Comprehensive plan revamped to guide school goals

FRONT ROYAL – The Warren County School Board has formally set the district’s future priorities by approving the district’s Comprehensive Long Range Plan for years 2016 through 2021.

A committee of school administration, parents and community members met a number of times throughout the spring to discuss the new plan. School districts are required to create a plan by the Virginia Standards of Quality. This new plan replaces one for 2010 through 2015.

Assistant Superintendent for Administration Melody Sheppard said that committee members ended up revising the entire 2010-2015 plan and changed the plan’s format. She said the new plan’s objectives reflect responses to Superintendent Greg Drescher’s community feedback survey last year.

“There are some objectives that are the same, but we actually went through and looked at each objective,” she said.

Warren schools have reached some objectives from the old plan, so Sheppard said those were taken out. She said the committee revamped the instruction part of the plan entirely, updated the technology portion and made changes to almost every section.

The first measurable objective in the current plan’s technology section is to provide every student with a computing device – the “1:1 ratio” that many Virginia schools have reached. Division wide, the plan states that Warren County aims to provide devices to middle school students by the 2017-2018 year, ninth and 10th grade students by the 2018-2019 year and 11th and 12th grade students by the 2019-2020 year.

Other objectives include increasing the number of students taking Advanced Placement exams and dual enrollment classes, establishing an education plan for each student starting in seventh grade and keeping daily school attendance at or above 95 percent.

Sheppard said appendices showing priorities in the Capital Improvements Plan from 2016 to 2021 and a school enrollment timeline are also new. The Capital Improvements Plan details large scale renovation and building projects at various schools through 2021 and beyond. The enrollment timeline shows that the district expects enrollment numbers to gradually increase from 5,366 students this school year to 5,440 students by 2025.

To measure how the district is working toward the listed objectives, Sheppard said the School Board will review staff evaluations in 2017. Some objectives warrant annual review, while others – like the 1:1 ratio – are goals that will take multiple steps over multiple years.

“Whenever we go to the School Board in the fall of 2017 … each of the department chairs will be doing the evaluation, looking at the goals, looking at our data to see where we were, where we are,” she said.

The Warran County Public Schools Comprehensive Long Range Plan is viewable online at http://tinyurl.com/gn324f4.

Contact staff writer Rachel Mahoney at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rmahoney@nvdaily.com