GPS sets district goals for new year

Riley


Gretna Public School officials met on Saturday to discuss and set potential goals for the following year.

While the goals have not been officially approved by the GPS Board of Education, Superintendent Kevin Riley said that these goals, which range from activities, curriculum, construction and finance, are likely to be addressed this year.

One of the goals focuses on looking towards the future with the inevitability of a new middle school building.

“That is going to be the next building to hit capacity, to go past capacity,” Riley said.

He said that Gretna Middle School’s current enrollment indicates the need for a new facility in the near future, and that it is enrollment which drives such goals.

A possible location for the new middle school is the 80 acres purchased by the district roughly two years ago, Riley said.

The land sits on 180th Street between Highway 370 and Cornhusker Road.

The plan for this 180th Street campus will be developed this year, according to the goals, and will begin with various site visits to other recently built middle schools to sample building templates.

From there, Riley said, the district will analyze the templates to see if it will fit the district’s needs.

“Will that template fit that ground? Can it be retrofitted into a high school?” he said.

Another inevitability GPS’s proposed goals address is the use of electronics and technology within the classroom.

“We know that eventually the electronic tablet is going to be the text book,” Riley said. “The question is when do we move in that direction?”

He said that all the school buildings are connected by a wide array network, or are connected by fiber, and that the district made that network knowing that the tablet could replace textbooks.

Riley said that the district will determine when to make the leap to a 1-to-1 technology initiative, offering some students an electronic device on a 1-to-1 basis, by analyzing the cost efficiency and learning efficiency of such programs.

While the goals include other construction and curriculum plans, the district also wants to continue to create positive relationships with the community it serves. For instance, one goal is to increase student involvement with the school board itself.

“(The board) really enjoys the meetings when students are in attendance,” Riley said.

He said students often get involved in making presentations, whether to keep the board updated on school progress or in making requests for programs and activities.

Riley gave an example of last year’s second graders doing a presentation on writing and writing development.

“The board wants to see more of that,” Riley said.

The proposed list of goals will go before the Board of Education during its meeting on Monday.

If the list of goals is constant with the board’s intent, Riley said, the board will officially approve of the goals during its Jan. 28 meeting.

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