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MCS strategic plan to target technology, citizen involvement
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Thursday, December 13, 2012 10:00 AM
Madison Consolidated Schools has developed a framework for its five-year strategic plan that is heavily rooted in technology expansion and community involvement.
Superintendent Ginger Studebaker-Bolinger said at Wednesday's school board meeting - the final one of the year - that the idea was to present a flexible outline and then allow for additional community and in-school feedback.
"We want to hear every voice," she said. "We want to know what they want our school to look like."
Bolinger said she has visited every school but two to discuss the new direction with faculty. From the visits, the district developed a draft for the strategic plan that focuses on five key areas: student performance, community involvement, human capital, environment and local/global marketplace.
The plan aims to focus on data-driven decisions based on local, state and federal resources and assessments, personalized curriculum, alternative education, development of public relations and social media, expansion of advisement groups, pushing professional development through technology and expansion of science, technology, engineering and mathematics courses.
"We want it to be a working, living document," Director of Operations Mike Robinson said of the plan. "And that's what has been behind everything we've done so far."
Bolinger said she will bring the draft back to the board in February for approval. The plan has been uploaded to the district website, www.madison.in.k12.us, for viewing.
Also at the meeting, the board announced that the district needs more time to review its partnership with a local co-op that provides special education and related services.
The board approved a notice of intent to withdraw from the Special Services Unit, a move that would allow Madison to leave the program on June 30, 2014 if it chooses. Without the approval, the school would have been tied to SSU for the next four years.
The corporation has looked at withdrawing from SSU - a service it has used for 44 years - and creating its own program over the past few years. In that time, Madison has commissioned two different studies.
Bolinger said she has been reviewing the partnership since becoming superintendent. In the process, she said she has met with SSU and its board members and had "ongoing conversations" about overstaffing and personnel issues.
"I'm hoping that we can create a strong partnership," Bolinger said. "But I would like more time to study the situation."
In other business:
Carl Schaum, who was elected to the board in 2008, and Andy Lytle, who was elected in 2000, both served in their final meeting as school board members. Lytle decided to not seek re-election this year, while Schaum was defeated. Lee Ann Imel and Joyce Imel will replace the two in 2013.
Lytle and Schaum were honored during the meeting for their service to the corporation.
Wednesday also marked the final meeting for corporation attorney Darrell Auxier, who is leaving. He recently was elected judge of Jefferson County Circuit Court. Auxier has served as the board's attorney since 1983, and his firm - now Jenner, Pattison, Hensley & Wynn - has represented the board since 1979.
The board approved a one-year contract with Jenner, Pattison, Hensley & Wynn for legal services. Mark Wynn will be the school's new attorney. His rate will be $75 an hour, the same rate Auxier received.
The board gave a certificate of recognition to Technology Director Lisa Cutshall, who was recently named the 2012 Technology Coordinator of the Year by Hoosier Education Computer Coordinators. The organization honors one individual in K-12 education each year.
Lydia Middleton Elementary School fourth- and fifth-graders who participated in the Intermediate Spell Bowl last month were honored. Lydia Middleton Elementary was the winning team of the competition, which featured at least one team from each district elementary school.
Before the meeting, the Madison Consolidated High School Choral group sang holiday tunes for the board. The group will host the 75th annual Ohio Valley Choral Festival next year on Feb. 28 at 7:30 p.m. Eight choir groups will participate in the event.
Robinson said the bidding documents and plans for the pool renovation project will be available next week. He also reported that the architects have identified several areas that could be subject to alternative bidding in order to cut project costs. The renovation was approved earlier this year at about $2 million.
Robinson said because of repairs to the HVAC system at E.O. Muncie Elementary School, the school's natural gas usage has gone down significantly. However, with the decrease in usage, the rates will rise slightly because the school is no longer eligible for a high-usage discount. Even so, the school is saving money on utilities, Robinson said.
Robinson also reported that there has been forward movement on establishing a crosswalk from McDonald's to the high school. He said he spoke with Mayor Damon Welch and state officials, and added that he is optimistic that the project can become a reality.
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