Ladue School Board Issues Midyear Strategic Plan Update

The plan emphasizes technology, support for at risk students, and innovative programs.

The regular meeting of the Ladue School Board this week was the perfect opportunity to update the district’s strategic plan. The plan has been a living document now for the past six months.

District Superintendent Marsha Chappelow stayed mainly in the areas of communications. She went over the district’s new external news website, the employees access to their own secure website 24 hours a day with the opportunity to review benefits and other timely issues, the fact that the district’s Facebook page is up and running, and that her own Twitter account will be active shortly.

She reminded everyone how interested parties could keep up with all the good thing happening within the district in the news report “Spotlight on Ladue.”

“Our parent communications have greatly improved,” she said, pointing to the communications of parents and their students who are enrolled in Special School District services.

The midyear strategic plans branched out into a wide variety of other updates and reports. The statewide mandate for allergy policies was reviewed, along with the middle school’s stronger emphasis on math, communications arts, and other core curriculum.

The high school update included a report on a new writing program developed through a teacher’s grant and the upgrade of the freshman advisory program, focused on at-risk students.

The high school review included information on the focus of a new business-focused math, science, robotics program set to launch in the fall. Students will learn about aviation and the space programs available during Boeing Days at the school.

Jason Buckner, the district’s chief financial officer, talked about bringing more transparency to financial reports. His goal is putting those reports in language all parents can easily understand.

Other officials talked about upgrades with the district’s technology. Ladue has transitioned to Google docs for its email service, and the Internet speed has increased fivefold.

“Even during a downturn in the economy, this district is still moving forward, doing many positive things for its students and teachers,” Chappelow said.

Board member Ken Smith thinks this is a good thing.

“As we move forward, we should continually be selling our programs to our constituents. We need to tell our people about all the things that make Ladue a great district. We need to remain positive and tell the people what we do,” Smith said.

In other business, the Ladue School Board recognized Michelle Schmitt, head librarian at Ladue Horton Watkins as the first Excellence in Education award recipient for 2012.

Schmitt was praised for her dedication to her students and reading, as well as her devotion to her two high school-aged daughters who were in attendance.

Joan Oakley, head of curriculum, announced that once again summer school in 2012 would be limited to students in the recovery only program. No enrichment programs will be offered with the current budget established.


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