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The Sedona-Oak Creek School District had one of its first strategic planning committee meetings Nov. 2. The committee, led by education consultant Don Groves, will spend the next months reviewing district data and listening to community input in the first phase of drafting a strategic plan for the school district.

The committee discussed the three main categories of its data gathering efforts: Community input, educational future forecasting and a catchall category for data that doesn’t fit in the other two categories.

The group studying educational future forecasting is working with information from KnowledgeWorks, an organization that examines data to predict what schools and education will look like five, 10 and 20 years from now.

“Life is rapidly changing and schools need to keep up,” Groves said.

Meanwhile, the other data-analyzing group is looking at economic and demographic information collected for the school district’s AdvancED accreditation three years ago, as well as similar data from school districts around the Verde Valley.

While the other groups are reviewing their data sets, the community outreach group will attend several community forums over the next months inviting input from stakeholders at each school.

The four forums will be held:

  • Wednesday, Nov. 15, at 5:30 p.m. at Big Park Community School
  • Wednesday, Nov. 29, at 5:30 p.m. at West Sedona School
  • Wednesday, Dec. 6, at 5:30 p.m. at Sedona Red Rock High School
  • Tuesday, Dec. 12, at 5:30 p.m. at West Sedona School

Echoing concerns similar to those expressed by the Governing Board during its Oct. 3 meeting about the makeup of the committee, much of the Nov. 2 meeting was spent discussing how to include the district’s Hispanic stakeholders in the process.

As it stands, the committee is comprised of nearly 20 people, including principals and teachers from each school, some district administration, and various others including parents and interested community members. But none specifically represents the interests of the district’s Hispanic population, which makes up half of students district-wide.

Suggestions to better include Hispanic interests were twofold: First, several committee members offered to reach out to Hispanic parents they know to invite them to participate on the committee. Second, all of the community forums will provide Spanish translation, and the Tuesday, Dec. 12, community forum is specifically for the Hispanic community with a Spanish-first format — similar to the Hispanic Community Outreach Night last month at Sedona Red Rock High School.

The next formal strategic development team meeting will be Tuesday, Dec. 19.

Rebekah Wahlberg can be reached at 282-7795 ext. 117, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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