BELLE FOURCHE – The Belle Fourche School District Strategic Plan that was written in the late 1980s is still good today, according to school superintendent Dr. Steve Willard. He addressed the Belle Fourche school board members and the administrators of each school at a special board meeting last Monday night.
The purpose of the meeting was to hold a preliminary discussion concerning the strategic plan for the school district. The eight page document only needed a few changes, mostly to bring it into the technology of today.
The mission statement of the school remains the same. Dr. Willard pointed out that the teachers and administrators are fulfilling the statement which says in part that the “members of the Belle Fourche Community are committed to building a learning community and ensuring all learners equal opportunity for an excellent education program.”
The philosophy of the school includes the purpose to develop individuals with adequate academic preparation as well as desirable moral, ethical, and spiritual beliefs that will assume a role in shaping the future.
Willard said that among his goals was to improve technology and continue to promote a workforce curriculum.
“There needs to be something to spark the student,” he said.
He would like to see more high school internships in place.
Elementary Principal Ryan Young said that the foremost challenge in elementary classes was absenteeism. He has instigated a probable solution by awarding those students who miss three days or less with a trip to a movie. There may be an award for those with perfect attendance.
Mathew Raba, High School Principal, said that his goals included annual measurable proficiency. The CTE (Career Technical Education) Center will aid in helping to meet the goals of the administration. Raba’s goal is to have the building ready to move into by Aug. 1, 2018. The building is progressing nicely and he is confident that goal will be met.
Attendance is at the top of the list for Middle School Principal Kevin Smidt, also. Presently, attendance sits at about 80% of enrollment. He is gearing toward a goal to improve math scores.
The biggest project for the Activities Director, Clay Anderson, is to keep the schedules coordinated for the school district. During the month of October there were 127 activities with 100 of them out of town. He said it takes a lot of organization to keep buses and people where they need to be. Anderson said that one of his goals is to have a Fine Arts Hall of Fame in the same manner of the Athletic Hall of Fame.
The Board concluded after setting a few long range goals that included reconfiguring South Park school playground equipment, the greenway and adding a walking track. The plans also include upgrades to the Middle School football field and continuing to renovate the main building at the high school.
Susan Proefrock, Business Manager, summed up everyone’s thoughts by saying it is the responsibility of the school district, teachers, students, school board members, administrators and parents to help students to succeed.