Strategic Planning Input Sessions

The final input sessions for both the public and staff of Marietta City Schools will begin Thursday at 5 p.m. at Marietta Elementary School as the district continues its strategic planning process this week.

"We need as much input as possible," pleads Superintendent Brad Silvus. "I hope you'll consider coming and being a part of this process."

Public sessions are scheduled for 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. in the cafeteria and will be followed by sessions for only staff at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Honest Discussion

The three discussion prompts will follow the same vein as the Jan. 26 sessions, asking participants to identify what is going well within the district, where there's room for improvement, and to visualize where the district could be in three to five years.

"With a strategic planning process, you always ask for input. But you don't always receive it," reflected Silvus following the first set of sessions. "But we've had groups that are willing to share, and this is promising for building a plan we can all get behind."

Students, substitutes, parents, volunteers and both the support and teaching staff of the district are all encouraged to share their perspectives during these sessions.

"We're excited to hear that we have some common areas of concern, some common strengths, and areas we really need to work on. But we need to gather more data to ensure those themes are correct," added Silvus.

To date, more than 150 individuals have participated in the public input period between the first sessions on Jan. 26 and the online survey included below. 

"I do feel like we're doing better with support now," shared Crystal Barnett-Sheaves, a seventh-grade science teacher at Marietta High School. "[Including] better resources for when a kid or a family needs something, but we could always use more."

Sheaves attended one of the staff-only sessions on Jan. 26 and had the opportunity to share a table discussion with Silvus and fellow teachers representing both the K-2 and 3-6 buildings.

Jessie Abrecht, a lower elementary teacher at Washington School, talked about the continued need for support during the adoption of new curricula, specifically recurring investment in teaching literacy and mathematics with the tools and resources that are supported by best practices.

"That wasn't how I was taught how to teach in college," she reflected. "But I've learned to love it...I think that it'd be nice to see more staff buy into the curriculum."

"That's the only way that we're going to build consistency between our schools," added Katie Grimm, an English/Language Arts teacher at Marietta Elementary School. 

Others attending the public sessions discussed a need to address the state of aged buildings in the district and to build community and staff buy-in.

"I know that's been a big one for years, but as a substitute, you go into every single building and each one has its own issues," shared Catherine Hartline. 

"I would say supporting teachers and making sure that the district is someplace that they want to stay and can see their career in," shared Tyler Hartline, a recent Marietta High School and Marietta College graduate who grew his love of music education from his time as a Tiger. "With the stability of directors, the longer they're there, the better those programs are going to be."

Follow along with the process by clicking here.

Public Input Survey Closes at 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 9