EPS turns to public for strategic plan

Published 11:11 am Thursday, March 28, 2019

EDWARDSBURG — Edwardsburg Public Schools is asking for the community’s input on its newest five-year strategic planning endeavor.

The plan is being developed with assistance from the Michigan Association of School Boards, and is expected to be complete this summer.

Community members, students, parents, teachers, faculty and any other interested party can go to the survey link: surveymonkey.com/r/2019EdwardsburgSP to leave feedback that will be considered by the strategic planning team.

James Knoll, Superintendent of Edwardsburg Public Schools, said he would encourage everyone to take the 10 to 15 minutes necessary to take the survery, and participate in this process that will shape the vision of the school over the next five years.

Surveys can be completed through April 5, and results will be compiled soon after for the board’s review, before handing over to the strategic planning team.

Every survey response will be read and compiled by the MASB team in a way that the strategic planning team will be able to use the data, Knoll said.

“We are hoping to get thoughtful responses for the direction of our district for the near future and for the next three to five years,” Knoll said.

The process of choosing the team that will complete the plan is already underway, Knoll said, and will consist of members of the board, teachers, students, other staff, parents and community members.

This team will shape and create the strategic plan for the district, that will act as somewhat of a checklist of accountability and guidance, according to Knoll.

“Specifically, the plan will consist of curriculum updates, campus updates, security and safety updates, technology updates and communication updates, among other things,” Knoll said.

The previous strategic plan was updated in 2015 by the former superintendent and was successful in meeting all of the five goals set at that time. Of the many things to develop from that plan was the 1:1 computing for all of the upper grades in the district, and many of the elementary-aged students.

“Overall, [the Chromebooks for each student] have been a big success, but financially we took a hit,” Knoll said.

To offset the cost, the program was diverting dollars spent on textbooks that could now be viewed in electronic form to purchase and upgrade the computers.

These are the types of things the planning team will identify as needs and add to part of a larger goal. The district will work toward finding a way to implement the strategic plan in the coming years.

Another goal of the team will be to update the vision statement for the district.

“Our vision, and mission, are still very relevant, but things change. Communities change,” Knoll said. “Our slogan, ‘pride, passion, purpose,’ is how we live.”