The Katonah Lewisboro administration proposed three goals for the board of education's consideration for the upcoming school year, with the top priorty to develop a long-range educational plan by January 2011.
"The date is important to the administration because soon thereafter we will be having budget meetings," said Robert Roelle, superintendent of schools.
Proposals adopted in the long range plan will shape the budget, he added.
To achieve that goal, the administration and school board will host public forums on a monthly basis this year, for parents and community members to discuss potential components of the plan.
The long range plan (posted with this story) was first presented to the board of education in September 2009 as a way to rethink the way the district prepares students for for their futures. The plan aims to raise standards through a more rigorous curriculum, alternative assessments and a richer technology experience for students, among other other initatives.
Board member Janet Harckham praised the goal. "The long-range plan is key to our accomplishments," she said.
The second goal proposed was to adopt a fiscally responsible budget for the 2011-2012 school year—a challenging goal given the two budget votes this year, said Roelle.
"We will begin conversations in August and by October 28 will host two public forums to seek out good representation from the community to get a good sampling of feedback of very specific topics," he said.
By seeking input upfront, the school board could get a better idea of what the community wants, and provide specific direction to the administration as they develop the budget, he added.
The third goal related to the recruitment and retention of professional staff, and clarifying guidelines for performance appraisals and tenure considerations, including the role of parents and the school board in the process.
The proposed goals were developed with input from the district-wide parent council, the administration and the board of education. They are expected to be adopted by the board of education by the start of the school year.