Brandywine Community Schools presents strategic plan proposal

Published 11:00 am Sunday, May 15, 2022

NILES CHARTER TOWNSHIP — Brandywine Community Schools has a plan.

The BCS Board of Education was presented with a proposed strategic plan that would guide the district’s decision-making over the next five years.

The proposed plan includes four specific goal areas and 13 priority objectives the district would take under incoming superintendent Travis Walker, who will take over July 1 following current superintendent Karen Weimer’s retirement. The district’s mission, vision and belief statements as well as its goal statements will be voted on by the BCS Board of Education during its Monday, May 23 meeting.

“The board will approve those and our administrators will take those goals and put them into action,” Weimer said. 

Scott Morell with the Michigan Association of School Boards facilitated the process of putting together the plan, which included the formation of a strategic planning team to take a primary role in developing the strategic plan. The team — consisting of 29 parents, guardians, community members, board members, students and staff members —  were selected with input from the Board of Education and key stakeholder groups. The team participated in a retreat workshop in April as well as committee meetings to develop its mission statement, beliefs, vision and strategic goals.

“I’m excited for the district,” Weimer said. “I think a very strong plan is in place. I’m so appreciative of the engagement of our administrators and our board of wanting to continue to make Brandywine stronger. I feel good about leaving and keeping that vision in place.”

Weimer also oversaw the creation of the district’s current strategic plan in 2017, which expires this year. While some of the goals for the current strategic plan weren’t met due to the onset of the pandemic, teachers and administrators wished to create a brand new action plan instead of rolling some of the unmet goals from the current plan into the new plan.

“We have a new special education director, athletic director, high school principal, finance director and a new curriculum director,” Weimer said. “They were adamant that they wanted to go forward and start a new plan because they learned a lot through COVID. The administration is going to push it forward and the school board is fully supporting it. Travis Walker will come in and already have a map for the district for five years.

“It’s even better that Travis was part of the planning because he was closely involved with it and can move forward without missing a beat.”

Here are the proposed actions BCS will take for each goal area:

Academics/Programs

Goal statement: Provide relevant and viable opportunities to meet the academic needs of

individual students to promote success.

Priority Objectives

  • Initiate SAGE documents in all subjects & classes
  • Develop a strategy for district-wide collaboration
  • Establish process to systemically review instruction in PLC’s

Culture/Learning Environment

Goal statement: Promote and provide necessary resources to enhance the physical and

mental well being of the school community.

Priority Objectives:

  • Determine student needs in terms of mental health.
  • Determine staff needs in terms of mental health.
  • Develop a plan that supports the staff and student’s mental health

Communication/Engagement

Goal statement: Improve and create communication strategies to inform and engage

stakeholders.

Priority Objectives

  • Develop consistent building branding
  • Create and implement a consistent communication process
  • Create a plan for district signage

Facilities

Goal statement: Develop facilities that support school pride and innovative learning

opportunities.

Priority Objectives:

  • Completion of Air Conditioning installation
  • Create a facilities study
  • Identify priorities of needs
  • Identify funding resources

 

Weimer named Berrien RESA Champion Award recipient

Superintendent Karen Weimer was named the recipient of the Berrien RESA Champion Award. The award was presented by Berrien RESA Superintendent Eric Hoppstock at the May 9 Board of Education meeting.

The Berrien RESA Champion Award is given to someone that exemplifies the core values of Berrien RESA. Through extraordinary effort and persistence has advanced one of the following core values: Leadership, Respect, Quality, Compassion and Partnership.

Weimer has been the district superintendent since 2017 after spending 18 years as principal at Merritt Elementary School. She taught fifth-grade at Brandywine Elementary for 11 years before that.

She announced her retirement in January. June 30 will be her last day as superintendent.

“I’m very honored,” she said. “I’ve worked in the county for 34 years. I was thrilled to be acknowledged in that way. To present it to me at the beginning was really nice.”