LACONIA — The Strategic Planning Committee of the School Board is targeting October 18 as a day for school "stakeholders" to come together and provide their individual thoughts about the School District's goals for the next five to seven years.
Committee members said last night that they would be sending invitations to a wide variety of individuals in Laconia, including business owners and leaders, parents, politicians, as well as former students and local college administrators, for their input into Laconia's education goals.
The subcommittee said it wants a multi-generational look at the School District and suggestions on what the district should look like in the future.
A strategic plan identifies the short, medium, and long-term goals of a school district and how to best deploy available resources to achieve those goals.
Although no decision has been made, there was some discussion Tuesday night about hiring a facilitator and/or adviser to oversee the process.
Strategic Planning Committee Chair Mike Persson initially said he thought a facilitator would be useful for the October 18 goals meeting.
Member Joe Cormier said he felt the district should hold the October 18 before making a decision to hire a facilitator. "Let's have this group get together and then look at the results from the October 18 meeting and create a bullet document about what we've surmised," he said.
Once the committee has heard the goals as identified by the people in the community they will most affect, Cormier said it then would be the time to reorganize and refine the community input, define specific focus areas, and possibly consider a facilitator to help move the plan to completion.
Persson suggested using a neutral facilitator like New Hampshire Listens. He also suggested that there are members of the Laconia community who are experienced facilitators who already know the community and the school system who would be willing to help.
Cormier also noted that the Laconia Planning Department is working on a revise of the city master plan and he said it might be a good idea to look at what the city is doing and engage some of the same resources.
Superintendent Terri Forsten said she has already spoken with city Planner Shanna Saunders who said that if any portion of her master plan work is related to the Laconia School District she would inform her.
According to the city of Laconia website, as part of the City of Laconia's Master Plan Update Process, the city has been awarded a number of planning grants to help it with its goal of developing a new master plan.