In a meeting dedicated to setting goals for the district’s future, the Edgewater School Board focused on developing a unified, goal-oriented vision for the district’s school system. The board acknowledged the importance of aligning district, school, superintendent, and board goals to create a cohesive approach towards advancing the education agenda.
An external advisor was present to assist the board in establishing their goals, involving a review of their mission statement and prior objectives. The board emphasized the necessity for each board and administration member to “own the goals,” which ought to represent their passion and beliefs about what requires change, addition, or maintenance.
The board also identified a need to bridge the gap between the school and community, considering the introduction of a strategic plan that involves community participation. Despite concerns about alleged resistance or indifference from community members, the board agreed on the invaluable insights such an engagement could bring.
“We’re looking to tap into the collective wisdom of our community,” said board member Thomas Quinton. “Their perspectives and ideas are key to developing a comprehensive vision for our district.”
In pursuit of that vision, the board proposed improving communication and establishing a more profound relationship with the community. Notably, they discussed the potential benefit of including student representatives at the high school level.This idea was viewed as an effective way to ensure that student voices are included in the decision-making process.
“We must remember that our students are at the heart of our mission,” said Superintendent Siobhan Tauchert. “Their input could provide unique insights into how we can better serve them.”
Another prominent focus of the meeting was the effective use of professional development resources provided by the New Jersey School Boards Association. The board members expressed a need to invest more in these opportunities, recognizing the valuable information and training they offer.
“The more we equip ourselves with up-to-date knowledge and skills, the better we can perform our duties,” said board member Cristina Stefani-Rackow.
The meeting also touched upon improving committee structures and operations. One suggestion involved regular updates on committee work, including maintaining detailed lists related to grants and financial details. The board members agreed on the necessity of maintaining committee efficiency, even if some members were absent from meetings.
Amid this discussion, the idea of engaging seniors and senior centers was raised, underlining the board’s commitment to inclusivity and community involvement. The board also acknowledged the need for open, transparent communication, suggesting the revitalization of a list of key communicators.
Finally, the board recognized the importance of reviewing its strategic plan, typically updated every five years. However, recent significant changes, including new board members, prompted the board to consider an earlier reassessment. This plan was seen as an opportunity to evaluate the school’s progress and community involvement, with an aim to invite diverse stakeholders, including PTO members, community members, and administration members, to the discussion.