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How the Hewlett-Woodmere School District will get where it is going

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There are many moving parts to the Hewlett-Woodmere School District’s HW 2025 initiative, a seven-year plan that seeks to put the school district in the best possible position to improve the manner it educates its students.

Viewing the 28-page final strategic plan, it lays out a comprehensive strategies based on the district’s four pillars: Student-centered curriculum, Culture for Success, Collaboration and Partnership and Stewardship and Efficiency.

Within those areas there are the major goals: Ensure high quality and innovative curriculum, instruction, and learning. Provide a network of student support to meet the needs of the whole child. Strengthen family, school and community partnerships to support student growth. Provide efficient and cost-effective operations, systems and services.

But what does it all mean for administrators, students and teachers as well as the communities served by the school district?

“For any organization, I believe that it is important to review where the organization is, what its goals are, what is the perception of the organization by those who use its services, and what the communities’ perception of the organization,” said Richard Braverman, who was part of the Stakeholder Planning Team. 

He should know. Braverman, an attorney, sat on the Hewlett-Woodmere Board of Education from 1983 to 2004 and served as president from 1992 to 2004. “Boards should constantly review where the organization is, what its role is, what its goals are, and how it is doing in meeting its goals,” he added. “The board is to be commended for taking this action, as part of an ongoing quest to make a good system better.”

Beginning in 2016, the district surveyed community members, parents, staff and students, parents and community members to learn what “their hopes, dreams and visions” for the district’s future would, said Superintendent Ralph Marino Jr. The following school year, the Stakeholder Planning Team reviewed the results to develop the final strategic plan for 2018 to 2025.

Marino said that while the plan is intended to guide the district during that stretch, it is also important to uncover possible shifts in the stakeholders thinking. Through the 2018 -2019 school year, five surveys were conducted: Student engagement, alumni, curriculum, school quality and state of the district.

After the data was studied, action plans for each of the district’s schools — Hewlett High School, Woodmere Middle School, Hewlett and Ogden elementary schools and Franklin Early Childhood Center — were developed to identify each school’s goals and a timeline to meet them.

Also during the identical time period, the implementation plan was created. Two demographic studies were also conducted as part of the long-term initiative. Marino noted that this was to “adequately plan for the future and predict enrollment moving forward.”

“Our board, district and individual district leadership team member goals are all aligned with the strategic plan,” he said. “Once completed, this work will allow the district to set goals appropriately in subsequent years.”

It is that “road map for the future” that stokes Board of Education Mitchell Greebel’s fire, saying that what makes the plan unique is that it “thrives on the participation and collaboration of a variety of stakeholders.”

“Our vision, mission, our beliefs and values, and the critical four pillars for success were all based on what our community told us,” he said. “It will continue to invigorate and energize our learning community for years to come. 

To view HW 2025, go to https://www.hewlett-woodmere.net/domain/1706.