Archived Story

School board planning to adjust workshops

Published 8:52am Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Austin Public Schools board did a little housecleaning Monday during its annual board retreat.

The biggest things to come out of the strategic roadmap session are the board’s decision to restructure monthly special sessions and to retool the way district administration reports progress on its strategic goals.

“Our workshops are going to truly be workshops,” said board chairman Greg Larson. “There aren’t going to be any motions, they’re just going to be regular discussions.”

For years, the board has met twice monthly, once in a public meeting inside city council chambers and once in a special session where the board listens to in-depth presentations. Board members have made decisions during special sessions in the past, including the recent naming of I.J. Holton Intermediate School last fall.

Larson said the board will now use special sessions just for in-depth presentations and discussing issues.

As for the district’s strategic roadmap, district officials have presented on various departments each month for more than a year. While the presentations usually take about a half hour to update the board, Superintendent David Krenz said district officials were looking for direction on how best to update the board.

“[It’s] how we can get them good information, so they can understand what’s going on here,” Krenz said.

The board directed administrators to rethink the lengthy presentations to show what progress the district has made after Monday’s strategic roadmap training with Teamworks International founder Dennis Cheesebrow, a professional development consultant.

The district created a five-year strategic roadmap starting in 2010 to shape its direction for the coming years. Among the district’s goals is to ensure college and workforce readiness for all students, deliver effective curriculum and instructional practices, ensure cultural competency for all students, support technological advances in the classroom, create clear partnerships with the Austin community, and effectively manage district resources.

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