School districts ready for what’s next

ALPENA — With the passage of their millages, both Alpena Public Schools and Hillman Community Schools are hoping to better improve and develop their districts.

According to APS Superintendent David Rabbideau, APS is looking to continue in its process of developing a strategic plan.

“Obviously, building, it’s gonna be different, but as a whole district, the strategic planning process is really our big plan,” Rabbideau said.

The APS first began truly developing its strategic plan on Saturday when APS personnel and various community members gathered together in the media center of Alpena High School to discuss the various strengths and weaknesses of APS.

Rabbideau is hoping to use and refine the data gathered from that meeting to turn it into actionable goals that the district can eventually act on. The first meeting where this will be discussed is the board’s next workshop meeting scheduled for March 14.

“From the board workshop, we’ll start to whittle down the data that we got,” Rabbideau said. “Things like staff recruitment, retention, recognition, and who we need to bring to the table.”

Originally Rabbideau was looking to only have the community members from Saturday’s meeting reconvene in a year’s time to look at the progress, but after some feedback during the meeting, he is now exploring alternative ways to have the community be more involved.

“A couple of questions at the end of the session were (is the community) going to be involved in developing those action steps?” Rabbideau said. “My answer is yes, we need people to be involved. One of the things we’ll talk about on the 14th with the board is how do we continue to engage that group on a more regular basis, more frequent than perhaps just an annual checkup.”

Hillman Superintendent Pamela Rader also claims to be looking to make strides with their strategic plan now that their millage is no longer a concern.

Hillman’s strategic plan was recently passed by the board of education during their monthly board meetings.

According to Rader, the development of the plan was a long process that involved collaboration with the community.

“We took a lot of time with the strategic plan,” Rader said. “We took a lot of time to get input from the community, from our students, our parents, our staff, in making sure that we had feedback to guide us.”

According to Rader, Hillman’s strategic plan is designed to take place over a three year period with a special focus on things like providing increased safety for students and staff, improving culture on campus, and providing additional opportunities for students.


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