Article by Desiray Seaux, Crowley Post Signal
The newly selected Acadia Parish School Board Superintendent, Scott M. Richard, discussed his entry plan with board members during Monday night’s monthly meeting. “It is an honor and privilege to serve as superintendent of the Acadia Parish School System,” said Richard, adding that he will be gathering information on numerous aspects of the school system and also appreciating the uniqueness of each school community in order to effectively lead the organization. “The overall purpose of this initial effort lays the ground work to learn, understand, and get acquainted with all education stakeholders so that, moving forward, we can all ensure we are meeting the targets of our mission statement,” he said. “Taking these steps will allow for better preparation and guide leadership decisions as superintendent.” The superintendent laid out objectives to be attained through his plan going forward. Those include:
- A successful start to the 2018-19 school year
- Develop a clear understanding of each operational aspect of the system so that all components are focused on improving student achievement
- Ensuring the district support office is effectively supporting our schools
- Strengthening positive relationships with all stakeholders in the community
“These foundational objectives will set forth the opportunity to develop and implement a set of goals tied to a school system strategic plan of operations moving forward that is laser-focused on improving student achievement and customer service,” he said. Richard explained that he intends to execute his plan through “personal engagement with stakeholders to thoroughly assess and evaluate the various components of the school system to be the focus.” This will be achieved, he explained, through interaction and visibility with stakeholders — including employees, students, families, business leaders, faith-based leaders, parish elected officials, community groups, higher education leaders, etc. — to listen and learn. Richard plans to use the “time-tested SWOT process of identifying strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats or challenges to the organization.” SWOT analysis aims to identify the key internal and external factors seen as important to achieving an objective. SWOT analysis groups key pieces of information into two main categories: Internal factors, the strength and weaknesses internal to the organizations and external factors, the opportunities and threats presented by the environment external to the organization. Application of the SWOT process will further provide the foundation to move forward, according to Richard. “A deliberate and intense review of data associated with all operations — especially student achievement data — will occur and drive decision making toward a continuous path of improvement for the organization.” Some of the short-term goals Richard has set include engagement with stakeholders (internal and external) policy and procedures review, external efficiency reviews (curriculum, instruction, operations and finances) and the creation of teacher and student advisory groups.