The action plan includes goals that the board hopes to complete within a specific time frame. Dr. Allison Pierce of Resource Development System led the board through the process.
Immediate goals focused on securing funding for capital projects and moving forward with building improvements.
Specific capital requests to submit to the Bradley County Commission were also discussed during Tuesday’s work session. Making a new academic building at Lake Forest middle school the board’s top priority was discussed.
Board member Troy Weathers said an expansion of the cafeteria at Walker Valley High School should be included because it would be good timing to complete this expansion while adding eight additional classrooms. The WVHS addition is being paid for through a hazard-mitigation grant and a local match from the school system.
Adding funding for technology was also discussed. Bradley County Director of Schools Johnny McDaniel said some funding for technology may come from the state this year.
Board member Christy Critchfield said whenever the board submits a list of capital projects there should be five prioritized projects included.
Some other items on the action plan included holding open forums to answer questions from the community, publishing the school system’s budget on its website, developing an annual report for the community and working toward becoming a board of distinction.
“That is a very aggressive plan,” Pierce said. “If you do three of those things, that’s success. If you do one of those things, you are successful.”
Board member Chris Turner said establishing an annual meeting similar to the visioning session held in January would be important moving forward. This goal was included in the action plan.
Turner said the board should include goals for educational outcomes in the action plan.
Pierce said the annual meeting could serve as a time for the board to discuss such goals.
“We as the board have very little power when it comes to those issues,” Weathers said.
He said the majority of the instructional goals are handed down from the state.
“I’m not saying don’t get involved with it, but be careful how much you get involved,” Weathers said.
He said those who work with students every day have a better grasp on what the goals should be than he does.
Goals were derived from objectives listed at the board’s visioning work session last month. At that meeting the board drafted a new vision of having every resident of Bradley County become an advocate for education.
Members sorted objectives by those that were important and urgent; important but not urgent; not important but urgent; and not urgent or important. Any objective deemed not important but urgent or not urgent or important was not included in the action plan for the board.
“Anything that deals with funding to me is extremely important, and important when we prioritize,” board chairman Charlie Rose said.
Funding was an element of much of the sorting discussions.