Woodside School seeks community input for its new strategic plan | March 7, 2012 | Almanac | Almanac Online |


Schools - March 7, 2012

Woodside School seeks community input for its new strategic plan

by Renee Batti

Woodside Elementary School consistently scores high in academic testing, and has a curriculum rich in programs that many of the state's school districts have had to jettison because of budget cuts. But there's always room for improvement.

Beginning this month, the one-school Woodside Elementary School District will hold a series of meetings to gather ideas from parents, staff, students and members of the community about the direction they'd like to see the district go in.

The first step for people interested in participating is an online survey, available until March 12. "This is a quick survey with open-ended questions about your hopes and dreams for the future of the school," according to a flier distributed by the district.

The survey and meetings are the lead-up to the creation of a five-year, comprehensive strategic plan for teaching and learning at the K-8 school, said Superintendent Beth Polito, who also is the school's principal.

The survey can be taken by going to the district website,, by Monday, March 12. There are also copies available in the school office. On Friday, March 9, interested participants can drop by the district office during student pickup and drop-off hours for coffee and a laptop on which to take the survey.

Focus group meetings designed to encourage parents and the community to share and brainstorm ideas are scheduled for Thursday, March 15, at 6:30 p.m.; and Friday, March 16, at 8:30 a.m. Both meetings are in the school's Wildcat Room.

Middle school students also will participate in a focus group, Superintendent Polito said.

There will be "refinement" sessions at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 26; and Friday, April 27, at 8:30 a.m. At these meetings, the district will present an overview of the survey findings, and gather more specific input on themes identified during the process to date, according to the flier.

Ms. Polito said the information and comments gathered throughout the process will help the school board and staff develop an effective strategic plan to improve the school program over the next five years.

To spearhead the process, the district has hired a consultant and formed a 10-member task force that includes Ms. Polito, school board members Rudy Driscoll and Kevin Johnson, teachers and parents.

Questions and ideas regarding the process can be directed to the task force by emailing


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