DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

October 31, 2013

Derry School Board looks forward

By Julie Huss
jhuss@derrynews.com

---- — DERRY — The new year is underway and School Board members are thinking about the district’s accomplishments and what lies ahead.

The district has a strategic plan in place with three main goals listed, the final product of a year-long process to identify what the schools need and where the district should be heading.

Focus groups made up of community members, administration, teachers, parents and town officials worked on strategic planning following community surveys. Groups then met in workshops to come up with a final document.

Superintendent Laura Nelson gave an update to board members at a meeting Oct. 22. She said having the strategic plan in place will help the district keep up with all the goals and will offer a road map of how to move forward in meeting those goals.

Derry’s strategic plan includes three key items dealing with providing all students will top education through technology, quality teachers and a rigorous curriculum; providing a safe learning environment to promote that learning through well-maintained facilities and strong relationships with parents and community; and increasing community involvement between school, home, local businesses and organizations.

Subgroups under each main goal category include a focus on safety, making sure infrastructure is in place, environmental stewardship and making sure all ages of students receive a top quality education from preschool up to high school. Nelson said school administration will also provide quarterly update information on how each school is faring as to the specific goals in the strategic plan.

“This will tell us what we’ve really done and where we are at,” Nelson said. “Where we are in terms of meeting our goals.”

Board Chairman Brenda Willis said creating a strategic plan was a lot of work. She also appreciated the level of everyone working together.

“It’s been a long time coming but it’s a good document,” she said. “Everybody is on the bus making it go together.”