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TR$D Mi$$ion $tatement

October 18, 2014

Mi$$ion $tatement:

The mi$$ion of the Timberlane Regional $chool Di$trict is to engage all $tudent$ in challenging and relevant learning opportunitie$, emphasizing high a$piration$ and per$onal growth.

Did I miss any $s?  I know Timberlane didn’t.

A Mission Statement defines an enterprise’s business, its objectives, and its approach to reaching those objectives. A Vision Statement describes the desired future state of the enterprise.  A Mission Statement should drive an an enterprise towards its vision.  A Mission Statement without a Vision Statement is like a Sunday drive in the car.  Timberlane is like a Sunday driver — wandering aimlessly, spending frivolously, and going no where.

For more than a decade, TRSD has been polling parents about their vision for the district’s schools.  For more than a decade, we have been screaming that we want affordable schools that prepare our kids for higher learning and vocational opportunities.  For more than a decade, TRSD has failed to deliver on or even act on this vision.

Before Dr. Metzler contracts his wife to craft a vision statement and mission for the district, I would like to offer mine — for free.

Vision Statement: The vision of the Timberlane Regional School District is to provide every student with an education that will prepare that student to succeed in future academic and vocational endeavors while minimizing tax impact on the community.

I think we could all sign off on that vision.  How do we get there?  You teach the kids the right things, well, 180 days each year…

Mission Statement:  Timberlane Regional School District will engage all students in a challenging and proven curriculum emphasizing each student’s academic and vocational aspirations.

That could probably use some work, but “proven curriculum” and “academic and vocational aspirations” mean more to me than “learning opportunities” and “high aspirations and personal growth.”

Instead of putting this mission statement on a web site, put it in every office and classroom of the school district.  Challenge every employee, volunteer, and student to apply it to every moment of every school day.  Pledge it at the beginning of every school board and budget meeting.

Execution: Mission and vision are very useful tools.  They serve as a standard for guiding actions.  Here are some ways TRSD could have used my mission statement…

  1. The music department asks the superintendent of schools for permission to take students and teachers out of their classes to vacation is Walt Disney World.  How will this impact our mission of engage all students in a challenging and proven curriculum emphasizing each student’s academic and vocational aspirations?  Permission denied.
  2. The music department would like to have a $6,000,000 performing arts center.  How will this impact our mission of engage all students in a challenging and proven curriculum emphasizing each student’s academic and vocational aspirations? Permission denied.
  3. Bag days?  How will this impact our mission of engage all students in a challenging and proven curriculum emphasizing each student’s academic and vocational aspirations? Permission denied.
  4. Silent Sustained Reading? How will this impact our mission of engage all students in a challenging and proven curriculum emphasizing each student’s academic and vocational aspirations?  Permission denied.
  5. Close industrial arts program? How will this impact our mission of engage all students in a challenging and proven curriculum emphasizing each student’s academic and vocational aspirations?  Permission denied.

We could do this all day because the TRSD mission is NOT to engage all students in a challenging and proven curriculum emphasizing each student’s academic and vocational aspirations.

Our vision also promised to minimize tax impact.  Every TRSD program and position not required by law should be scrutinized to determine its impact on academic and economic goals.  For instance, there is no requirement to have a Superintendent of Schools or an SAU Office and staff.  The schools simply need to comply with reporting requirements which are an obligation of schools receiving state aid.  Half of the schools’ salaries are paid to non-teachers.  This is not consistent with our vision.

Your Mission: Visit http://wp.timberlane.net and complete their survey.  Tell Dr. Metzler that you do not agree that TRSD’s mission should be full employment for his family and friends and fun place for district employees to hang out for six hours a day 180-or-so days a year.

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