May 25, 2021 by Carol Britton Meyer
The strategic plan for the Hingham Public Schools -- now in its beginning stages -- is likely to follow the Department of Elementary & Secondary Education "Planning for Success" framework -- an inclusive, hands-on process designed in part to build community understanding and support -- "with lots of input from all aspects of the town," Supt. of Schools Paul Austin told the School Committee during a brief update about the framework for the planning process last night.
"Thankfully," Austin said, Town Meeting voters this year approved $50,000 in the Fiscal 2022 Hingham Public Schools operating budget for strategic planning in order to establish overall district goals for the next five years and to develop a plan to achieve them.
The process envisions the future of HPS and involves the development of a multi-year improvement plan that includes the adoption of an annual action plan for implementation.
Community engagement during all three phases plays a big role in the process, which involves creating a plan; connecting education evaluation goals and school improvement plans to the districtwide plan; leveraging funding, grants, and resources in support of this initiative; and implementation.
This PfS model will be adapted to the unique needs of the HPS district and has been used successfully in districts at all levels of student achievement and growth, according to Austin.
Next steps include Austin contracting with a trained PfS facilitator as part of a partnership with HPS, forming a 31-member strategic planning team, and organizing and updating the 17-member administrative leadership team comprised of the five Central Office administrators; the six principals; and the six academic directors.
Suggested members of the planning team include Central Office administrators, two school committee members, the six principals, academic advisors, one teacher from each level, one Hingham Education Association leadership member, three parents (one from each level), two students from the middle and high schools (one each), one town official, and a local business owner.
"It's nice to be doing this -- thinking about the future and what our school system will look like," said School Committee Chair Kerry Ni, who was elected to serve in this position again for the coming year during a reorganization last night.
Austin will work with the facilitator in June and July to plan the HPS process, with the first planning team meeting expected to take place in August.