The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, October 8, 1999


Strategic planning weekend results in new mission statement

At the September 28 Concord-Carlisle High School Regional School Committee meeting, thanks went to all the teachers, administrators and community members who participated in the Strategic Planning Weekend. RSC member Lauren Walters described the event held at Middlesex School as a marathon "30 hours of productive conversations regarding a range of issues."

In a telephone interview, Concord resident Betsey Bilodeau, who attended the meetings on September 24-26, explained the goals of the group. Working with a professional consultant, they developed a strategic plan for the Concord School system, including the high school, just as a successful business might do.The points of the plan were to define, as follows:

· beliefs as a system

· a mission statement

· strategic objectives

· strategies to achieve objectives, based on the formation of action committees to address each strategic objective

After this process, the goal is to come up with committees that will recommend strategies to the superintendent. These people, Bilodeau explained, should be different from those who attended the Strategic Planning Weekend. To this end, she encouraged anyone interested in serving on a committee to get in touch with the superintendent.

The areas of study fall into five categories. The first regards curriculum, priorities and revision. The second area is time, including issues of when school should start and end, vacations, etc. The third area is communications between the school and community at large, which Bilodeau emphasized as one of the most vital elements of the project. The fourth area is funding, including the search for traditional and non-traditional sources. The fifth area includes how resources, both human and otherwise, can best be utilized in the community. As Bilodeau explained, "Everything the school system does should come within the goals of the mission, according to the outcome of the strategic planning weekend. This is what a strategic plan should achieve: to give a broad-based outline for a school system to follow."

Bilodeau added that the development of the strategic planning weekend "came straight from the new superintendent's office." When asked what may have spurred the need for the project, she included among several factors the great increase in high school enrollment in the near future, driven largely by an increase in Carlisle students. This, she said, was a large reason why Carlisle was included in the weekend.

Representing Carlisle at the strategic planning weekend were selectman Michael Fitzgerald, RSC member Cindy Nock, and parents Jean Ford-Webb, and Dave Watson.

1999 The Carlisle Mosquito