By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – The newest goals for the Lee County School District include a focus on literacy and on healthy lifestyles.
The district’s school board approved a new strategic plan for the 7,100-student district during its regular meeting on Tuesday night. The district’s previous plan was four years old.
The plan was developed during the district’s administrative retreat last month. Its groundwork was laid during conversations Superintendent Jimmy Weeks had with building-level and district-level administrators in January and February.
“I didn’t influence the values or goals we adopted,” Weeks said. “It was our school building principals, and that was a valuable part of all of this.”
The district’s vision, according to the newly-adopted plan, is to “work together to prepare all students for success in a global community.”
The plan lists five goals with several objectives and action steps for each. Weeks said different people have been assigned responsibilities for monitoring progress on various aspects of the plan.
“These values will guide principals in making decisions at the school level,” he said.
The literacy goal calls for 80 percent of first-graders to be reading at grade level by the end of the current school year with 90 percent of second-graders reaching that mark in 2013-14 and 100 percent of third-graders doing so in 2014-15.
“We believe reading is the foundation for everything,” Weeks said. “If a child can’t read, there are so many things they can’t do.”
The health goal includes employing a certified physical/health education teacher to promote healthy lifestyle choices and adding additional certified counselors and school nurses.
“We felt like it is important to educate children not just in reading and writing, but in every aspect, including health,” Weeks said.
The district will continue to refine the plan in the future, Weeks said.
THE LEE COUNTY SCHOOLS strategic plan includes five goals:
• Ensure that all students receive high-quality student-centered instruction.
• Work together to foster an environment that promotes positive relationships and honest communication.
• Ensure all students read at or above grade level, achieve college and career readiness and become productive citizens.
• Participate in ongoing professional development opportunities that will
ensure a focused, viable curriculum.
• Create a culture which promotes a healthy lifestyle.