East Grand school board discusses strategic planning and school finance
Two presenters at the Nov. 1 East Grand School District board meeting took about half of the district’s public meeting to talk about strategic planning and school finance. They both joked about Superintendent Brad Ray asking them to not take forever with their talks, but Ray added he would not mind if their talks were long because of the presenters’ expertise.
Alex Carter from the Colorado Education Initiative and Tracey Rainey from the Colorado School Finance Project presented to the board at Ray’s invitation. Carter went first, introducing his company’s philosophy on strategic planning, which he described as an organizational change to help school districts seize opportunities.
“It starts at the top, creating a sense of urgency,” Carter said. “Really strategic planning is just the first three steps of any big change effort. It creates a sense of urgency — we need to have a better plan so that we can drive this district forward for the next five years.”
Carter spoke about how the initiative used committees and task forces made of parents and community members to get the community to buy into the plan and be willing to help implement it. He also mentioned the use of graduate profiles, something East Grand already has, as a strategic outcome.
Ray has mentioned strategic planning in the past, and the board will discuss it more at their next meeting. Carter said the planning process usually takes one semester to complete.
Following Carter, Rainey spoke about school finances, focusing on ways the state budget proposal released Nov. 1 could affect school funding and some of the basics of school funding in Colorado. She also answered board member questions about funding.
After Rainey spoke, board president Ed Raegner asked if there was anything the district does not do that Rainey thought it should. She responded that most districts have trouble keeping the community engaged with their budgeting process, which can lead to the community being surprised when things go wrong, like the state providing less funding than expected.
“It’s making sure that people realize you aren’t doing anything wrong,” Rainey said. “When you get to this point, it’s not because you’ve managed your money wrong, it’s because the state is now having to make changes and pull back things.”
- The board recognized transportation director Lisa Mirabito for her work getting an electric school bus rebate. Administrative assistant Allyson Morrow was also recognized for her good work during the celebrations portion of the meeting.
- Board members approved the meeting minutes from Oct. 18 and the resignation of Kari Simmons, a third grade intervention/special education teacher at Granby Elementary School.
- Ray talked about the federal grant East Grand received for new electric buses, money from the state’s Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief fund that has been reallocated to rural districts including East Grand, construction of Middle Park’s new career technical education building and the new Granby Elementary School as well as upcoming district accountability committee meetings, fall athletics and the annual fiscal audit in his superintendent’s report.
- The board held an executive session before adjourning the meeting.
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