August 31, 2015

RSU14 looks for community feedback with Strategic Plan survey - By Michelle Libby

Five years after the first strategic plan was created for the new Windham-Raymond RSU14, the district has created the opportunity for parents, students, educators, taxpayers and business owners to give feedback and direction. Out this week, the Strategic Plan survey has gone live online asking the community about the most important actions the school system has taken toward the school’s vision, what’s working well, what’s not working well, action steps to take in the future and the most important things you want learners to know and be able to do when they graduate from the school system. 
The strategic plan is a mission statement of sorts to help guide the district. It could be tweaked after the feedback comes in. “The strategic plan is the steps and strategies to get us to our vision,” Superintendent Sandy Prince said. “This is an opportunity to look at the data.” 

The planning committee consisting of 15 people from the schools, the school board, community members and parents. The data will go to them to review, which will be the next step. 

It is possible that the committee will bring the community together again to show them the information. It will then go to the school board to be adopted for the fall of 2016.

“The strategic plan is really important. There are a lot of forces coming at you. If you know where you’re going on your journey, it helps keep you focused on the path,” Prince said. “I really believe in this work.” 

The questions are deliberately left opened ended and vague. Prince didn’t want to lead anyone’s answers and suggested people write “Anything that come to their mind. They should answer the best they can,” he said. The survey covers education from kindergarten to adult and can include the vocational programs that students attend. He does hope to see how the vision was met over the last five years. “I’m really curious to get students, staff and the public’s ideas. Every so often is good to put the brakes on and listen to the good and bad things,” said Prince.

School begins next week. Prince will talk to his teachers about moments and how one never knows which moments will be the most important in a student’s life. He plans to celebrate teachers.

RSU14 schools are working toward a student centered learning proficiency model, where if one fast forwards in time, he would see students have the options of working on different types of projects. “Education is going to transform. We have to really think hard to engage students,” he said. The students will move at their own pace and not be confined to four walls. “Talk and chalk is just not working,” Prince said. 

The survey can be found online at, find copies at the town offices, libraries or can call 892-1800.

“We’re hoping to get very good information to see if people will inform us about our vision and next steps for the strategic plan,” said Prince.

The survey will only be available until October 10.

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