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Gainesville schools to put goals in action

District’s strategic plan identifies areas of need

POSTED: July 22, 2014 1:17 a.m.

Gainesville schools have begun implementing their new strategic plan, and that plan is all about putting district goals in action.

The plan identifies several areas of greatest need — including college and career readiness, graduation rates and math test scores — as well as strategies to address those needs. Superintendent Wanda Creel said school and district officials have begun meeting in work groups to implement those strategies. Separate groups are formed to discuss specific strategies, then the groups come together to see where their ideas connect. The groups began meeting this week.

Creel said the areas of greatest need were identified using data collected over many years, which include test scores, graduation rates, and the College and Career Readiness Performance Index.

Creel said the district is working to place an increased emphasis on college and career readiness. She said it is starting by reviewing all high school seniors’ high school transcripts to ensure they are on track to complete their career pathway goals. The plan includes college and career readiness strategies all the way down to the elementary school level, with a goal of implementing career mentoring programs for all grade levels over the course of the next year.

To improve the graduation rate, Creel said the district is working to identify the student populations that need the most help and is still working on strategies to help those students complete their courses.

There are also plans to provide accelerated math courses at the fifth-grade level. Creel said these courses are already offered at Gainesville Exploration Academy, but the goal is to offer them at all elementary schools in the district. The plan also includes targeted instructional time for areas of weakness on standardized tests.

The district has also created targets for its standardized test scores in the coming year.

Creel said the plan is about addressing goals at the district level, pooling the district’s resources to create improvements for all eight of its schools.

"We are truly trying to epitomize the (idea of) one Gainesville," she said, "that we’re all working together."

The strategic plan is available to the public on the school district’s website.


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