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A proposed five-year strategy is on the table for Dare Schools

A five-year strategic plan for Dare County Schools was presented to the system’s Board of Education, May 28, a specially called meeting.

An 18-month visioning process produced the report. Over 40 community meetings were held. Surveys for students and the community were conducted. School administrators and faculty were consulted.

“Every person has a story,” said Dare Schools Superintendent John Farrelly.

Student empathy interviews were conducted and Keith Parker, the digital communications cirector, showed a brief video of one of those empathy interviews.

The strategic plan lays out a new vision and mission for the school system, enumerates five core values and lists four district priorities with strategies and measures and metrics.

Johanna Parker, the district’s director of innovation, introduced the new vision and mission.

New vision: “Together we are building extraordinary schools.”

Existing vision: “Educate every child.”

New Mission: “Dare County Schools will empower every student to be an innovative problem solver and engaged global citizen.”

Old Mission: “All students will graduate on time, prepared for college, careers, and life.”

Five core values are listed in the plan, which says “Our core values set the tone for our district’s culture. These values shape our actions and lead us towards the path of achieving our vision. What we do is a reflection of our values.”

The core values are: every child matters; safe and joyous schools; collective greatness; innovation ignites excellence; and extraordinary people.

The plan spells out district priorities and includes strategies and metrics to weigh effectiveness. The priorities are:

– Healthy schools: “Our schools should first and foremost be physically and emotionally safe for all people.”

Strategies for this priority include: enhance school safety measures; increase mental health support; build resiliency; improve student attendance rates; and promote healthy lifestyle choices.

Metrics for this priority are updating and improving school safety plans; survey students, staff, and community members to assess school culture and climate; evaluate health and wellness resources; monitor school attendance rates and trends.

– Active learning: “Our goal is to provide all students with equitable access to an unparalleled educational experience that is grounded in high expectations, collaboration and self-efficacy.”

Strategies: develop an instructional framework; create pathways; support the creation of personalized learning environment; foster innovation; and promote global awareness.

Metrics: increase overall proficiency and subgroup data for all end-of-grade and end-of-course test areas; reduce achievement gaps; increase high school graduation rate; expand options for students to receive college credit; analyze career and technical education enrollment, credentialing and internship placement data.

– Talent development: “We believe that our greatest resource is our people.”

Strategies: foster a leadership pipeline; adapt recruiting methods to align with needs; provide professional growth; create valuable experiences for new staff; and design a profession learning system.

Metrics: analyze staff assessment of professional development opportunities and activities; evaluate teacher working conditions survey data; monitor teacher retention rates; utilize Education Value-Added Assessment System Teacher Effectiveness data; and track national board certification data.

– Community partnerships: “Dare County Schools has a rich history of partnerships with local organizations and businesses.”

Strategies:  collaboration among teachers, schools and community; align resources; invite community members into our schools; grow student internship and apprenticeship options; and expand our online presence through digital storytelling.

Metrics: analyze stakeholder survey data; utilize website and social media analytics; collect and study volunteerism and school visit attendance data; and track financial support data.

The end of the document reads: “By 2023 . . .

“All schools will achieve a North Carolina School Performance Grade of an A

“All schools will exceed growth as measured by North Carolina State Growth and Accountability Measures

“All students will graduate from high school”

Dare’s Board of Education will formally take up the plan at its next scheduled meeting, June 11 at Nags Head Elementary School. The meeting is scheduled to start at 5 p.m.

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