Lincoln-Way community leaders converge for Strategic Planning Session
Saturday, December 3, 2016

Community members in the Lincoln-Way District 210 community met on Friday evening and Saturday morning, December 2-3, 2016, at Lincoln Way East High School, to participate in a special board meeting to provide input and guidance on how the district should move forward in the coming year. Recommendations from the special 107-person Strategic Long Range Planning Committee are expected to be discussed and adopted by members of the 210 Board of Education.

The Strategic Planning initiative was facilitated by Dr. Robert J. Madonia who volunteered all of his services at no cost to the district.

On October 3rd, Dr. Madonia provided a workshop to board members to assist them in establishing areas of study and formulating a detailed survey to residents to determine stakeholder input. Areas of focus included: finance, building and grounds, community and public relations, curriculum and assessment, human resources, and technology.

The survey garnered over 3000 responses from residents throughout the district’s five communities. Key findings revealed from respondents were:

• Participants did not want school programs cut and were more favorable to exploring other sources of funding including corporate sponsorships,
• Administrative officials should use Lincoln-Way funds to increase student opportunities for technology, and
• Overall, respondents believed district students were well-prepared for college.

“I’m extremely pleased with the overall outcome of the survey and the number of respondents who took the time to answer questions,” stated Madonia. “The data collected from the survey confirms the district is on the right course to continuing the academic success taxpayers expect for their students.”

Over the two-day session, volunteers divided into six groups and were led by district administrators as priorities were created from each category. Also present at the meeting were members of the Board of Education and Lincoln-Way Superintendent Dr. R. Scott Tingley.

Tingley visited each group and thanked participants for their time and contributions to the district. “Lincoln-Way is fortunate to have so much public interest from residents who share the district’s passion for public education. I was overwhelmed with the number of applicants for the committee so we found a way to include everyone who expressed interest,” added Tingley.

In each group, participants discussed “strengths and opportunities for growth” in their specific focus area. Facilitators of each group then utilized the opportunity to gauge the opinions of the participants in order to form goals. Once a list of goals was created, the groups narrowed their focus to the “top five” most significant goals. After two days of discussion, the groups joined together to discuss their final results and make a formal recommendation to the Board of Education.

Lincoln-Way District 210 Board President Dee Molinare found the experience “encouraging and exhilarating” as a long-time board member. “Hearing first-hand what community leaders see as priorities for the district was extremely helpful in fashioning our goals for the district,” remarked Molinare. “As board members, this kind of collaborative process with the community is invaluable in making decisions for all our students."