Reeds Spring School District approves five-year strategic plan

Published: Jun. 24, 2020 at 9:32 PM CDT
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A big plan for the small Reeds Spring school district. Wednesday, school officials outlined ways to better prepare students for college and careers, and identified ways to improve teachers' pay to help keep more of them from moving away.

"We created something that's not going to go on a book shelf, it's not going to go into a drawer, but it's going to directly impact our children," said Cody Hirschi, the district superintendent.

Teachers, parents and members of the community in Reeds Spring worked together to create the plan. It outlines six different focuses, each with its own action plan. Those focuses are:

-Early Childhood

-Student Well-Being

-Community Awareness and Engagement

-Academic Excellence

-High-Quality Employees

-College and Career Readiness

The first is early childhood education.

"We are at capacity in early childhood programs and our parents as teachers program needs to be expanded so we can connect with those families so immediately our community and out strategic planning team recognized that was a big area," Hirschi said.

The early-childhood education action plan also includes things like expanding preschool for children ages three to five and building a new facility that would house all early childhood programs.

Other focuses include academic excellence, student-well being and high- quality employees. One parent said that stood out the most to her.

"Just knowing that they're putting an emphasis on hiring and training and keeping quality staff all the way across the district," said parent Lisa Boyd, who also helped with the collaboration of people creating the plan.

The plan outlines priorities like developing competitive benefits and salary for teachers and administrators to create what they call a "world-class" school district.

"You have to have the best teachers, custodians, administrators, staff to be able to bring that kind of level of education to our children so it's been a top priority from the get go," Hirschi said.

Another parent said community awareness and engagement, and getting students ready for college and careers were important to her.

"Keeping the technical side of Gibson state of the art and first class in education so that children will be equipped for their future whether they want to go to college or to a technical school," said parent Amanda Rogers.

Rogers also helped with the collaboration of parents and teachers creating the strategic plan.

​In order to make all of this possible, the plan outlines a few funding options, like a proposed tax increase and bond issue in the future. But, the board did not set a date for putting those before voters.