To the editor of THE EAGLE:
The strategic planning exercise undertaken since last fall by the Lenox School Committee appears to be nearing its end and at this 11th hour the committee chair reveals that the financial challenges facing the district are too complex to deal with effectively in the time remaining. While I agree that these matters require substantial time and effort they certainly could have been addressed had the focus of strategic planning been from the beginning on the financial issues of which school choice is a major component.
I’m afraid that Lenox has again bought into the polished presentation offered by an alluring consultant who was given rein over the incredibly important matter of strategic planning. In my view the massive effort centered around the survey of the community will likely conclude with the development of mission and vision statements that, perhaps in an eloquent manner, state the obvious. Yes we want a nurturing, effective, challenging, fair, respectful school experience for students, faculty and every stake holder. We all get that. And perhaps we’ll find we need better communications between staff, administration and parents. That’s probably true but better communications, like many topics summarized from the survey, are not strategic issues. These matters are important but they’re addressed by effective day to day management, not a strategic plan.
Unfortunately we’ve spent over $40,000, enormous amounts of volunteer time, and drawn from educational time of students when many teachers attended full-day workshops and yet we don’t have any guidance or plan regarding the most urgent matter confronting us -- how do we continue to offer an educational program in these financially difficult times with a declining population?