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Coal City school district setting new goals

Published: Thursday, July 10, 2014 8:25 p.m. CST

COAL CITY – Superintendent Kent Bugg and the Coal City school board have set a goal to develop a new strategic plan and timeline.

The Coal City Community Unit School District met Wednesday where Bugg told the board he would like to see the board work with administration on a strategic planning session to develop a new plan with specific timelines to give guidance toward finishing some goals that were started or discussed, but never implemented.

“During my first six years as the superintendent of District 1, our organization made significant organizational improvements,” Bugg told the board Wednesday. “These continuous improvement efforts resulted in rapid improvement in standardized test scores, significantly enhanced facilities, and improvements to the academic and extracurricular opportunities we offer our students.”

He said the district has accomplished those improvements while remaining in a positive fiscal position.

But in the past two years, Bugg said the district has become more reactive than proactive because of several state mandates, such as Common Core and the Performance Evaluation Reform Act.

He presented the board with 10 of the 16 items that have been initiated or discussed and not acted upon, but told them he was open to amending the list based on their ideas at the strategic planning session.

The 10 items listed are standards-based grading, expansion of the preschool program, self-contained fifth-grade, expansion of the community use of the high school auditorium, budgeting philosophy, food service menu offerings, services for low-income families, teacher evaluation and student performance data, process for evaluating programs and review of the district technology initiative.

“I want to make sure the board understands they set the compass, we make sure it happens,” Bugg said. “If you have anything you want to add, please let us know.”

Board Vice President Shawn Hamilton said he was afraid three weeks may be too soon to start addressing the list.

“That’s why we’ve given you the list now,” Board President Ken Miller said.

Hamilton asked the administration to put together timelines for the items so the board can see how long each would take to complete, and warned that some of the items on the list, such as help to low income families, may be beyond their control.

“I like starting the school year by setting a vision for the year,” Bugg said. “If I know the direction the board wants, I can focus on that.”

The board is scheduled to meet July 29 to discuss the items and start working toward a strategic plan.

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