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School District 161 Strategic Plan Puts Focus on Technology to Support Student Learning

Administrators are Conducting Communication Forums at all Schools.

Highlights of the five-year Strategic Plan include use of technology throughout the curriculum to support learning for the 21st century, a dynamic informative website that serves the community, families and district staff and development of programs to provide support for students so they can demonstrate 100 percent mastery of grade-level skills.

“Technology will be a big focus point for all schools,” Superintendent Craig Doster said. “We will use technology for 21st century goals.”

For example, Doster said, students will learn about online banking and they will have the opportunity to create podcasts and movies. In the past, they may have read a book and written a book report. Soon, however, they will be able to read a book and do a podcast or a video report, he explained.

District administrators presented an overview of 161’s first Strategic Plan during a communication forum Tuesday night at . The same presentation also was made at Wednesday night and Serena Hills Thursday night. Presentations will be made at 7 p.m. Tuesday at and Thursday at .

“The plan has been posted on our website since last April or May, so many people have already seen it, but part of the plan was to go around and present it to the community … to clarify and answer questions,” Doster said. 

In the past, the district has had school improvement plans, but strategic plans are becoming more common, Doster explained. They are all-encompassing and focus more around curriculum, he added.

The foundation of the plan is five prioritized goal areas:

  • Student Learning and Achievement
  • Parental Involvement and Communication
  • Finance and Facilities
  • School Structure and Organization
  • Professional Development

Each of the five goal areas has its own action plan and progress monitoring tool.

“Right now, we’re doing a lot of studying and getting things moving,” Doster said. “Next year, there are a lot of due dates, but they are not set in stone.”

School Board President David Dreyfuss said one key point that came out of the community survey was the need for more communication with parents. As a result, the district will conduct regular meetings to keep parents informed about what is going on in the district and the schools.

Patch will continue on the Strategic Plan as more changes are implemented.

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