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Last updated 1:48PM ET
December 14, 2017
KSUT Regional
KSUT Regional
Durango Schools Go Strategic
(2008-09-22)
(ksut) - HOST LEAD: Durango's 9R School District this week embarks a year long strategic planning process.
It's designed to insure the system is efficiently and economically
addressing educational needs of its nearly 4600 full time students.
You, the public, are being urged to participate.
KSUT'S Victor Locke reports.

OWEN: IT'S NOT MY PLAN, IT'S THE COMMUNITY, IT'S THE SCHOOL DISTRICTS PLAN.
VICTOR: Durango 9R superintendent Keith Owen finds himself immersed in a strategic planning process, 90-days after assuming his new job.
He says school board members inquired of his interest in developing a strategic plan.
It's an idea he supports.
OWEN: WHAT IT DOES IS IT HELPS SET PRIORITIES FOR THE SCHOOL DISTRICT AND THE COMMUNITY OF WHAT THE SCHOOL DISTRICT SHOULD LOOK LIKE OVER THE COURSE OF MAYBE THE NEXT THREE TO SIX YEARS.
In his prior job in Pueblo, Colorado, Owen underwent a similar strategic planning process.
He says 9R, with a nearly 40-million dollar per yer budget, is basically a well run school district.
However, one of the biggest challenges it faces is limited resources, an issue that could be addressed with a strategic plan.
OWEN: AND ANYTIME YOU HAVE LIMITED RESOURCES YOU HAVE TO PRIORITIZE YOUR AREAS, YOUR GOALS, OR YOU END UP DOING A LOT OF THINGS AND YOU DON'T DO THEM WELL. AND SO THE WHOLE POINT BEHIND STRATEGIC
PLANNING AND THE PURPOSE OF THIS IS SO THAT WE CAN REALLY GET OUR KEY PRIORITIES, WHAT THE COMMUNITY, WHAT THE SCHOOL DISTRICT NEEDS TO DO, AND THOSE PRIORITIES THEN BECOME THE WAY THAT YOU ADDRESS YOUR BUDGET ISSUES AND YOU PUT MONEY TOWARD ACCOMPLISHING THOSE GOALS.
Another goal, he says, will be, as he puts it "to stretch out our thinking to the future."
OWEN: ARE WE PREPARING OUR KIDS AND GIVING THEM THE KIND OF SKILLS THAT'S NECESSARY FOR 21ST CENTURY LEARNING. WHAT COLLEGES, WHAT WORK FORCE, WHAT ALL OF OUR AFTER GRADUATION EXPECTATIONS ARE FOR KIDS, ARE WE PREPARING OUR STUDENTS FOR THAT KIND OF ENVIRONMENT. I THINK WE REALLY HAVE TO LOOK AT THIS NEW GLOBAL ECONOMY, AND THE WAY THAT THE COUNTRY AND THE WHOLE ECONOMIC FORCES THAT ARE AT PLAY RIGHT NOW THROUGHOUT THE WORLD AND SAY IS THIS GOING TO LOOK DRAMATICALLY
DIFFERENT FROM WHAT WE'VE DONE IN THE PAST.
The district will use 10-thousand dollars in federal planning grant monies to hire The Cambridge Group, which Owen worked with in
Pueblo, to start the planning process and train facilitators.
Owen says there will be a huge, incalculable cost of time invested by those facilitators and perhaps up to 100 others who will
provide input over the course of the plans development.
Public input will be sought throughout the process, but tomorrow two public sessions are scheduled for school staff, School Board
members, parents, and anyone else who wants to come hear about the process.
OWEN: COMING TO LISTEN TO WHAT STRATEGIC PLANNING CAN BE, WHAT IT CAN BE USED FOR, TO GET EVERYONE KIND OF GROUNDED ON TERMINOLOGY, THE TIMELINE, THE PROCESS FOR THE YEAR, AND THEN TO GUAGE INTEREST
FROM THE PEOPLE. BUT THIS IS REALLY TO GUAGE AWARENESS, IT'S ALSO TO GUAGE INTEREST PEOPLE MAY HAVE IN STRATEGIC PLANNING. AND THEN, AFTER THIS, WHEN WE START GETTING OUR GROUPS TOGETHER, THAT'S WHEN WE WANT TO GUAGE INTEREST AND HAVE PEOPLE COME PARTICIPATE.
Tomorrow's "Strategic Planning Awareness Sessions" as they are called, are from 8:30 to 11:30 at 1st United Methodist Church, and
from 6:15 to 8:30pm at the Community Rec Center.
The goal is to present a completed strategic plan to the school board for its approval in the Spring, to be implemented during the
2009-2010 school year.
From KSUT, Four Corners Public Radio, I'm Victor Locke.
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