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JMCSS Board members hear from leadership about plans

Jackson-Madison County School Board members had a chance on Saturday to hear in detail from the leadership of the district the plans for this year.

The Board and district leadership gathered for the school board retreat, an event that typically happens once or twice a year as a chance for the board to discuss various issues – long-term and otherwise – over the course of a day or a weekend.

But this retreat was structured differently from the typical retreat.

Instead of board members discussing a planned list of topics over long sessions, they were instead split into groups that heard from different members of the district’s leadership.

Department heads made presentations about their plans for the year within their specific department for this school year.

Each presentation was 20 minutes, which meant the department head had that long to discuss three plans.

They didn’t just discuss the plans. They discussed what those plans would look like if carried out, how much they would cost if there is a cost, what the reasonable expectation is for the plan, what it would look like if expectations were exceeded and if expectations weren’t met.

Topics of discussion varied from technology to capital plans to athletics to safety to culture and leadership within each school.

After each presentation, those in attendance would go to a large piece of paper about the size of a poster taped to the wall that had three columns for questions, suggestions or concerns. Board members – or other leaders who were listening that weren’t presenting at the time – would post a sticky note with a sentence in the appropriate column.

At the end of the day, Superintendent Marlon King went over what was written on the sticky notes with a bit of discussion among the group.

The objective at the end of the day was for all board members who were present to be knowledgeable about the objectives of the district. Seven of the nine board members were present for at least part of the day including Marcia Moss, who was appointed on Sept. 18 to the vacant seat on the board.

Brandon Shields,

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