Tupelo Schools further develop district goals

By Chris Kieffer

TUPELO – The Tupelo Public School District is working to develop concrete indicators to measure its progress toward district goals.
The district released a draft of those goals during Tuesday’s School Board meeting. Leaders hope to finalize and formally adopt the five goals at an upcoming board meeting.
Those goals were first outlined during the board’s retreat in June. Since then, administrators provided input and helped develop benchmarks that can be used to determine whether or not each goal has been met.
Goals include steps like increasing student achievement, providing a safe and orderly environment and improving all communication.
Indicators could include growth on student test scores, a reduction in the dropout rate, an improvement in second-grade reading proficiency, the development of an annual facilities maintenance plan, the strengthening of community partnerships, the use of a new assistant principal development program, the creation of an online suggestion boxA and more.
Each of the five goals has at least three performance indicators, and more could be developed. There are currently 33 indicators.
“I think these are accountable indicators,” said TPSD Community Liaison Mary Ann Plasencia. “We don’t have nebulous targets. We have concrete targets that will concretely help our kids. It is the blueprint from which we can all work.”
Superintendent Gearl Loden said the goals will guide the district’s focus. They were all printed at the top of the agenda of Tuesday’s meeting.
Loden said the district plans to develop report cards for each of the district’s schools, as well as for himself, the assistant superintendents and the special education director. Those report cards will be based upon the district’s goals and performance indicators.
They will be used to guide meetings he has with school principals. School board members said they also would like to receive regular reports detailing the district’s progress toward each of its performance targets and goals.
“These are accessible goals, even for people who are not educators,” Plasencia said. “We will try our best to make sure we get these out there in as many ways as we can.”
chris.kieffer@journalinc.com

TPDS Goals
THE DISTRICT’S GOALS, according to the draft released Tuesday:
1. Increase student achievement across the district

2. Provide a safe and orderly environment in all schools

3. Improve, develop and retain human capital

4. Improve internal and external communication

5. Increase management effectiveness and efficiency