A special Westby Board of Education meeting was held Monday to discuss strategic planning for the district. Kathleen Cooke PhD and Michael Gallagher of KCMG International LLC were invited to present information that will help the district with their strategic plan.
“I believe there’s value in long-range planning, putting a long plan that takes time to get to three to five years of good reach out,” Superintendent Steven Michaels said. “That long-range plan kind of helps make sure we’re going the right direction even though there might be minor corrections along the way.”
According to State Report Card data, the Westby School District was shown to be a high-performing district, but there was an emphasis to improve upon what was already being done well.
“There are five key areas we needed to address – special education, English language learners, our gender gap, and low socially economic, people who live in poverty,” Michaels said. “We have identified these areas of need, but there’s also other areas we can’t turn our backs on.”
The presentation by Cooke and Gallagher showed data and the importance of educators to adapt to a changing information climate and workplaces. The emphasis was to focus on teaching adaptive skills and preparation so students are prepared for college and careers.
“The particular skills and skill sets that they need if we move toward that in high school, but don’t change that focus on where these kids are gonna leave and go to, and maybe then your colleges and your tech schools also need to change, so that when a kid completes whether it’s a two-year or four-year, or whatever it is,” school board member Robert Kerska said. “He doesn’t necessarily comes out as a plumber or as an electrician or as a math teacher or an English teacher or whatever but he comes out with this skill set that will give him that flexibility.”
Work with Cooke and Gallagher will continue, as well as discussion on planning and achieving district goals at future meetings.