Chesterton Tribune



Residents invited to comment on Duneland Schools strategic plan

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Duneland Schools Superintendent Ginger Bolinger is inviting parents and taxpayers to comment on a draft “Strategic Initiatives for 2018-22” document released this morning.

That document is the fruit of an effort, begun six months ago, “to define and clarify our district’s long-standing strategic goal areas,” Bolinger said in an e-mail to parents. “During this time, I have listened to the thoughts and suggestions of School Board members, students, faculty members, and classified employees. These conversations have generated many great ideas to improve our schools and have resulted in the creation of our draft strategic initiatives document.”

Now Bolinger is asking residents for input.

The document is available at all school locations, at the administration center at 601 W. Morgan Ave., and at

Send comments -- by Friday, February 16 -- to or mail them to the Duneland School Corporation, 601 W. Morgan Ave., Chesterton IN 46304

The document specifically identifies five “Goal Areas”: “Student Success”; “Highly Qualified Staff and Professional Development”; “Technology Integration and College and Career Readiness”; “Operational Integrity”; and “Collaborative Environment.”

Student Success

Within the rubric of “Student Success,” the document identifies two further goals.

The first: To “maintain our current academic excellence in all programs while supporting the social and emotional well-being of students.” Among the ways of doing so are the following:

* “Develop a process to study and implement research-based learning strategies.”

* “Finalize curriculum maps, which will include common assessments for each grade level and content area. Analyze data to inform instruction.”

* “Evaluate programs to determine which are positively affecting students; eliminate programs that have no positive impact on student learning or well-being or do not align with corporation goals.”

The second goal: To “consider additional academic programs for students”:

* “Research and implement personalized learning practices for students.”

* “Identify and offer courses to complete the Statewide Transfer General Education Core (STGEC and develop high-wage, high-demand career pathways.”

Highly Qualify Staff and

Professional Development

Within this rubric there are also three further goals:

The first: To “establish a recruiting and hiring process and recommend the best candidate for open positions”:

* “All employees will understand the valid and comprehensive hiring process and procedures for new hires and transfers”

* “We will empower administrators to make excellent hiring decisions.”

The second goal: To “retain and attract highly skilled and effective teachers, administrators, and support personnel”:

* “Develop recognition programs that reward our excellent employees.”

* “Structure pay scales to be among the most competitive in our state.”

The third goal: To “create a comprehensive, district-wide professional development program”:

* “Create a data-driven culture of change to implement research-based practices in all content areas.”

* “Investigate and establish e-Learning for students, which creates professional development time for faculty.”

Technology Integration and College and Career Readiness

More specifically: “Support the implementation of STEAM initiatives, programs, and courses to allow our students to compete in the global arena”:

* “Develop a technology curriculum for all grade levels.”

* “Curate online learning that develops 21st-century learning skills (collaboration, communication, creativity, critical thinking.”

Operational Integrity

That is, “Develop a systemic culture of efficiency and effectiveness for all district auxiliary services”:

* “Implement data-driven strategies for all auxiliary departments.”

* “Create a district marketing plan, which will include an update to our website.”

* “Identify and address external factors that influence our operations (new housing developments, enrollment trends, transportation requests, etc.).”

Collaborative Environment

In particular, “We will support and celebrate the current collaborative environment shared by teachers, administrators, School Board members, and our community”:

* “Board members will participate on district-level committees.”

* “We will contact community members to help organize, promote, and lead our referendum outreach.”


Posted 1/26/2018




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