The Woodburn School Board unanimously approved an update to the school district’s Strategic Plan Aug. 15. The Strategic Plan covers the years 2013-2018 and will drive decision-making from the classroom to the school board.

“Every time there is a decision to be made, our goal is to ask, ‘How will this contribute to the learning and growth of our students?’” said Superintendent Chuck Ransom. “The Strategic Plan helps us be specific in how we measure the success of our work.”

The process to update the plan took about a year and involved 52 people from the community and schools. The Strategic Plan identifies three goals for the school district: making sure all students graduate career-or-college ready; building a “culture of engagement” with students, parents/guardians and community members; and being good stewards of public resources and community trust.

In addition, the Strategic Plan identifies specific objectives that need to be accomplished as well as ways to measure success.

“We are accountable to our students, their families and our taxpayers,” said David Vancil, school board chair. “This document, in essence, becomes the school district’s road map for decisions and our report card for the community.”

Vancil says one upcoming component of the plan will be to ask the community to consider a bond in the spring. According to a press release from the district, the school board is leaning toward a “revenue neutral” bond, which means taxes will not increase when the bond is approved by voters. This is possible because the last bond passed by the community in 1995 is scheduled to retire. While the amount of bonding capacity is pre-determined, the community would have the opportunity to provide input into the projects that could be funded.

“How can we ‘build a culture of engagement with our students’ when they don’t have room to learn?” Vancil said. “We are considering a bond to help us provide adequate classroom space and technology improvements, as well as maintain our existing buildings — all without raising taxes.”

The school district will hold community meetings about the bond issue later in the fall.

In the meantime, the public is invited to hear a summary of the Strategic Plan during the Woodburn School Board’s regularly scheduled workshop on Sept. 5 at 6:30 p.m. in the Woodburn High School Lectorium, 1785 N. Front St.,Woodburn.

A downloadable copy of the Strategic Plan can be found at It also will be available for parents and community members during back to school night Sept. 4 and parent-teacher conferences Oct. 9 and 10.

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