Principal Carol Campbell and Site Council President Dale Bajema recently had the opportunity to present to the PPS Board of Education. Their presentation outlined the success Benson has experienced over the past year, as well as the challenges Benson will face going forward. Afterwards, board members asked a series of great questions such as what effect the enrollment cap is having on Benson and what effect outside programs are having on classroom and shop availability.
One important item that came out of this presentation was that Benson’s Site Council is drafting a 5-year plan. Here is a transcript of Dale’s presentation:
Since last fall, the Benson Site Council has been working on a 5-year Plan. We believe an “agreed-upon”, and “published” plan, will better guide the variety of current and anticipated efforts to further improve the performance of Benson students, especially those efforts that will enrich the students’ CTE experiences at Benson.
We think when there are many people with many ideas and projects involving Benson. A plan is necessary to focus their energy and available resources on the highest priority goals and to minimize their working at cross-purposes or on low priority goals. This includes Benson’s teachers and staff, students and parents, business partners, community supporters and alumni.
The plan has a set of agreed-upon goals for the coming 5 school years with measurable steps in each year. It will compliment, and provide a larger context for, the required School Improvement Plan.
The substance of the plan is divided into 3 parts — Instruction, Community Building, and Development – that work together to support Benson’s mission as a focus-option high school. Particular attention is being given in the plan to academic achievement, equity issues, and improvements in Benson’s unique CTE programs.
Every plan must start with key assumptions and ours are:
- There will be continuing “tight” budget constraints over the next 5 years but with some modest increases in the latter years
- There will be a further increase of partners offering support to Benson’s CTE programs. This is based on the growing number of new business partners in the past 2 years, increasing alumni support, and a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Benson and Oregon Institute of Technology that was signed earlier this year
- Benson’s teachers and staff will continue creating additional connections between the school’s academic offerings and the curriculum content in its CTE classes, as well as to more effectively use resources from every source.
The Site Council expects to have a draft of the 5-Year Plan by the end of this school year. We hope to have an opportunity to discuss it with all of you during the summer before implementation begins this fall.