San Benito school trustees approve road map for future

SAN BENITO — Superintendent Dr. Adrian Vega inhaled and exhaled a sigh of relief.

After more than two months of work, the districts Re-Imagine 2021 Five-Year Strategic Plan is finally ready.

Before the board unanimously voted to accept it last night, Vega presented the plan to the board and the community, who in large part had a big part in drafting the plan.

The community gathered in the Veterans Memorial cafeteria while Vega excitedly presented the facts of the new plan, or what he refers to as the road map to the future.

“Tonight marks the hard work and dedication of our community,” Vega said. “This isn’t a Vega plan, this is a community plan.”

The collaborative journey began April 2, when about 145 people — including school leaders, community members, business representatives, students and staff — gathered to begin working on the school district’s campaign.

“It is super exciting to know that we have arrived at this point,” Vega said.

“All members of the strategic planning committee have worked diligently over the last three months on the plan — which speaks to the great things that can be accomplished through teamwork and collaboration. I am ecstatic.”

Excited about what the future holds for the district, administrators are eager to begin implementing some of the ideas outlined in the plan.

One part of the plan deals with public relations — evaluating, reshaping and implementing a cohesive image or brand.

If approved, Vega said a sign would be posted speaking to that image where all could see.

“Imagine on the freeway, we have a big ‘San Benito Proud’ sign — to show everyone what we’re doing,” Vega said.

Now that the plan has been approved, school leaders will take the next steps in implementing the plan over the next five years, starting this new school year.

“It’s a great moment in history,” he said. “The last time we had a plan like this was from 1998 to 2003.”

At the end of his presentation, Vega looked relieved to have accomplished what he set out to do when he first started in January.

Board members did not hesitate in their vote and approved the plan, eliciting joyous applause from the small crowd.

“We are very grateful for all the participation from everyone,” said Board President Anna Cruz. “This will be our roadmap for the next five years.”

According the final plan, the mission of the school district is to provide a quality education for all students through a positive and safe learning environment, so that its graduates are college, career and workforce ready. “It aims to be the gold standard in all areas of public education,” Vega said.

Those areas include curriculum and instruction, finance, facilities, college and career readiness, communications and public relations.

Every category was broken down and evaluated. The committees came up with five strategic priorities under each subject. Each priority consists of five goals, each goal being implemented over the next five years.

For example, under curriculum and instruction, priority one states the school district will design an articulated, aligned and well administered curriculum that supports academically high standards of learning for all children.

Under finance, priority three states the school district will practice a blended budgeting process consisting of zero based and traditional budgeting depending upon line items.

Under facilities, priority three states the school district will utilize the efficiency audit, prioritize reported items and enlist maintenance and energy departments to target and complete tasks addressed.

Under P-20 or pre-kindergarten through graduate school, the school district will create a community network with local governments, institutions of higher learning and community organizations to eliminate barriers for post secondary success.