6/28/14 Strategic plan maps common objectives
Approved earlier this month, put together by MCO Leadership Associates of High Point
By Michael D. Abernethy, The Times-News 6/28/14
Reprinted with permission.
The strategic plan the school board approved earlier this month doesn’t tell folks anything they didn’t already know.
Rather, it’s meant to zero in on common goals — high-quality instruction, well-maintained facilities, better teacher morale — and outline the steps needed to achieve them.
That’s what members of the Alamance-Burlington Board of Education said this week as they discussed the merits of that plan, adopted June 16.
The plan was put together by Melody Clodfelter of MCO Leadership Associates of High Point, who was hired by outgoing Superintendent Lillie Cox last October. Clodfelter met 27 times with teachers, principals and administrators, and drew on the Vision Plan for Public Education, which was created after a series of public meetings in 2012 and 2013.
The school system paid MCO Leadership about $45,000 for the plan, schools spokeswoman Jenny Faulkner told the Times-News last fall. Faulkner was unable to be reached Friday to confirm that amount. Board Chairman Tony Rose said the plan provides focus for school leaders and articulates that focus to the community. The plan shows taxpayers and Alamance County Commissioners the school system’s priorities, Rose said.
“I feel like we’ve achieved a plan that our whole community can embrace and everyone can find a part that they can (participate in),” Rose said. “We are just beginning to implement it. I think it’s going to be an exciting venture moving forward, seeing how we can embrace change and solve problems with the community’s help.”
Rose campaigned in 2010 on the schools’ need for a long-range plan. He said the plan ultimately will be the superintendent’s responsibility but that school board members will be able to keep tabs on how the plan is progressing.
Board member Jackie Cole agreed that it will be up to the new superintendent, as well as teachers and principals on the ground level, to ensure the plan’s six goals are met. She expressed concern that the system is embarking on the plan while the superintendent’s seat is in flux. Cox’s last day is Monday. She announced her resignation May 30, with board members split over the decision to accept that resignation.
“I still believe she was the right leader to lead this plan,” Cole said Friday. “I truly believe (this plan) is attainable, but right now I think members of this board have slowed this plan a little bit. … The board’s actions have put this plan at a disadvantage.”
Still, she said, the plan provides a foundation for improvement and can be adapted over time.
“I see it as a tool,” Cole said. “Is it the only thing that makes an organization or a school system successful? No, but it’s a valuable tool.”