PCS entering final stages of strategic planning

PCS is working to  have a strategic plan in place to start 2015, school officials confirmed. (Contributed)

PCS is working to have a strategic plan in place to start 2015, school officials confirmed. (Contributed)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

PELHAM—With the school year underway, the Pelham City School System is entering the final stages of the strategic planning process. The School System aims to have a strategic plan approved at the beginning of 2015, PCS Superintendent Dr. Scott Coefield confirmed.

The strategic plan will be more than just a plan for the future of PCS, Coefield explained. It will be a framework and guide for the School System’s operations, decision-making and budgeting.

“I’m not a big believer in five-year plans… I want (the strategic plan) to be a living, breathing document,” Coefield said. “It’s really a framework to guide future decisions.”

The plan will be drafted by six specifically-focused committees: Safety, curriculum and technology, staffing and “great educators,” extracurricular, facilities and community support and planning.

Each committee will consist of between eight and 15 members, including at least one representative from each school, parents and students. Board of Education members will also be invited to participate, Coefield explained.

The committees will build a “dream list” of what they would like to see at PCS and conduct a “cost-benefit analysis” to determine and direct spending in each area, Coefield explained.

The community data gathered during the May 1 community forum and the online surveys, which were available to the public from May 2 to May 22, will also play an important role in the strategic planning process. The committees will use the 813 total responses to determine “essential strands” and identify strengths and areas of opportunity for improvement in the School System, Coefield explained.

“It is part strategic plan, part operational manual, part budget,” Coefield said.

Coefield held a meeting with teachers regarding the planning process on Sept. 2, and the School System will put together the six committees in September and October, Coefield explained.

“We’re designing how we’re going to get people onto these committees,” Coefield said.

Planning will begin in October and November and Coefield said he hopes to see a draft ready for the Board of Education to review in December with a “plan in place” going into 2015.