June 24, 2022 by Carol Britton Meyer
The tagline for the newly created strategic plan for the Hingham Public Schools -- which Interim Supt. Gary Maestas presented to the School Committee Tuesday this week -- is "Hingham together: Navigating our future."
"This plan really does signify a moment in time," he said. "How do we bring our community together educationally and how do we set the future straight for our students?"
The strategic plan is based in part on feedback from stakeholders -- including students, staff, families, and community members -- who participated in a survey that garnered nearly 400 responses and comments and from numerous meetings.
The three-step strategic planning process includes building a foundation and a plan and implementation of that plan.
The plan's mission is: "Together with students, staff, families and community, we cultivate an equitable, inclusive, innovative learning environment that empowers all students to contribute to their local and global community."
The following core values were established: inclusivity and belonging; community well-being; lifelong learning; student-centeredness; personal excellence; innovative learning; and civic and global responsibility.
Strategic initiatives include cultivating a culture of collaboration and community; culturally responsive teaching and learning; healthy, equitable and inclusive communities that promote "a sense of belonging to allow for social, emotional, physical, and academic wellness"; allocation of funding to provide "effective, safe, and modern facilities and adequate resources to enhance the student experience"; and recruiting, developing, and empowering a diverse staff "to lead courageously in teaching and learning."
School Committee Chair Michelle Ayer called the plan "an excellent road map" for the next three years. "The timing couldn't be better coming out of COVID, with a new superintendent and business director, and all the leadership changes. My fervent wish is that we can follow this road map with no detours along the way," but if something should come up, she said, the School Committee will work through it together.
Other members of the strategic planning committee are: new Supt. of Schools Margaret Adams -- who was present at the meeting; Assistant Supt. Jamie LaBillois; Executive Director of Student Services Suzanne Vinnes; School Committee members Kerry Ni and Nes Correnti and former School Committee member Liza O'Reilly; Hingham High School Principal Rick Swanson; Plymouth River School Principal Gregory Lamothe and PRS Asst. Principal Melissa Smith; Department Director Katie Roberts; Administrator of Secondary Special Education Danielle Wetmore; Department Coordinator Joann Bellis; Plymouth River School Grade 1 teacher Nancy Bucey; Hingham High School Social Studies teacher Christina O'Connor; Specialist teacher Melissa Goldman; Hingham Education Association President June Gustafson; parents Alyson Anderson (now a School Committee member) and Anne Matthews; community member-at-large Douglas Beck; and students Ruby Fernandes and Max Moraites.
The strategic plan is posted at https://hinghamschools.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Final-Hingham-Strategic-Plan-Draft-06.15.22.pdf.