If there’s one thing local organizations can take away from the unexpected
divergence from everyday life following Superstorm Sandy, it’s that it’s always
best to have a plan. The Beach
Haven School District has invited staff members, parents, students,
community leaders and other interested members of the general public to join
together to help construct the school’s strategic plan, likely the first of its
kind for the school. The preparation is expected to help create a vision of the
future and identify the goals and strategies necessary for the district to meet
the challenges of the 21st century, including state and federal mandates.
“It’s not only about the school, but it’s about the future of education and
how it’s going to be placed upon us,” said EvaMarie Raleigh, superintendent of
the Beach Haven School.
During the first of the three planned meetings, held Monday, Feb. 3,
participants identified the strengths and challenges of the district. The
school’s small student body is both an asset and a disadvantage, said
“It’s a strength in that there’s a small student-to-staff ratio, but it’s
tough when you’re doing collaboration with the students because it’s nice for
them to have different partners at times,” she explained. “People have different
skills working on different activities, so when your (school is) tiny, it’s kind
of hard to do a lot of that because you’re always working with the same people.
That’s a challenge, but it’s also a plus because it’s great that everyone knows
Raleigh will present the complete findings to the committee during the next
meeting, set for Tuesday, March 11, at 7 p.m., in the school’s art room.
Participants will break into groups to work on
the different ideas and help formulate long-term, five- to seven-year goals for
the school, based on its defined strengths and challenges.
The last meeting, on Tuesday, April 8, will address the action plan for those
“It’s dreaming big; it’s the future. It’s about now and moving forward,” said
Raleigh. “It’s kind of something that you do, and then you visit it every year
and you tweak the plan. You take everything, and you look at what you’re good
at, what the plans are. You kind of just put a road map down. You try to stick
to it, but a lot of times you have to adjust it as the year goes by because you
never know what might be on the horizon if you’re not thinking about it until it
Last year’s move to the Eagleswood
Township Elementary School, following Sandy damage to the Beach Haven
School, is a prime example of some of those unexpected deviations from the
original plan, said Raleigh.
“You could never have planned for last year and then coming back here, but
our goal is looking at our staff, looking at our curriculum, looking at our
programs, even looking at our after-school activities anything that kind of
Courtesy of: Kelley Anne Essinger