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Hancock School board learns about success with Strategic Plan

The Hancock Public School exists to develop in all students the skills, knowledge and passion to be life long learners.

This is the Mission Statement set forth in the Hancock School District Strategic Plan. It is the vision of the board, the staff and the community for the school and was the theme of a recent in-service for teachers. During the in-service the Hancock teachers reviewed the plan which was released last summer and reported on how they are implementing the strategies and achieving the goals set forth. The results of the staff meeting was reported to the school board at their March meeting.

In the strategies aspect the staff reported that they have been working to create an environment for students to be committed to the learning process. They are incorporating 21st century skills and knowledge into the curriculum and identifying individual strengths and applications.

The goals for the teachers are to recognize student accomplishments, set high expectations for student performance and regularly evaluate that performance, providing assistance to target improvement. Parents, staff and community are encouraged to be part of the learning process.

At the high school level the strategies and goals set forth in the strategic plan are being reached in various ways. The student accomplishments are recognized through honor roll, end of quarter rewards, award programs, trophies, medals and several other methods.

In the elementary grades the K-6 Character awards and Accelerated Reader awards help recognize achievements along with PE awards and other contests. Newspaper and other media coverage is another method for recognition of accomplishments.

In the technology portion of the plan the staff listed several avenues where they have been introducing students to 21st century instruction. Smart boards have been installed and used in many classrooms. Computer projects as well as TV/VCR/DVD systems are also available. Teachers utilize scanners and fax machines and have individual web pages on the school web site. They conduct Power Point projects and are available to be contacted through email.

Students use the Internet often for research, they can take virtual field trips and utilize paperless textbooks in some cases. They can even take some online classes.

Students are regularly evaluated through a variety of testing programs at all age levels. Teachers continue to attend workshops and conferences and review new curriculum. Individual students needing assistance are targeted through homeroom time, before and after school, with para help or parent and community volunteers. At the elementary level there is a Reading Corps, PALS and Reading Buddies.

The Junior Achievement program throughout the school has helped integrate community into the school. The students also take regular field trips, have guest speakers and parent volunteers. Several other community programs cross into the school such as FFA, 4-H and ECFE.

In all it was evident that the Strategic Plan incorporated last year by the Hancock school board has been having great success and the mission and goals for the school is a top priority for the staff as well as the community.

Other action

• Work on the new boiler should begin as soon as the weather warms up enough to not need heat. Superintendent Jerry Martinson told the board that the district will be required to remove the extra external fuel tank located on the east side of the high school building. He is hoping this expense can be covered by health and safety funds.

• The board approved a request from Judy Johnson to obtain her boilers license. A course is offered through Ridgewater that she can take. The district will then have two licensed boiler operators.

• Martinson informed the board that he had asked the Benson school about the use of its track for practices for the Hancock track team. The Benson board sent an email requesting $1,500 for practices in Benson for the spring. The Hancock board did not feel this was reasonable since there would probably be less than 10 practices due to weather conditions. They asked Martinson to negotiate to see how many practices Hancock could get for $500.

• It was noted that there is some structural damage to a basement wall in the bus garage. This is probably something that will have to be fixed in the near future, so Martinson will be getting some estimates for consideration.