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For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic, the Cobb County School District has proposed an updated strategic plan.
The 2023-28 update, presented Thursday at a Cobb Board of Education work session, outlines a set of nine skills for high school graduates to master, broken into three categories.
The plan also summarizes seven support areas to and designated four “board goals” with the aim of helping students reach those objectives.
“It’s a road map,” Superintendent Chris Ragsdale said, one that “gives everyone a template of where you hope to be and how you try to get there.”
(You can watch a replay of the discussion by clicking here; it starts around the 57-minute mark.)
The last updated strategic plan went through the 2018-19 school year, right before the pandemic was declared, and as a 2020-25 plan was in the works.
The latter is essentially the plan that was presented to board members on Thursday; they will be asked to approve it in February.
John Floresta, the district’s Chief Strategy and Accountability and Officer, said the 2023-28 plan is the result of ongoing conversations and feedback from teachers, principals, parents and business leaders for more than a year.
“We have defined what a Cobb graduate should be and what they should be able to do,” he said in response to a question from board member Becky Sayler about how the public was invited to participate.
The proposed plan includes the following competencies for students receiving a diploma:
The “profiles of support,” as Ragsdale termed it, are academics, technology, community, culture of care, safety, communication and finance.
In addition, four board goals were outlined, and they also are the same as what had been proposed for the 2020-25 plan:
Here’s an overview of the strategic plan that district officials said will include more details in the coming weeks.
The 2020-25 preview included some more details on what had been the district’s CobbMetrics assessment site, but that has been taken down.
(CobbMetrics is a pilot testing program that the district had been using to apply for a waiver from state Milestones requirement, but that request was rejected in the fall of 2019, just as the proposed 2020-25 strategic plan was taking shape. CobbMetrics included shorter, continuous and individualized tests designed to gauge student progress in real time and give teachers the tools to adapt to what they see as learning needs.)
The strategic plan is an overview that doesn’t include Cobb Metrics or other data-driven accountability measures, or school-level plans.
Board member Randy Scamihorn asked how the strategic plan blends in to the district’s “vision,” and Floresta said that “it makes your goals real. It’s how we do what we can do.”
“It is the top-tier plan,” Ragsdale added.
There were no references to how COVID-related relief funds have been utilized, including issues over how to address learning loss.
School board member Tre’ Hutchins said that while the board goals “are solid,” he was interested “post-COVID in looking at more support” for such things as student mental health and related recovery issues.
Some critics of the district, including the Watching the Funds-Cobb citizen watchdog group, have said that “a copy and paste of the 2019 strategic plan isn’t going to cut in 2023 and beyond.”
Davis asked, “What’s the link between our goals and data? How are we gauging our progress?”
Floresta referenced the current state educational accountability measures, including Georgia Milestones and the CCRPI (College and Career Ready Performance Index).
Ragsdale said that “we have to adapt to what students need” on an individualized basis to the extent that the district could essentially have “108,000 IEPs.”
Those figures are the district’s current enrollment, and the latter reference is an Individual Education Plan mostly centered now on special-needs students.
When board member David Banks of East Cobb asked why parents and the public should care about a strategic plan, Floresta said “so they’ll know what their children will be expected” to master and that educators “are making decisions that you all want.”
Banks said “are we preparing [students] for what they’re going to be expecting in the next 12-13 years? . . . I’m worried about preparing students for what’s coming.”
Floresta said that “we can tell you the skill sets in this plan are relevant, no matter how the world changes.”
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Come Grow With Us! Here’s How!
Girls from kindergarten through 8th grade can participate in a free clinic with Walton lacrosse coaches.
The Walton Junior program has provided a sponsorship in an effort to waive the fees for this clinic and to continue to grow the game. We ask that you refer some friends so they can try it out.
All participants must complete a waiver to participate in the clinic. Once you have signed your daughter up, you will receive an email with the waiver. Please complete the waiver and have your daughter bring it to check in.
The Cobb County Public Library System Bookmobile will be on the premises with a storytime event, and checking out materials and the use of a mobile hotspot for Internet service.
Patrons must present their library cards to check out items, and members of the public can apply for a card at the Bookmobile.
The Cobb Youth Commission is holding a forum for youth to learn and share about high school struggles with social media, friendships, anxiety around the future after graduation, and where to go for advice and help. There will be a panel of speakers, resources, and engaging discussion, generating ideas, awareness, and change.
Pizza will be served.
RSVP by clicking here.
The Polar Bear Run is in its 35th year, benefitting participants of the Johnson Ferry Christian Academy student music program who need financial assistance for the annual Mission/Choir Tour.
The run began in 1989 and Johnson Ferry Baptist Church became the sponsor in 1992, with participation growing to its current limit of 2,000 runners.
The race is a Peachtree Road Race qualifier and includes a cub run and cub 50-yard dash. 5K awards will be presented to overall male and female winner: masters male and female winners and top three male and female finishers in 16 age categories from 10 & under to 80 and over. Ribbons will be awarded to Cub Run and Cub Dash participants.
Proceeds from the race benefit In past years, students have traveled to New York City, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Poland, Dallas, Chicago, Birmingham, and Washington, DC.
The East Marietta Little League is inviting youths to take part in t-ball “try it stations” as registration for the spring baseball season continues.
Coaches also will be able to ask questions from parents.
Cobb schools refute Critical Race Theory curriculum claim
Cobb schools unveil 2023-28 strategic plan
Food scores: The Freakin’ Incan; Salata; Sam’s BBQ; more
J.J. Daniell MS student recovering at home after stabbing
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