Plan created with input from more than 50 district staff and community members.
The Klamath County School District has developed a long-term strategic plan that will build and enhance curriculum across all grade levels, expand career and apprenticeship programs, recruit and retain quality teachers, and continue to foster community partnerships that inspire and improve student academic achievement.
“We’re in the business of educating the next generation, and this plan will guide us in curriculum and budget decisions,” said Glen Szymoniak, superintendent of the Klamath County School District. “As we move into a fiscally challenging year we’ll know where to focus our work.”
Klamath County School Board member Steve Lowell agreed. “It will be a driving force in our future plans for next year,” he said.
The KCSD 2020 Strategic Plan was created over the past few months with input from staff, students, and more than three dozen community members representing business, law enforcement, health, education, and government organizations. The KCSD Strategic Planning Steering Committee met for two days in January and again in May to finalize the document. Planned meetings in March were postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
KCSD School Board Chair Jill O’Donnell thanked the community members for participating in the process. “The community input is meaningful to the board,” she said. “It’s so important have this document to guide our decisions. I don’t know if this has ever been done before.”
The plan’s highlights include expanding elementary curriculum in music, art, science, health, social studies, health, P.E., and keyboarding; increasing electives in junior high and high school; implementing an annual K-12 social-emotional learning program, integrating CTE (career and technical education) and life skills curriculum into junior high schools; and developing a pre-apprenticeship program for high school students.
Oregon School Boards Association consultant Kristen Miles led the community input meetings, dividing participants into small groups so they could help develop goals for the district and brainstorm strategies to reach those goals.
“This was the most community driven process I’ve ever been a part of,” Miles said at the final meeting of the committee hosted through the online meeting platform, Zoom. “I think you have put yourselves in a really good position to keep your laser focus on what’s good for kids, what’s good for your community, and what’s good for your district. I’m thrilled so many people are here to see this through, and I’m impressed with the commitment this community has to working with its school district. This plan is something you can all buy into at every level.”
Committee member Randy Shaw, a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker Holman Premier Realty, believes it is important for the community to invest in its students.
“I am looking forward to seeing this plan move forward,” he said. “It’s so important we get these kids the right introduction to life.”
Each goal in KCSD’s Strategic Plan is associated with six core values – safety, quality education that is meaningful and valuable, emotional well-being, equitable opportunities, organizational and individual responsibility, and building strong relationships and involved communities.
The plan’s goals and strategies fall under seven main categories:
- Academic achievement
- Social and emotional supports
- College, career, and life readiness
- Community partnerships
- Recruiting and retaining quality teachers
- Professional development
Szymoniak was pleased with the community response and input. Community partnerships are key to ensure students are ready for the workforce, careers, and higher education, he said, adding, “I’d like to see this plan posted in every classroom across the district so everyone can see what we’re all about.”
The full plan is available KCSD’s website at www.kcsd.k12.or.us.