3Qs: Jimmy Weeks

By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal

The Lee County School District adopted on Tuesday a new strategic plan to guide the 7,100-student school district. Developed during the district’s administrative retreat, it replaces a version that was four years old. The four-page document sets values and goals for the school district to follow and provides action steps for reaching those goals. The Daily Journal’s Chris Kieffer spoke with Lee County Superintendent Jimmy Weeks about the new plan.
Q: How will the school district’s new strategic plan impact the way it operates?
A: The idea driving the plan is that it will guide all staff members – district administrators, building administrators, teachers, maintenance staff, etc. – in every decision that we make. Is what we are about to do in line with our strategic plan? Does it benefit students? Etc…

Q: I know that the plan was developed by building-level and district-level administrators during the district’s administrative retreat. What stands out to you the most about the new plan?
A: What stands out the most is value number 3 – ‘We believe that students are at the heart of every decision that we make.’ As I said earlier, I did not influence any part of the plan.
All the information came from interviews with administrators. In today’s educational world, everything comes back to test scores, and it is really easy to lose sight of why we are here – for the benefit of children. I was extremely proud to see our people saying that students are the most important aspect of what we do.
Q: The plan has several objectives and action steps for each goal. How will the school district monitor its progress?
A: Each goal in the plan has been assigned to a specific person or group to be monitored through-out the year. These people will periodically check to make sure that progress is being made to meet these goals.
Also, we are thinking that we need to review/revise the plan yearly to make sure that we did or did not accomplish these goals, and if not, why. We also will be planning for the changing of goals to meet current needs in our district.