Mike Cattani
Mike Cattani
MENOMINEE - The Menominee Area Public Schools District knows where it has been. Now it has determined where it wants to go and what must be done to get there.

John Hofer, who facilitated a five-year strategic plan for the district, will present it Thursday during a special MAPS Board of Education meeting. It will be held at 6 p.m. in the library at Blesch Intermediate School. The board will then discuss and consider the plan.

Topics will be achievement, facilities, finance, communications, community-corporate relations and technology.

Hofer, a former MAPS board president and member, said he found the level of commitment to the district and its students quite rewarding during workshops for the strategic plan held last summer.

"It was very energizing for me," Hofer said. "We often had to bring in extra chairs because we had excellent attendance at those meetings."

Mike Cattani, superintendent of MAPS, calls the strategic plan "a road map" for the district.

"Some things will take one year, others will take three years, but it's a five-year plan," he said. "What are the headlines in the newspaper 10 years from now?"

Here are the events that led to the establishment of the strategic plan:

Last May, the board decided to begin creating a strategic plan for the district and Hofer, director of marketing at Bay Area Medical Center, offered to facilitate the process at no cost. Later, the Michigan Association of School Boards provided the board with a data planning report. It included information on three school districts of comparable size to Menominee: Beitung Township in Dickinson County, Durand Area Public Schools in Shiawassee County and Manistee Area Public Schools in Manistee County. The report also featured sections on academic performance, demographics, finance and personnel.

The Strategic Planning Committee received the information from the data planning report June 5 at a special workshop. That meeting also included presentations by administrators of school improvement planning processes and an analysis by the board and administration which identified the district's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

During July and August, students, parents and community members evaluated the district through an electronic and hard copy survey. The results of that survey, as well as a recap of previously collected information, were presented Aug. 6 to a working group comprised of school board members, administrators, staff, parents and community members. The working group provided discussion and ideas. It then created a framework for the strategic plan which focused on six major areas: achievement, facilities, finance, communications, community-corporate relations and technology. Working groups were formed to establish strategic elements for each area. Administrators also reviewed and revamped the schools' mission, vision and values statements.

Each of the six working groups, which included school board members, administrators, staff, parents and community members, met during August and September to discuss and create plans for their specific areas. Those plans included strategies and action steps, established who was accountable, key members and the year in which that action plan would be accomplished. All area plans were sent out to group members for review and comment before a final version was created.

"Now we're ready to unveil what our plan is for the next five years," Cattani said.