FAIR OAKS — The North Newton School Board and all district administrators met at the Farmhouse Restaurant on February 28, 2020 to engage in rich dialog and planning concerning the North Newton School Corporation’s strategic plan for the next five to ten years. Those in attendance included school board members Michael Russell, Paul Sheldon, Patricia Reyes, Diane Gonczy, John Haas, Kevin Rainford and Tiffany Fox; school superintendent Dr. Cathy Rowe; principals Rod Coffing, Kristen Hankins, Christine Lawbaugh and Jennifer Neal; and consultant Ryan Snoddy from Administrator Assistance.
The planning group reviewed the most recent strategic plan in addition to reports on historical enrollment and funding impacts on the district and preliminary facility reviews conducted earlier in the school year, along with a current K-12 data and program review conducted by Performance Services. Through this strategic planning work, discussions were held with the group to review previous studies, review the current vision for the school corporation, develop aligned mission statements, examine strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, and begin work on an implementation plan for the district.
Each building principal provided insight into goals, challenges and vision for their respective buildings, and highlighted the path they envision for their school and students.
The North Newton School Corporation has utilized the Engage, Educate, and Empower brand since 2015 and it was evident that the board and administration supported the branding. Discussion centered around the need to revise the vision.
Small groups worked to develop the vision for the district to “North Newton Community Schools will engage, educate and empower students for an ever-changing world”. Much discussion centered around the importance of ensuring that all North Newton students are prepared for the world they enter that may not even yet be conceived. Effective and proficient use of all technology, working cooperatively with one another, complex problem-solving and embracing a world view and perspective are but a few of the discussion items mentioned.
In order to meet the needs of the 21st century learners and equip students with the skills required to enter today’s workforce and pursue post-secondary education, a revision of the Engage, Educate and Empower (EEE) was deemed necessary. The planning group redefined and infused Rigor, Relevance and Relationships into the EEE model.
- Engage/Relevance: We seek to engage all stakeholders in relevance for preparing students for their future world.
- Educate/Rigor: We seek to educate with rigor through creating curiosity, challenging thinking, and having high expectations to provide rewarding learning for all.
- Empower/Relationships: We seek to foster positive relationships in order to empower students to become self-directed learners and contributing, responsible citizens.