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JPS focus group forming

A community leaders focus group and school district strategic plan executive committee are forming, according to the superintendent’s report at the Jamestown Public School Board meeting Monday.

“We reached out to approximately 20 community leaders and the majority have been willing and able to commit this time to support the school district,” said Robert Lech, JPS superintendent.

The Community Leaders Focus Group will share perspectives on what the district is doing well, areas of potential development and considerations for change, Lech said. This input will be provided to a district strategic planning committee, he said.

The District Strategic Planning Committee is designed to create the next strategic plan for the school district, he said. This includes an examination of mission, vision and strategic initiatives, he said.

The new committee will meet over seven months starting Tuesday, Lech said. The group will gather input from the school district about needs as a first step, he said.

“I look forward to reporting back on this process with the school board and the strategic planning executive committee,” Lech said.

The first public meeting will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6, in the middle school multipurpose room. Subsequent meetings at the same time and place will be on Nov. 6, Nov. 27, Dec. 18, Jan. 8, Jan. 29, Feb. 19, March 12 and April 2.

Principal Luke Anderson presented on the relationship mapping pilot project at Gussner Elementary School. The project has each adult employee in the school rate the level of relationship with each child, from none to poor or positive, with the goal to improve and ensure students are comfortable with approaching adults about problems or concerns, he said.

The process requires people to be honest with themselves as well as others, he said. The participation from the school’s 243 elementary students and the feedback from the parents are positive, he said.

“We are building bridges with the parents as well as the students and the goal is to connect them to their child’s education,” Anderson said.

Reading partner programs, walking to school initiatives and a morning welcome to school have all helped continue the progress of engagement with students in formal and informal settings, he said.

School board members Jason Rohr and Jennifer Schmidt said the project has improved school culture. If the project can be adapted to other schools it could change the culture for the entire district, they said.

In other business, the school board unanimously approved:

The superintendent’s satisfactory evaluation

An addendum to the school district athletic training contract with Jamestown Regional Medical Center that allows JPS to request support when hosting tournaments.