Westlake BOE Adopts Strategic Plan

The Westlake Board of Education adopted the Strategic Planning outline at its April 25 meeting. This outline was developed by Westlake City Schools’ Strategic Planning Committee, a cross representational group of over 50 residents including business, nonprofit, civic, mental health, higher education, clergy, parent and neighborhood leaders.

“We want to thank the Strategic Planning Committee members for being forward thinking and sharing their input and ideas to help ensure our school district’s priorities are aligned with the needs of the community and the skills required to compete in today’s society,” said Board President Carol Winter. “Their commitment to this process demonstrates the importance of strong schools and a strong community.”

DSC_9803-1At the April 11 board meeting, six representatives of the committee – Gary Sole, Liz Pirnat, Dana Hoffman, Ellie Peiffer, Jane Peer and Dina Abugroon – shared an overview of the planning process and presented the goals and initiatives they developed to help ensure Westlake City School District is staying on the right track and “Educating for Excellence.”

The Strategic Planning outline focuses on five main priorities for the district: Finance • Curriculum & Technology • Facilities • Communication & Community Partnerships • Culture & Environment

For each priority, Strategic Planning Committee members created a goal and identified accompanying initiatives. The result is the Strategic Planning Outline that reflects the unique perspectives and backgrounds of the over 50 community members who participated in the process.

“It was an honor and a privilege to sit with this group of dedicated community members who invested their time, experience and knowledge in this process,” said Dina Abugroon. “We come from different backgrounds and have unique perspectives, but we are all committed to the success of our schools and the youngest citizens in our community. We hope these goals and initiatives will help ensure the Westlake City Schools stay on the right track and continue Educating for Excellence.”

The next step is for faculty, staff and administrators to use the outline as the foundation for a Strategic Plan they will complete and implement.

To view the Strategic Plan Outline and the April 11 presentation, visit www.wlake.org and click on the Strategic Planning button at the top of the page.

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Monday’s Westlake BOE meeting once again saw an extended period of public comments on Westlake teacher contract negotiations. With the failure of three straight tax increase requests, the Board and teachers are struggling to find agreement. Teachers have accepted pay cuts and increased health care participation costs. Community comments tend to support teachers. “I am talking from my heart,” said one resident. “The reason we moved to Westlake was because of the schools.” “I ask you, knowing your frustration, to find a compromise, an olive branch,” said another. “We are continuing to Educate for Excellence,” said a teacher. “We are an underappreciated workforce. Bay, Rocky River, Medina and now Avon now settled their contracts.” “I moved back to Westlake because I wanted my kids to experience what I had here,” added another parent.’ “Once you cut back to the bone, it is difficult to get back to former competency levels,” said yet another resident.

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