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Avon school board nears approval of district improvement plan

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AVON — The Avon Schools Board of Education is reviewing the district’s continuous improvement plan, finalizing key tasks and goals the district hopes to meet in the next three years.

The board was scheduled to approve the plan Tuesday night, but decided to take another month to review it — although Superintendent Mike Laub said he expects it to be approved at the board’s September meeting.

“The board was part of the development team, so I think the only reason we haven’t passed it yet is it’s a three-year plan and it’s really kind of a thick document,” he said. “It’s just taken a lot of time and energy to get it to where we have it today, and I think the board just wants the chance to give it one more look-over to see if there’s anything that sticks out to them.”

Work on the plan began in the spring, with several brainstorming sessions held for faculty, staff, board members and parents. Out of those meetings came the current plan’s three sections — Curriculum and Staff Development, Culture and Communication, and Capital Assets and Security — as well as the tasks within them.

“I think, for the most part, anyone who came and gave their input, their idea was incorporated in some way into the plan,” Laub explained. “And it may not be specifically stated in a task, but it falls under the umbrella of exploring something that we’re doing.”

Under Curriculum and Staff Development, he said the district will look to continue to integrate technology into the classroom, along with provide staff professional development opportunities in the areas that interest them.

“I think our teachers do a great job right now of integrating technology, but we want to continue to enhance what that looks like and bring those 21st-century skills to the forefront for our kids,” he said. “So I think a lot of the things that have in our continuous improvement plan go down the road of tech.”

Under Culture and Communication, he said, the district plans to send out surveys this winter to parents and students. Laub said culture, which encompasses how parents, students, staff and the community feel about the district, is at a high, but the district is looking to improve. While the district has sent out family surveys in the past, this year will be the first time it sends surveys to students. Laub said these surveys should be available online and take about 10 to 15 minutes to complete.

“Right now I think that it’s in a really good place, but we need to continue to make that a focus area so that it continues to be a great place to work and a great place for kids and families to engage us in the education process,” he said.

The district is exploring its options for renovations, additions and other improvements under Capital Assets and Security, and will be adding additional security cameras to Heritage Elementary and the Early Learning Center.

As the plan covers the district until 2021, parents may not see changes immediately. Laub said many of the items listed will be studied this school year, in the hopes of implementing them next year — but some items, like professional development, will be visible “right off the bat.”

Like the district’s previous plans, it will be audited twice a year.

“It’s a living, breathing document, it’s a starting point for us,” Laub said. “We don’t always know what the state of Ohio’s going to throw our way, we also don’t always know some of the new things that may happen within the next three years, so we leave the door open so we can make some of those changes if we need to. But really, substantively, the plan is going to not be altered very much.”

While Avon Schools are in a good place, Laub said, the point of the continuous improvement plan is to keep the district moving forward.

“I’ve had some people ask me, ‘Why do you have this plan, there’s a lot of great things going on?’” he said. “Well, I think there’s a lot of great things going on because we have a plan and we’re committed to not only the X’s and O’s of education, but we’re committed to our kids and our families and our culture because without those things, the other things really wouldn’t happen as well as they do.”

The next Avon Board of Education meeting is at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 17 at the Board of Education Office, 36600 Detroit Road. Once the plan is approved, Laub said it will be available on the district’s website.

Contact Carissa Woytach at (440) 329-7245 or cwoytach@chroniclet.com.


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