Public input sought on school system’s strategic plan

A series of public meetings to discuss goals and objectives to be included in a new strategic plan for the Grady County School System got underway Tuesday night at the Cairo High School auditorium.
A second session was held at 9:30 a.m. this morning at the VanLandingham Center on North Broad Street and a third session tomorrow, Aug. 20, will be held at 5 p.m. at the VanLandingham Center.
Two additional sessions will be held next week and two more the following week, according to Grady County School Superintendent Dr. Kermit Gilliard.
Next Wednesday, Aug. 26, another public forum will be held beginning at 1:30 p.m. at the VanLandingham Center.
A Thursday afternoon session on Aug. 27 is planned for 4 p.m., but the location has not been finalized.
The final two listening sessions will be held Tuesday, Sept. 1 beginning at 6 p.m. at Beulah M.B. Church and on Thursday, Sept. 3 at 5 p.m. at the Whigham School Auditorium.
“We encourage local residents to join us for these listening sessions. We need community input as we set the goals and objectives for our school system,” Dr. Gilliard said.
The system adopted a strategic plan in 2010 that expired on June 30, 2015. On the recommendation of Dr. Gilliard, the plan was extended until Dec. 31, 2015 in order to allow the new superintendent to coordinate the development of a new plan.
The existing plan, which also was developed with public input, contains five major goals: maintain a safe, orderly, and effective environment for students, staff and visitors; raise achievement of all students to ensure attainment of maximum potential with a focus on college and/or career readiness; promote involvement and engagement of students, teachers, parents, and community in the educational process; recruit hire, develop and retain qualified/student focused personnel; and ensure fiscal responsibility.
Under each goal are a number of objectives. During the community meetings Dr. Gilliard will share data on where the system ranks on each goal.
“We are interested in hearing what the community thinks. We can only improve by working together,” Dr. Gilliard said.

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