The Examiner

P’ville Schools Adopt New Strategic Plan as Part of New Initiative

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The Pleasantville Board of Education has adopted a Five Year Strategic Plan as part of the school district’s 2026 initiative that was announced earlier this year.

The initiative, which aims to provide the type of education that this year’s kindergarteners will need by the time they graduate high school, developed a variety of action plans to achieve goals that will allow the district to better serve its students.

“The action teams generated an awful lot of excitement and we had some concurrent thinking about moving forward,” said Superintendent Mary Fox-Alter. “The district is not one to stay stagnant so there were some ideas that we thought we could move forward with and the plan was evolving.”

The teams consisted of more than 130 teachers, parents, students and community members who worked together over the past five months to generate more than 60 action plans and seven strategies for the district.

Fox-Alter will be working with the board of education, administrators and curriculum coordinators over the summer to determine how the action plans will be implemented for the 2014-15 school year.

The district has already expanded electives, including courses such as marine biology and engineering, and its science research program. The district is also piloting the introduction of a Period Zero, which would allow for advanced placement classes or extracurricular activities to take place before regular school hours.

At the middle school, the district will begin work on a Maker Space project. This will create a flexible, open space in the library with computers and wireless Internet access, where students can work on long-term or open-ended projects such as robotics.

Fox-Alter said that the strategic plan, which was adopted at the board or education’s June 24 meeting, hopes to promote a spirit of holistic wellness throughout the district, beginning with a Drug Free Coalition Grant. On June 30, action team member John Mueller hosted a meeting and set up a 12-member team to work on that goal. Fox-Alter said that as part of the Drug Free Coalition, the goal is for the introduction of new programs to help students make sound decisions as well as bring in health and wellness professionals and consultants.

Mueller is one of dozens of community members who has devoted time to the Strategic Plan since Pleasantville 2026 was announced in January. Fox-Alter said that the involvement of the community at large is a great benefit to students and will help give them a superior education.

“We are very fortunate to live in a community where we have so many stakeholders that are involved in the schools and who want to volunteer their time to help move the district forward,” Fox-Alter said.

“Stakeholder involvement in schools definitely is a great thing for kids. When you have stakeholder involvement in the schools you create a better educational environment for student learning,” she added.

Fox-Alter expects to present a plan for the implementation of the remainder of the 2014-15 goals at a board of education meeting this fall.


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