As the Prince George’s County Board of Education begins to work on redefining the school system’s mission, vision and core values, it is also offering input to School Chief Kevin Maxwell as he devises a strategic plan for the district.
The board is scheduled to meet with Maxwell’s staff on Wednesday evening to get a comprehensive look at the process for the strategic plan. According to a memo to board members, Maxwell’s staff will provide the board with the priority areas that the board and other groups identified as key to turning around the school system.
Board Chairman Segun Eubanks said the board will pore over data, review the history of strategic planning in the district and hear ideas from Maxwell’s staff about the future.
Here are some examples of discussion questions from a survey for board members. The board had until May 19 to complete the survey.
What are the greatest challenges or issues this school district has to address over the next three years in order to provide a quality education for all students? (Choose 5 answers)
1. Providing consistent student programs and services with a declining enrollment
2. Hiring and retaining quality staff in an increasingly competitive market
3. Ensuring that students achieve Common Core Standards
4. Meeting the educational needs of growing numbers of English language learners
5. Meeting the educational needs of learners eligible for Free-And-Reduced Meals
6. Facilitating the school readiness of incoming students (Birth to 5 years)
7. Meeting increasing health needs of students
8. Meeting the needs of special education students
9. Enabling achievement parity across all student-groups
10. Maintaining physical facilities as buildings age
11. Ensuring a data-oriented approach to instructional improvement
12. Meeting the academic and social needs of an increasingly diverse student population
13. Keeping up-to-date with technology hardware, software, applications, and support
14. The growing outside stressors on families that impact parental support and quality of student work and behavior
15. Strengthening school security and safety
16. Responding to state and national economic conditions that affect the levels of financial support the district receives
What should the financial priorities be for our school district during the next three years? (Choose five)
1. Maintain clean, well-repaired, secure buildings
2. Maintain up-to-date technology
3. Provide training and development opportunities to keep staff skilled and competent
4. Provide more specialized instructional programs to meet student needs
5. Wisely invest tax revenues in quality education
6. Be a good steward of taxpayer money by balancing the budget
7. Maintain and improve current instructional programs
8. Introduce foreign language programs in the elementary schools
9. Maintain low class sizes
10. All-day Pre-Kindergarten
11. Increase instructional technology in the classroom
12. Keep salaries and benefits competitive in order to attract and retain quality staff
13. Keep libraries/media centers up-to-date
14. Make sure students have quality educational books/materials in the classroom and the library
Maxwell is identifying strategic goals based on the feedback from board members, school employees and members of the community.
Some have raised questions about why the sessions were not advertised to the public. The board held two meetings last month with Maxwell’s staff.
Eubanks equated the meetings to sessions such as budget briefings, when members of the board meet in small groups to discuss weighty subjects.
“This is an information gathering process,” Eubanks said. “No actions or votes are taken. It’s just so that when we get to the public meeting we can take the action we need.”
Maxwell’s staff plans to make a presentation about the process to the public during the board’s June 12 meeting, according to the memo.
“This will provide the public the opportunity to see the goals and objects that are currently under consideration for the upcoming school years and for the Board to engage in public dialogue with the CEO about these proposed goals,” Eubanks wrote in an e-mail sent to the board members.
As part of its work to redefine the school system’s mission, the school board is putting together a group that can provide it with advice.
The group will consist of three school board members, three members from Maxwell’s cabinet, one union representative, one PTA representative and one county representative.
The group, which has yet to be identified, plans to meet during the summer.