Superintendent unveils beginning phases of strategic plan for Vigo County Schools

Growth seems to be the focus of Superintendent Rob Haworth's strategic plan.

Posted: Aug. 20, 2018 11:01 PM

VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - It may seem farfetched now, but Vigo County's youngest learners will be high school graduates by 2031.

"What will we have them accomplish, what would we have offered them to make them ready to go out into a work world," said Board President Jackie Lower.

Thoughts are on the future following Monday night's school board meeting. Lower was among several learning about a new vision for Vigo County.

"I'm a Hautian," said Lower, "and I want Terre Haute to be successful and to grow, and we've got to be able to advertise our growth."

Growth seems to be the focus of Superintendent Rob Haworth's strategic plan. He unveiled the beginning phases to board members during Monday's meeting.

"Being the new guy in town, and only had my furniture arrive last week, I think our thought process is how do we engage and make sure that our process develops a dollar amount that makes sense to our community," said Haworth.

Haworth said the focus of the plan is to create a process that engages the community.

During his presentation, Haworth said the plan includes three goals. One includes developing a strategy for a decision making process that will secure a strong future for the school corporation and the community.

Another goal is to develop a generational facilities plan, while the third is to conduct a planning process that is highly collaborative.

Haworth's plan will also look into ways to tackle issues like teacher shortages, school safety, and aging buildings.

"Involving both our programming and operational sides will ultimately include construction projects," he said, "Not only for the high schools but what are the renovations, construction, capital projects for all 23 of our buildings."

Haworth's plan will also focus in on community collaboration when it comes to moving forward and future projects. Presentation slides included plans for community and parent surveys, as well as roundtable meetings regarding businesses, not-for-profits, and faith-based communities.

The need for more community involvement is one that Lower said she's seen firsthand.

"We've got to have the community give us their opinions and not hesitate to give their opinions and what they think," she said, "Because they've got as many good ideas, and as being parents or grandparents or just members of the community, they're going to see it from a different perspective, maybe, than we do. So it's important that we hear from them."

While the strategic planning process is in the beginning stages, Lower said she's looking forward to the direction it's headed in as it will ultimately help shape the future of the county, as well as its schools.

"There will be questions and there should be," she said, "It's a major investment, time investment, energy investment, money investment, but it's an investment in the future."

Haworth said he hopes to have the vision of the strategic plan put in place by July 2019, that's following approval from the board.

Following Monday's meeting, Lower said it seems Haworth has it under control.

"He's got the specifics in his mind right now, he's had experience with this before and has been successful," she said, "So we're just hoping that he's going be able to bring some of those strategic plans to our community and to the board. After our discussion, we can decide which direction we're going to go."

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