strategic planning for Homewood District 153 and Flossmoor District 161. 
 
Board member Jody Scariano voted against the Mandonia contract saying the board is already able to get assistance with a strategic plan through the Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB). District 233 pays $11,000 annually in dues to IASB. 
 
“I agree with strategic planning. I think it’s important. Time to renew and refresh, I understand that," she said, "but when we pay an organization like IASB who do and have the best strategy plans in the state for strategic planning and we don’t use them, I raise the question: ‘Why aren’t we having a debate and discussion with them also, as well as other consulting firms?’” Scariano wondered.
 
Board President Steve Anderson proposed a need for a new strategic plan in August 2017 saying it was something he discussed with voters when he ran for election that spring.

Scariano said she had a conversation with Anderson at that time urging him to have a full board discussion for a "debate and larger conversation" on what the district's plans may need. 
 
Anderson did not address Scariano’s concerns before the vote was taken.
 
He didn’t offer any information on when the strategic planning process would begin.
 

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