March 14, 2014

posted Mar 14, 2014, 8:15 AM by Suzanne WARDINI   [ updated Mar 14, 2014, 8:57 AM ]
Thank You for Participating in Student / Parent / Teacher Conferences!!
We have had a wonderful turn-out of parents participating in our Parent / Teacher Conferences, and, in Elementary, our Student / Parent Conferences.  Teachers and students really appreciate the chance to share the accomplishments and concerns that can be discussed, sorted, and celebrated with parents at these conferences.  Your parental support gives your children a boost in their self-esteem and their sense of accomplishment at school.  

I always love to see our young elementary students sharing their portfolios of work with their parents, explaining what they have been studying and demonstrating their skills, whether these be in writing, reading aloud, displaying art work, operating a science project, or playing a Power Point slide show about a topic of personal interest.  It is truly amazing what our children are learning to do in school, and well worth celebrating with them!

ID Badge Update
ID badges continue to be processed for parents and caregivers and I appreciate everyone's diligence in getting this done on schedule. The Board of Trustees will be voting on the Visitor and Guest policy at the next Board Meeting on April 10th. Once approved, the Visitor and Guest policy, along with the revised Community Use Guidelines will be distributed to the ISD community. While many of you are already wearing your ID badges, it will become a requirement for all adults to enter school grounds by the end of April.

Thank you for supporting this new security procedure to increase the safety and welfare of our ISD community. 

Strategic Planning
In my article on the upcoming Strategic Planning process for ISD that was published on March 7, 2014, I extended an invitation to parents to join the steering committee, which will meet for the first time in late April. I am re-publishing it this week as I continue to seek parent participants.

In the coming months we will be embarking on the development of a new Strategic Plan that will select several key areas for the development of ISD in the next 5 years.  The last Strategic Plan engendered significant growth in the school’s program and facilities, the most evident being our new Middle School and High School building, along with a very impressive IT program and infrastructure. 

We will begin the process in April, when a Steering Committee for Strategic Planning will convene during Dr. Alan Knobloch’s transition visit to campus.  The first session will include an overview of the process, a review of the school’s mission statement, analysis of the results of the most recent annual survey, analysis and discussion the school’s strengths and weaknesses, and the generation of an initial list of potential strategic topics.  In September, the Steering Committee will convene for several intensive sessions to select 5 – 7 strategic goals, and between sessions in October, sub-committees will gather information through focus groups and research to develop the language and timelines for the goals.  It is expected that the final draft of the Strategic Plan 2015 – 2020 will be complete and ready for Board approval by November 2014. 

The first session in April will take place in the evening for about 3 hours.   Later sessions, in a retreat format, will require about 1 and a half days during a couple of weekends.  The Steering Committee will be composed of representatives from student council, faculty members, administrators, parents and board members.  It is expected the working group will comprise about 25 participants who will be selected based on representation of groups, previous experience with strategic planning and other areas of expertise.  In order to provide continuity between this year and next year, members will be expected to be able to commit through the fall of next school year.  Ideally some members will continue with the Steering Committee for a period of several annual reviews of progress on the Strategic Plan. 

I invite parents who are interested in being considered for appointment to the Steering Committee to contact me by email at   Experience and expertise in strategic planning, futuristic visionary thinking, building design, technology, 21st Century education, student achievement and student life will all be desirable attributes.  Please include a listing of the attributes you can contribute to the Steering Committee.