Hannibal schools embark on strategic planning adventure

According to District Superintendent Donna J. Fountain, the Hannibal Central School District is enthusiastically beginning a strategic planning process designed to create specific goals and strategies that will guide the district during the next five years.

The strategic plan will consist of a core team of approximately 30 members with representation from parents, staff, administrators and members of the community.

This group will develop the major components of the plan and work with specific task forces who will investigate areas designated by the district.

Currently, the district has identified three task forces in the areas of student achievement, family/community engagement and enhancing the student experience in Hannibal.

“We have a tremendous opportunity to involve a wide range of stakeholders in developing this comprehensive plan which will reflect the views of our community, together with our staff,” Fountain said. “This is the first time in our district’s history where we have embarked on something as rigorous and far reaching as this. It is a very exciting time for the students, staff and community of Hannibal.”

Enthusiasm abounds

PLC Associates Inc., based in Florida and New York, a consultancy which has worked in more than 400 schools, has been selected as the organization to lead the process.

Penny Ciaburri, chief executive officer of PLC Associates Inc., along with Diane Reed, an associate of the company, who both hold the credential of outside educational expert by the New York state Department of Education, will be facilitating all activities of the planning process.

According to Ciaburri, “Hannibal is in an outstanding point to begin this process. They are highly enthusiastic and clearly see the opportunity for improving student achievement and better outcomes for students.”

Ciaburri added, “This process is very powerful. We will put data in the hands of our teams, along with the research and best practices of successful schools and then, in a highly participatory manner, involve everyone in decision-making.”

Reed, also a veteran superintendent of 14 years in a district recognized as a significant “gap-closing, high-achieving” district, explained, “This strategic plan will serve as a blueprint. Not only will it provide direction and focus for the district, but the school and community will be able to work side-by-side in implementing strategies specifically designed to improve results for students.”

High expectations

“I believe that by bringing everyone together, we can do great things for our students,” said board president Erin Hess.

The core team will begin its work in early October, mapping out the components of vision, mission, core beliefs and specific goals.

The task forces are set to start in November. The core team and task forces will deliver the plan at the April 9 Board of Education meeting.

During the process, the district will hold a number of discussion sessions for the community, families, staff and students.

These are called cafés and provide an opportunity for various groups to discuss interests and needs as well as respond to survey data that is being collected district-wide.

Staff has recently participated in the School Performance Scan; students completed the Student Voice. This fall, the community will have an opportunity to offer perspective through the Community/Family Engagement Survey, which will be available in late September.

Communication pledged

The district promises to maintain ongoing communication throughout this process.

Information will be available on the district website. Updates will be shared at monthly Board of Education meetings and groups including Home and School.

For more information on the process or becoming involved, contact Internal Facilitator Tammy Farrell at tfarrell@hannibalcsd.org or by phone at 564-7900, ext. 3004.

Superintendent Fountain added, “This is a turning point for our district. The strategic plan will set us on a positive trajectory to ensure that all students receive an outstanding education and graduate from Hannibal ready to take on the challenges of college or a chosen career.”

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