Teacher seeks summit to help revise district's strategic plan

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Cappoziello

BELOIT - Beloit Memorial High School (BMHS) teacher Tony Capozziello is asking the School District of Beloit Board of Education to hold a community-wide summit to gather input to revise the district's strategic plan.

Capozziello first brought up the issue at the April 23 board of education meeting and he said he has received inquiries from community members about it. In a recent interview, he clarified what he is hoping the board will do.

The first step would be for the board to hire an outside, impartial professional facilitator. Then it would create a broad citizen stakeholder committee charged with growing a citizen-focused list of about 1,000 people. The committee would identify stakeholder groups such as various parent and student groups, police, city officials, businesses representatives - large and small, churches, district staff, the press and other organizations. The input obtained from them during the summit would be gathered and boiled down to five or six action items to guide the district for the next 20 years. He said it would be a blueprint to map out the district's future and maintain stability as future leadership changes.

Capozziello said there hasn't been a large scale strategic planning summit with a professional facilitator. He said all stakeholder groups could contribute to what he calls a "BeloitUnited2040 concept" which would include board members, but also a fully representative, but incubator-sized group of stakeholders.

In addition to test scores and discipline, Capozziello said other issues could be addressed ranging from school start schedules to the growing number of students classified as homeless.

The summit would be done in a controlled and productive manner, with no protesting or name-calling. Food and beverage would be provided as an initial small token of the district's appreciation.

Subcommittees would be formed in line with he individual goals based on community input.

Incoming Superintendent Stanley Munro said all components of the strategic plan including what is working and not working in the district will be revisited by himself and the board after he arrives.

He said those discussions will be sure to involve community input.

Board member Megan Miller said the school district belongs to the community, and it's the right thing to do to let the community weigh in as the board sets the priorities and direction of our school district.

"Dr. Munro has some great ideas but he is an employee of the district. I hope he finds a way to bring his expertise and enthusiasm into a district unified behind a vision that all stakeholders have built together," Miller said.

Board of Education Pam Charles issued the following statement:

"I appreciate Mr. Capozziello reaching out and offering suggestions. Our current strategic plan ends in 2020, so discussion of a new strategic plan will be a priority for this board and for our superintendent. The strategic plan lays the foundation for our administrative and board goals and should keep us focused. Just as important as developing the plan is frequent monitoring of the plan -evaluation, determining what is working, and what changes might be necessary. I look forward to Dr. Munro's arrival and having him work with the board and the community in the development of a plan that will bring success to our students, schools, and community."

Board Clerk Kyle Larsen said he too appreciates Capozziello sharing his ideas with the board.

"The creation of our next strategic plan is an urgent item and we will create a plan when Dr. Munro joins us. The current plan expires in 2020, so beginning the process soon is important so that we have adequate time to engage the community, reflect on the current strategic plan, and create a plan that will move our district forward," Larsen said.

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