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The focus of discussion at the Nebraska Unified District #1 meeting was aimed at the long-term future of the unified district.
As the inter-local agreement between Clearwater and Orchard as well as the possible addition of Ewing Public Schools were discussed as factors, conversation was directed towards the goals of the district as a whole.
Superintendent Dale Martin suggested another workshop with Marcia Herring with the eighteen board members to evaluate the goals and roadmap of the unified district through strategic planning.
Herring, Director of Board Leadership for the Nebraska Association of School Boards, facilitated a workshop with the full board in the past.
"We need to take a look at the goals and strategic plans and what we see the unified district looking like in 3-5 years," Martin said.
The possible feasibility study with Ewing was also discussed. Martin said he felt it would provide the unified board with information needed to develop a strategic plan.
With concerns of doing previous studies, Terri Hergert asked, "How many times do we have to pay for feasibility studies before something happens?"
Martin responded, "As many times as it takes. Those are some of the things that, to me, would help paint the picture."
Peggy Liska pointed out that a feasibility study would be appropriate to include with strategic planning if that is what the board is going to do.
Liska said, "Unless you do a feasibility study, I don’t think you have the answers of the 'what ifs'. If you are going to to strategic planning, you should include that information. What is a common goal between all of us? What is the purpose of all of this and where are we going with all of this?"
In discussion of how to add Ewing into the conversation with the future of the unified district, Williby said that it is important to hear Ewing's ideas. The board agreed that a conversation with Ewing is important, but the first meeting with Marcia should be with the existing board.
The Unified Board appointed a member from each school to set up a meeting with Ewing before meeting as an entire board to develop a strategic plan. Marty Kerkman, Peggy Liska and Terra Williby were appointed to this committee.