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News Feature

Deer Isle
Originally published in Island Ad-Vantages, January 10, 2013
DIS school board discusses school safety, strategic plan timetable

Deer Isle-Stonington CSD Archive
Click here to see the full Deer Isle-Stonington CSD Archive.

by Jessica Brophy

At the monthly CSD school board meeting on January 2, the board responded to the public forum on school safety preceding the meeting (see story, page 1).

Board member Stephen York stressed the importance of keeping the issue of school safety on the agenda, or continuing to hold public forums on the issue. “This is an outstanding response,” said York of the more than 20 people who had gathered for the public forum.

Board member Vicki Zelnick agreed it was important to continue the conversation, and to keep the public up-to-date on any safety changes at the schools. “Now is the time to do it, while it’s foremost in our minds,” said Zelnick.

“We have to keep doing the best we can and plug the gaps that we can,” said board member Linda Nelson.

Elementary School Principal Mike Benjamin said he was planning on meeting with law enforcement to discuss safety protocol at the school. Board member Skip Greenlaw suggested involving the local fire departments and ambulance corps in that discussion.

Benjamin also praised teacher Sally Foley, who researched a new type of classroom door lock which would be more secure.

The board also heard from Superintendent Mark Jenkins about the revised timetable for the school system’s five-year strategic plan. The strategic plan process was put on hold for several months as a new superintendent was hired and the transition completed.

In a follow-up phone interview, Jenkins said he plans to reconvene the strategic plan committee later this month, with the goal of establishing a five- or six-month timeline to complete the plan. His goal is to take the substantial work already done by the committee further by establishing defined outcomes—yardsticks by which to measure the goals of the strategic plan. Incorporating measurable action steps, which Jenkins said he plans to revisit annually, the strategic plan will function as a “living document.”

The last strategic plan, and the draft of the proposed strategic plan, did not include these action steps with measurable outcomes.

Jenkins said his goal is to have the strategic plan in place prior to the 2013-14 school year.

The board next meets on Tuesday, February 5, at the high school at 5:30 p.m.