News Feature

Originally published in The Weekly Packet, May 18, 2017
Brooksville moves ahead with survey results
Plan for new mission and visions statement

by Monique Labbe

Data compilation from a survey regarding the future of Brooksville Elementary School’s mission and visions statement is close to being ready for the next stage of use, according to Union 93 Superintendent Mark Hurvitt.

Hurvitt said that Mary Jane McCallum, who was hired in the fall as a consultant to make the mission and visions statement more in line with the current school environment, has been working with a steering committee to narrow the survey data.

Currently, the data have been grouped by survey themes, including what is working well for the students, what is not, what the greatest hopes for education at the school are moving forward, greatest fears for the future, what characteristics, skills and knowledge the students should come out of the school with and what the overall experience at the school should be like.

“[McCallum] is really doing a great job for us,” Hurvitt said to the Brooksville School Board during a May 1 meeting. “I think we’ll be at a point in June that we can really start getting into all the data and see what works and fits.”

The survey yielded submissions from 121 parties, with 69 of them being completed online.

“If you think about it that’s a pretty good amount since there are only about 59 kids,” said principal Cammie Lepper.

Two of the things people said were working well are that the staff is dedicated and effective, and that the small class sizes are beneficial. People said there is a variety of enrichment and extracurricular programs inside and outside the school, and that the school climate is positive, respectful and personalized.

Some things not working well, according to the survey results, are insufficient communication with parents and community, and a lack of teamwork between some of the staff. Also noted was a lack of board transparency and openness and poor decision making, which is something the board has addressed in the past as something members will continue to work at.

Some of the greatest hopes for the future at the school are more activity-based, hands-on community-based learning and a well-rounded curriculum, which would include STEM, physical education, civics studies, life skills and outdoor learning programs.

Some fears regarding the school’s future are that there would be missed opportunities for revitalization by uninterested staff, school board members, parents and community members, and that the students would not be prepared for high school and beyond.

“We’ve got some really good data here,” said Hurvitt. “I think we have a lot to work with going forward, it’s very positive.”