Supt. Paolucci introduces district strategic plan

Supt. Paolucci introduces district strategic plan

SMITHFIELD – Smithfield Supt. Judy Paolucci presented a five-year strategic plan to the School Committee at the April 2 meeting, using input from the community.

A Future Search in January brought more than 100 people in Smithfield together to find out what the community wanted for its schools. Business leaders, municipal and school officials, students, parents, and school employees worked together to create a common vision for the district.

The previous strategic plan’s timeline was coming to an end, Paolucci said, and the prior administration set aside funds to create a new plan.

“It was timely that a new one was needed,” she added. “The schools have to do school improvement plans that are supposed to be aligned with the district, and what if the district doesn’t have one.”

People who attended the Future Search will see their ideas represented in the plan, she said. Concepts were broken down into seven categories, including replacing the mission statement with a simpler, more concise “promise.”

“Our promise: Every student will be prepared for continued learning, career, and life,” it reads.

The plan, available in detail online on the department’s website, breaks down into the following categories:

• Instructional programming and practices

• Social and emotional wellness

• Family and community engagement

• Career education

• Technology

• Facilities

• And finance.

Moving forward, the goal is to have separate committees for each concept prepare the action plans and have them done by June 1. Paolucci said she is trying to flip the practice of spending months preparing a plan and having no time putting it into action.

“We tried to keep it simple, but now our job as administrators is to make an action plan for this,” she said, “The real work is in implementing it.”

Every year after application, the plan will be reviewed by a district implementation team to report back on its progress, making adjustments yearly.

“New things happen, so you adjust it every year,” the superintendent said.

In other news, Paolucci spoke about an upcoming safety forum on April 24, which is being held to inform parents of continuous work being done to reduce risks.

“A lot of times as soon as big things happen, it becomes the topic. It’s important for us to have parents realize that we have monthly safety meetings regardless of things going on in Florida,” said Paolucci. “We’re working on this.”

Forming relationships with students to help them feel confident approaching adults regarding peers’ behavior is more important than a metal detector at the front door, she said.

“We are doing things like improving our camera system,” she said. Police will soon be able to access the system as well.