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School district will update its strategic plan this year

The Farmington School District is going to take a fresh look at its future.

The Farmington School Board voted Monday to launch a strategic planning process that will set goals and strategies for the next five years. It will be the first major update to the district's strategic plan since the current plan was approved in December of 2006.

The process will cost an estimated $40,000.

The district has changed a lot since then. It has realigned its middle school program, added a fifth elementary school and hired several new administrators, including a new superintendent.

"The plan has proved to be invaluable, but I do think it's time to step it up," board member Julie McKnight said Monday.

The district will start the planning process in March with a two-day training session on strategic thinking for district administrators. That training will cost about $17,000.

A larger team will start meeting sometime after the initial training is completed. The plan is to have a finished product in place by the start of the 2012-13 school year.

Presenting the proposed schedule to the board Monday night Boeckman Middle School principal Barb Duffrin said the plan is to leave the district's mission and beliefs largely untouched, but to consider how the district approaches them in light of an education climate that has changed in the last five years. Superintendent Jay Haugen has brought with him a focus on customized education that is new to the district, at least on the scale it's currently being discussed. The planning process will look at what that means for the district.

"We wouldn't be starting from the beginning. We'd be starting from where we are," she said.

Duffrin and Haugen recently attended facilitator training in preparation for the planning process.