District 233 takes first step in strategic planning

Foster communication. Recognize student potential and student achievement. Support staff development. Support the array of extracurricular activities. Address the social/emotional needs of students. School finances should reflect Homewood-Flossmoor High School values.
These are a few of the litany of topics District 233 school board members contemplated at a special board meeting Sept. 6 as they began work on a strategic planning process that will have them recognizing needs and setting district-wide goals for the next five years. The process should be completed by the end of the year.
The discussion was the first step in the process being undertaken with assistance from Robert Mandonia, a consultant hired to lead the planning process. He has worked with Flossmoor District 161 and Homewood District 153 on strategic plans.
Step two will be hearing from residents through an online survey to be posted on the school’s website in late September. Mandonia called it “a puzzle part of the (overall) picture.”
Step three is to invite dozens of residents to be part of the process. The volunteers will work in groups on Nov. 9 and 10 assessing select discussion topics and giving feedback to board members and H-F administrators.
The final step will be for school board members to finalize the needs and goals and begin implementation with help from the school staff and administration.
As board members brought up one topic after another, Mandonia started to categorize them into specific groupings, including finances, buildings and grounds, student focus and achievement, curriculum and assessment, public relations and communications. Mandonia then made bulleted lists under each topic. Some ideas were on more than one list.
Some topics are pretty broad, such as “keeping the student as the primary focus,” but board members believed they would be refined and narrowed in scope with help from the discussion groups.

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