Shenandoah County Public Schools asking for citizen help

The Shenandoah County Public Schools wants citizens’ input as its administrators plan a road map of where the district wants to head for the next years.

“Participation is important as our public schools instructional program, and all that we strive for our children to be — in addition to meeting state and federal mandates, should be representative of the priorities of the community we serve,” Superintendent Mark Johnston said.

The goals of the current comprehensive  strategic plan, which expires at the end of the school year, are focused on student opportunity and achievement, effective communication, staff excellence and system efficiencies.

The division would like to obtain input from staff, citizens, business partners, business leaders, and people from institutions of higher education in the area, including Shenandoah University, Lord Fairfax Community College and James Madison University to help create the upcoming plan.

They would like to hear from the parents of students, classroom teachers and support staff on the division’s culture and from middle and high school teachers, representatives of higher education, healthcare and business professionals about the district’s career preparation of students.

Johnston likes the advancements he has seen with the current plan, such as achievements, and said some statements may be carried over but there are areas to improve.

Part of the ideals and policies laid out in the new plan will address Johnston’s goal of full accreditation for all the schools in the district, he said.

Hanover Research Associates, which essentially fills the role of a planning and evaluation department, will lead the forum as part of the district’s annual $40,000 membership.

Those interested in participating in the one time focus group can go to www.shenandoah.k12.va.us for more information or to volunteer. A survey will follow.

“The more input we have the more comprehensive the plan is and the more representative it is of the people we serve,” Johnston said.