H-F board hears strategic planning proposal

The District 233 school board is considering a proposal for a long-range plan for Homewood-Flossmoor High School.
 
Dr. Robert Mandonia made a presentation to the board at the May 15 meeting outlining the benefits of a five-year strategic plan. He suggested using a TEAM 233 logo for the project with TEAM standing for Together Expecting and Achieving More adding, “It really says a lot.”
 
If he is selected, Mandonia recommended starting the three- to four-month effort in August. His fee would be a minimum $11,900.
 
Mandonia is known for his work with districts throughout the Chicago area and pointed out that he recently completed strategic plans for Homewood District 153, Flossmoor District 161 and Lincoln-Way District 210.
 
Mandonia outlined the process of providing information on cutting-edge trends in high schools and gathering information from the board to help set core goals for H-F. The initiative would begin with the school board members considering if the mission and vision statements now in place need revision. 
 
The next step would be getting feedback from the general public and school staff on how to prioritize the goals. Board members then would have a two-hour meeting to set core goals “for what’s important for Homewood-Flossmoor in the next five years,” Mandonia said.
 
The board would make those goals available for public input through online and paper surveys. 
 
“What we’re starting to see: everyone is touched and offers input,” he noted.
 
The board also can choose to set up a community committee to give feedback at two meetings. Mandonia recommended the committee be between 50 and 60 people, although some have been as large as 110 members, depending on how in-depth the core value focus groups are meant to be. Each group conversation would be facilitated by a board member and a school administrator.
 
The board then does an assessment of the input and develops a strategic plan by prioritizing the goals. The final step is setting an action plan for each of the five years “to project out where you want to be and get into a modality and culture of continuous improvement.”
 
Mandonia said the board will review its goals every 12 months and “bring the community group back and report on the progress to them” helping them “feel like they have ownership” of the goals.
 
The idea of doing a strategic plan was first presented by Board President Steve Anderson at the August 2017 board meeting. Anderson said he campaigned on the issue in the run-up to the April 2017 school board election. 
 
Anderson told those at the meeting a plan would help “engage you and bring the community in to figure out the topics that we all want to focus on, forwarding our school district.”

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