Superintendent Willie Williams introduced the new advisory committee Tuesday to gain knowledge of “what has been done, needs to be done, and what is yet to come in the Helena-West Helena School District.”

 

Superintendent Willie Williams introduced the new advisory committee Tuesday to gain knowledge of “what has been done, needs to be done, and what is yet to come in the Helena-West Helena School District.”
“I adopted this committee to hopefully be able to help the board in leading our accomplishment of what needs to be done in the district,” he said.
 Last month, several members of the community came together with the same goal in mind – to come up with a strategic plan that will be beneficial not only to the district now but in the far future.
“I don’t believe in operating  anything without a vision and I have called this meeting to introduce the ideas and establish the direction and purpose of this district,” commented Williams. 
The committee attempted to clarify any misunderstanding or misperceptions.  Williams stated that he wanted real objective input, “Where I don’t have to be the only one talking.”
The committee members agreed that the main focus of the district and the board is the children.
“We may make a strategic plan that someone may not like, but it’s not about doing something that everyone will like, but to do what is right,” Williams said.
Williams asked each member to address their concerns, which were outlined around the history of Helena-West Helena, “To go back and recapture what we used to have.” commented Williams. 
Members of the committee agreed that differences cannot be a barrier from positive opportunities.  A strategic plan was outlined as a plan that eventually will be adopted as policy, and includes community input. 
“We need engagement from the community, whether it be criticism, which has some valued input. I feel that this is vital in moving forward,” Williams said.
“The change starts somewhere, whether it is with us. Change needs to start somewhere” commented committee member Patrick Roberson. “Industry follows education and we need to set goals, unify the board with the community, teachers and parents and students alike. We all agree that we are not willing to give up on education. We know we have great teachers, good programs we just need a good strategic plan will help us better the students options as well as the district. 
Several members agreed that a strategic plan should be put out there as a transparent map that directs us to where the district needs to be. Williams and the committee discussed the current RIF that has been issued and outlined several goals that they wish to accomplish.
Members of the committee volunteered for positions that needed to be filled during the planning.
“We want to be part of the solution not part of the problem.  I feel that we have created a society that failure is believed to be acceptable and that needs to change,” said Lynn Chadwick. 
 “Building some trust with the community shouldn’t be a last attempt to pass a millage, which failed due to the lack of trust,” commented Dana Chadwick.” I believe that we need to be held accountable for not only for the district but for our community as well.”
The advisory committee discussed the participation of local organizations working together with the district to accomplish its goals. 
“Where are these kids struggling? How can we help them and build on that?” questioned Rayne Gordon. The committee agreed that communications between organizations teachers, students and parents should be utilized. We have to plan as a community, not just a board or a committee and we need to proceed in a transparent form.