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December 2000 / Long Range Planning

Question Mark
Ask the Superintendent: Long Range Planning
Superintendent's Column
Peninsula Clarion
D. Peterson

December 2000

As we enter into a new year, many of us think of goals and resolutions. The hope is that by planning and taking action, we will improve. The same applies to groups of people or institutions. Only by taking a comprehensive look once in a while at where we intend to go do we have a clear chance of turning thoughts and dreams into reality. In 1993, several local individuals from inside and outside of the traditional educational community gathered to write a strategic plan for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District. That plan has survived changes in administration, changes in Board of Education members, and changes in our community. Each year the plan has been reviewed, updated, and revised as necessary. Now it is time to step back again and write another long range plan to guide the school district into the new millennium.

The efforts began this fall and current evolutions of the material are available on line at http://kpbsd.k12.ak.us under Long Range Planning. Anyone and everyone are invited to comment as sections are developed. So far, the work done in 1993 on this mission statement has stood the test of time and therefore no change to the mission statement is recommended. A vision statement has been added that states, “All KPBSD students will reach their highest personal potential.” The terminology of “belief statements” in the 1993 plan has been changed to “guiding principles” and these have been tweaked to reflect the latest knowledge of educational best practices.

The real work is ahead of us as we begin to determine the actions that will bring the two goals to life:

  1. KPBSD will employ high quality, research-based programs and practices to assist each student in reaching his/her highest personal potential, and
  2. KPBSD will exhibit high quality in all programs, personnel, facilities, relationships, and partnerships.

After reviewing the material that has been developed so far with individual school site councils, one representative from each will come together on January 25-26 as “people of goodwill” to determine specific needs, resources, leadership, and evaluations for the various sections of the plan. Representatives of business have also been invited to attend. Others who wish to have input are urged to attend their site council meetings or comment on line or in writing directly to the Superintendent’s office at 148 N. Binkley, Soldotna 99669.

By March 1, it is hoped that the planning team will have a long range planning document ready to present to the public for final comment through regional meetings. Applications for federal and state grants require this planning process but the reasons for writing it go far beyond a “hoop” for funding. We know that in order to be effective, the long range plan must be:

  • Relevant to the needs of all the schools in the district
  • Practical because it will be used by administrators and staff
  • Valued by the entire community

Once developed, the Kenai Peninsula Board of Education will take final action on the long range plan. Though technically completed at that point, it is understood that the long range plan is intended to be a living document that is used throughout the district focusing our limited resources and energy on accomplishing the vision and mission for student achievement.

As we enter the 21st century, our forty schools across the peninsula have a great deal of work to do in adapting curriculum and instruction to help more students achieve higher academic standards than have ever been expected before. The KPBSD’s commitment to serving the public is our resolution to provide continuous improvement with high expectations under the guidance of the entire educational community. Your comments and thoughts throughout this process are encouraged, expected, and valued.


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