A strategic plan for Hazelwood School District
By: Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, Superintendent of the Hazelwood School District
As Superintendent of the Hazelwood School District, I am delighted to announce that we are engaging in a collaborative strategic planning process with students, parents, staff and community partners.
Our Hazelwood NOW plan underpins our strategic process and direction. We have set priorities, focused energy, and dedicated resources to ensure our community works collaboratively to achieve our three district goals: (1) increase student achievement, (2) enhance professional development, and (3) increase parent and community involvement. Overall, the Hazelwood NOW plan speaks to our new and innovative programs, our options and opportunities, and our interest in working together to build coalitions and capacity.
We have ten research and development committees consisting of hardworking students, parents, staff and community stakeholders. Our research and development committees are brainstorming ideas and options to support several of our districtwide initiatives. Such initiatives include, but are not limited to, opening a thematic school during the 2018-2019 school year and incorporating Redefining Ready – a cohesive college, career, and life readiness system sponsored by the American Association of School Administrators (AASA).
Additionally, I am pleased with our Superintendent’s Student Advisory group who participate on the Behavior Guide Revision Committee that will assist with the evolution of a districtwide student-centered system conducive to supporting every child through individualized services, academic supports and alternative programs. At our Opportunity Center, staff provide education options on the school campus where several community resource partners provide services to support our students and families. Likewise, we are using partnerships to support safety in our schools.
We have already announced that we were forming a “No Weapons in Our Schools” awareness campaign because of a previous gun incident. However, due to the recent gun incident, we made the decision to accelerate this powerful “No Weapons in Our Schools” initiative. This is not only a school problem; this is a community problem. Therefore, the Hazelwood School Board is forming a coalition in collaboration with the Hazelwood PTA Council, Key Communicators, Hazelwood National Education Association and local law enforcement. The impact of our partnerships is evidenced in our students’ achievement outcomes.
Thankfully, our new and continued partnerships with parents, local businesses, non-profit organizations, clergy, elected officials and Hero-volunteers are making a difference in the academic achievement of our students. Recently, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) released its Annual Performance Report (APR) for school districts. We are already a fully-accredited school district, and I am proud of our students and staff who worked diligently to earn 85 percent of the total APR points during the 2016-2017 academic year. In fact, our APR rating puts our Hazelwood School District on a positive trajectory toward achieving accreditation with distinction.
Finally, I am delighted to report that our balanced budget is the result of our ability to set priorities and work collaboratively. This year the involvement and hard work of participants serving on our budget subcommittees will add value to our budget process because they will provide fiscally responsible options to support our students and staff. We welcome additional stakeholders to serve on our budget subcommittees, as the success of our districtwide initiatives will not only require funding but also community involvement.
In conclusion, we had a strong, positive, and productive first semester. The Hazelwood School District’s 2017-2022 Strategic Plan requires a collective commitment and sense of urgency from all students, parents, staff, and community partners. Through our continued partnerships we will support and implement a strategic plan and process focused on learning communities that are guided by our relentless efforts to ensure each student achieves maximum growth.
Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart has 40 years of experience in education. She is the superintendent of schools for the Hazelwood School District, serving nearly 18,000 students and leading 2,300 staff members. She previously served as superintendent for Proviso Township High Schools District 209 in Forest Park, Illinois. During her extensive career, she has served as superintendent in a Pre K – 12 District in North Carolina. She has also served as assistant superintendent in Chapel Hill serving 12,500 students, and the Lawrence Public Schools, serving 10,500 students. Collins-Hart has a doctorate degree in educational policy and leadership from University of Kansas – Lawrence, Kansas.