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Oswego Superintendent Proposes Advisory Committees for District 308

The four committees would each be made up of 20-25 residents.

Want your voice to be heard on various District 308 topics?

Oswego Superintendent Matthew Wendt does too.

Wendt has proposed the idea to create advisory committees of district residents to prepare a series of five-year plans on a variety of areas.

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The committees would include:

  • Finance and Operations
  • Policy and Development
  • Facilities and Planning
  • Teaching and Learning

Wendt said that the current five-year strategic plan is out of date. “We need to begin the process to set new goals, objectives … and address the direction of the school district.”

The committees would address issues “in line with goals and objectives of the board,” said Wendt.

Ideally each committee would have around 20-25 members and that each committee would also include two board members and an administrator.

Of the four committees, Wendt said arguably the most important was ‘Teaching and Learning’ and said the district needed a complete curriculum review. “There should be no guesses on what is being taught in the classroom,” he said.

The goal of the committees on the whole is to have plans in place for when situations, like the constantly growing student population, arise.

The committees would provide a voice to the public, said Wendt, and then in turn would learn how the district operates within accordance of state and federal polices.

The goal would be to have two of the four advisory committees finalized sometime in November and the other two in December.

A public conversation will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 9 at the next board meeting.

There will be no board meeting on Monday, Oct. 8 due to the holiday.

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John Tips October 04, 2012 at 07:58 PM
Take first things first - unlike here in District 202 where we spend money freely! Money for having our district superintendent - John Harper go to sunny Mexico City under the guise of finding "Qualified Bilingual " teachers for our district! It seems that Mr. Hernandez too agreed that our district could not find ONE qualified bi-lingual teacher in all of Will county, Illinois, or our entire country, and had to go to Mexico to find one! This type of waste is unacceptable - so you had best watch out for it in your district as well! I for one bid "Good Riddance" to Mr. Harper who will be retiring soon! Our school board is to blame for allowing this to have happened!
JimmyJ October 08, 2012 at 11:17 PM
The last SCFAC Committee saw the dawn of the Strategic Planning Groups which as I recall was a large group of teachers, employees and citizens broken into 5 sub groups to come up with a.....you got it...5 year plan. I was on SDFAC and because we had gotten half way through our work we were allowed to coexist with them. I don't recall if any outside "consulting" firm was responsible for the Strategic Planning thing or not. I seem to recall that there was at least initially. Plans do get old, although we seem to dance around the same floor with each set of plans and each new leader feels that the plans of the old leadership are flawed so as long as it doesn't involve hiring an outside firm to run the groups, I suppose it's good. If nothing else it lets the PhD's feel that they are actually doing something.
Paul L. October 08, 2012 at 11:48 PM
Jimmy and prior to that, around 2001 when Behlow was hired the Board implemented a Strategic Plan. It was the first time it had ever been done by the Board itself and there were no sub groups, only the 7 board members themselves and the consultant Behlow brought in from Minnesota to help facilitate the Board through the process. The second time around 2006-2007?? with a new Board, it was decided to bring in various groups and have an updated plan put together and you can decide if it was worth the effort or not. As long as the District limits the amount of district employees as to not steer the plan into one direction. (yes, it happens folks) I'll be happy.
EducatedMomof3 October 11, 2012 at 02:39 AM
"Limits the amount of district employees as to not steer the plan..."? Where else do you propose we find individuals who are well versed in curricular design, teaching and learning?
John Spasojevich October 11, 2012 at 12:01 PM
Kristen what Paul means and what my experience shows is that these so called committees often start with the administrations desired outcome already in hand. The discussions flow freely but are steered toward that desired outcome. I was on the last committee that determined how many buildings we would need. We had no info provided from developers or any type of population estimate. It was all based on the best guess of our administration facilitator. Obviously he guessed wrong in some cases. The math review a couple years ago was another joke. Most everyone has little love for EDM but the charge to the committee was that they could look at other books and programs but couldn't make a change. Some other methods were tested but in the end EDM was kept. So why bother. The committees are rubber stamps for the decisions already made. They can then say that their decision was based on public input. You are correct. Do you and your neighbors have the ability to recommend a curriculum change? So you take the advice if a group with a vested interest and we get more of the same.

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