FARMINGTON — The Educational Policy Committee in Regional School Unit 9 met Tuesday night to begin the process of creating a long-term strategic plan.

Superintendent Tina Meserve addresses RSU 9’s Education Policy Committee on Tuesday night. Nicole Carter/Franklin Journal

The committee includes three representatives of the district’s 16-member board of directors. Half of the board was in attendance, signaling the project’s importance.

Board members said they will hire a third-party facilitator to manage the process.

Superintendent Tina Meserve gave the committee background on several companies that provide facilitation services and examples of work done on behalf of other districts.

The facilitator chosen by the board will be responsible for gathering and analyzing input from education “stakeholders” — community members, faculty and students. From there, the board will determine the district’s long-term vision and objectives.

“The focus of a board’s vision will be on the students and their learning,” Meserve said. “Key objectives of the strategic plan start with educating students but need to provide for an engaged faculty and community. Also important is how to utilize the community’s resources. Local businesses are resources — they need an educated workforce. The University of Maine at Farmington is a huge resource. Right here, we have the means to expose students to continuing their educations.”

Meserve encouraged committee members to review strategic plans from other districts. She noted that RSU 9, which includes 10 towns, will have its own unique needs.

The committee directed Meserve to seek requests for proposal from four facilitators specializing in the education field, to be delivered to the superintendent’s office by Sept. 10.

Committee members said they will review the proposals by Sept. 17, and then select two finalists to present their plans to the RSU 9 board Sept. 24.

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