OXFORD — SAD 17 Superintendent Rick Colpitts told the board of directors Monday night that district’s strategic plan is almost ready for review.

“We are a work in progress,” he said. The plan has been under development for year.

The Strategic Planning Team, representing longtime community members, alumni, parents of students, former teachers, SAD 17 board members, current teachers and administration, has been engaged preparing a plan to cover the next five to 10 years. While much of the work has been behind the scenes, a lot of community input has been sought.

In December, for example, the planning team held a public forum which drew about 150 people from the Oxford Hills School District with ideas for the future of local education.

The group has also been advised by committee facilitator Duke Albanese, who is a senior policy adviser at Great Plains Partnership and was former state education commissioner during Gov. Angus King’s term.

The idea for the group began in July 2012, when Colpitts told directors it would be part of an effort to develop a vision for students, providing them with what could be a vastly different educational environment than the one they see now.


The idea of developing a strategic plan is being developed throughout Maine school districts as many try to move away from the late-19th-century “assembly-line” design of public schools that dates from the Industrial Age to a customized learning environment for the individual student.

Several schools in Maine, including Auburn, Portland and Winthrop, completed their visions and have been implementing their plans over the past few years.

The last districtwide strategic planning process for SAD 17 was when the comprehensive high school was built, according to director Jared Cash.

The committee is expected to review the draft copy at its next meeting June 19. They will vote to adopt the document before it is implemented.


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