As we move forward

OPINION — If we are fortunate enough to survive the cold days of February, spring will be here before we know it. Due to COVID-19 March, April and May were lost last year. All the spring activities kids look forward to, gone. We all hope that is not the case this school year.

It is our intention to have as normal of a spring as possible. March parent teacher conferences, state basketball, SODAK 16 games, state wrestling, prom, musical play, freshman impact day, fine arts banquet, senior honors night, athletic banquet, freshman transition day — to name a few. Many and most of which were missed last year, all are on as scheduled this year. Let us all hope that does not change!!  

Our kids deserve and need those things to happen.

SHS is in the process of scheduling students for the 2021-22 school year. All 8-11 grade students have completed their initial class requests. Hopefully your student discussed that with you — the parent. If not, please contact the counseling staff to find out what your child registered for.

The 2021-22 school year will bring in the largest number of high school students we have seen in a long time. A good problem to have, but scheduling each into the classes they need and want becomes an intricate and interesting process.  It is always the goal to have students in the classes they most desire. Please understand that the process is not perfect. Some classes will fill up. Some classes will have to be taken in a different year. Seniors always have preference.

Keep in mind that many students across the nation have yet to step foot into a building. No face to face education since March of 2020. Sad but true. The students of Spearfish are fortunate.

One can not imagine the gaps a majority of the students across the nation will be dealing with. Thanks to our educators, those gaps will be minimal for the students in the Spearfish School District. I would be remiss in saying things were not different, but each educator planned, collaborated and made the necessary adjustments to meet the educational needs of our students.

A lot of sound research and instructional principles were looked at as we taught during the Covid 19 year. Together our educators made it work. Whatever came our way, it was met head on!

This spring the school district intends to start the next round of strategic planning. Effective strategic planning provides a three- to five-year framework for decision making that builds upon the common vision and values held by the community. The strategic planning process comprises three concrete phases that puts the organizational model into action and empowers leaders with critical information and strategies to bring decisions into focus.

The process will include conducting research, developing the strategic plan and implementing the plan over the next three to five years. All of this is set to take place from mid-March to mid-June.

When complete the strategic plan is a document that will articulate our district’s mission and vision, as well as the goals and objectives needed to achieve the vision. The strategic plan will provide the framework and guidance for our district to fulfill our mission with optimal efficiency and impact. Strategic planning is also a cyclical process that, through consistent monitoring and realignment with strategically agreed-upon values and goals, is continually implemented, evaluated, and revised in order to improve student achievement and district performance.

Many educators, parents, students and community members will have the opportunity to assist in the process.

“The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds. Think big anyway” ~Kent M. Keith

Steve Morford is the principal at Spearfish High School.

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