Education has become complex and challenging over the years with programs such as No Child Left Behind and today's standard of measurement, Common Core, which is a set of tools and curriculum that advocates a comprehensive liberal arts education for all children.
At the state level, schools like School of the Osage are deeply involved in the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's Annual Performance Report. In fact, School of the Osage recently tied for seventh statewide in the most recent APR with a score of 97.5.
On the local level, administrators and board members have formed an Osage Learning Community professional development concept by coordinating several training opportunities for staff.
Part of the success of the district lies in strategic planning, and the board of education and administration have crafted a set of goals for a five-year strategic plan based on the Baldrige model for performance excellence.
During the 2012-13 school year, the district established groundwork through a self-assessment and focus groups. At a Board of Education retreat last July, several goals were identified, each with a set of objectives.
The goals include:
•Faculty and staff focus
Starting in early September, faculty and staff formed action teams for each of the goals. In addition, a team was formed to work on ways to measure actions taken by the goal teams.
During the first meeting, the Missouri Excellence Foundation presented materials and led a brainstorming session on how to meet the objectives. One of the concerns raised by team members was a need for additional information.
As a result, there will be an instructional technology study presentation Sept. 24, there will be an additional study session for the Student Excellence team, it was decided to use a Harvard research study (Pathways to Prosperity), and the district recently became a member of the National School Public Relations Association which offers several resources.
The action teams have continued to meet to categorize and prioritize ideas, and will learn how to navigate the web-based application hosted by the Excellence in Missouri Foundation. As ideas from each of the teams are identified, team members will be able to see how teams are looking at the same concept from multiple angles.
For example, the Systems Team has discussed College and Career Readiness; the Stakeholder Team has discussed strategic community partnerships around the CCR clusters; and the Student Excellence team has discussed ways to ensure and expand student access to real-life job and career experiences.
Page 2 of 2 - Dr. Laura Nelson, assistant superintendent, said there are 60 School of the Osage staff and faculty involved in the Strategic Planning process.
"We believe that using this approach to strategy development will help the district ensure we are excellent stewards of community resources as well as being prepared for the future," she said.