The Harwood Unified Union school District (HUUSD) Board was presented a draft vision statement for the district at its last meeting.
The visioning committee, a subcommittee of the HUUSD Board, presented a draft vision statement at the board’s August 28 retreat at the Mad River Barn.
“According to the Vermont School Board Association (VSBA), one of the first and most important tasks for a school board is to engage with the community to build a shared vision which will guide the work of the school system. In our research, we found many versions of what a vision might look like, and the most inspiring had not only an aspirational statement but also more complex lists and elements. The additional details provide more context, but more importantly they also offer a kind of road map for monitoring progress toward the vision,” said visioning committee member and Waterbury representative Maureen McCracken.
The visioning committee drafted a vision statement for the district using words that community members submitted on a three-word survey. The three-word survey was put out last spring and over 700 community members responded. Community members were asked to describe a school experience and what kind of experience they wanted for students within the district now. After the survey, the visioning committee also held seven community vision conversations around the district that had roughly 65 attend overall.
After compiling all the words that community members submitted, the committee defined what the words meant and what were the most important or most used by community members, to draft a statement.
The draft reads, “The Harwood Unified Union School District provides a rigorous, innovative and student-centered educational experience in a welcoming and inclusive environment while ensuring equity and operating efficiently. We are committed to partnering with our community at all levels of the district to achieve our vision for excellence.”
After last week’s presentation to the board, the committee sought feedback from the community on the draft statement. The board asked that comments be submitted by September 5, so the vision team can make revisions and present a revised version for anticipated board approval at the board’s next meeting on September 11.
“The final vision, which we hope will be approved in mid-September, should allow everyone in our schools – from the board to teachers and paraprofessionals – to develop guiding questions for big and small decisions alike. It should also provide a framework for developing new metrics to augment the monitoring work we already do,” said McCracken.
"I'm proud of what we have been able to accomplish thus far, and I hope board members, if not the board as a whole, can develop guiding questions to influence decisions we are making starting this year,” said McCracken.