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DCS to host first public meeting on strategic plan

The Demopolis City Schools will be hosting the first in a series of five public meetings aimed at gathering public input to be used in developing the system’s latest five-year strategic plan. The meeting will be held Tuesday, May 10, from 10 to 11 a.m., at the Board of Education Building.
According to Superintendent Kyle Kallhoff, the five-year strategic plan will guide the school system over the coming years, which is the reason he and the school board are asking for community involvement.
“The strategic plan is a citizen-driven plan. In my opinion, in order for it to be done correctly, we need to have these meetings and get as much public input as possible. Hopefully, over the course of our five planned meetings, we will hear some of the same things and know the issues that are important to the community. With that, we will develop a plan that will become our road map in reaching our goals,” Kallhoff said.
With the current system’s five-year plan set to expire at the end of 2016, the superintendent said these meetings provide residents an opportunity to be involved in the future of the school system.
“Community involvement is extremely important to this process,” Kallhoff said. “When we are finished we will have established goals for our schools for the next five years and every decision we make will be tied back to whether it moves us forward in achieving those goals. Every voice counts and needs to be heard.”
The meetings will begin with a presentation defining the plan with insights into the current state of the school system.
Kallhoff said four points of discussion will lead the conversation. The first of those is the purpose and direction of the school systems as it relates to shared values, communication with stakeholders, student learning support, and providing challenging and relevant education programs.
The second area will have to do with governance and leadership, including facility management, financial management, day-to-day operations management, and providing qualified administrators, teachers and staff.
Another top sill involve teaching and assessing for student learning, which includes curriculum development, ongoing student assessment, student and family engagement, professional development, and teacher mentoring and coaching.
Also to be discussed is the topic of student support systems, such as providing a safe and healthy environment as well as technology and equipment.
Those who attend the meetings will be broken into small groups to discuss those topics. There will be forms available to fill out that can be left at the conclusion of the meeting or dropped off at the administrative office.
“At the conclusion of these meetings we will put all of the information gathered on the table and find the common items that are most important to the community,” Kallhoff said. “This tells us what people want for their schools and will be the basis of our strategic plan.”
For those unable to attend Tuesday’s meeting, future meetings will be held on May 17, 6-7 p.m., at the First United Methodist Church; May 19, 6-7 p.m., at the Demopolis High School cafeteria; May 24, 6-7 p.m., at Christian Chapel Church; and May 31, 6-7 p.m. at St. Paul Church.