This week, Auburn City Schools is entering the third and final phase of a five-year strategic plan the Board of Education adopted in 2013.

The plan includes six strategies that together set character-driven goals as well as technological and educational goals for the school system. Action plans exist to accomplish each strategy, with 38 action plans total.

The final phase of implementing the strategic plan will include the remaining nine action plans and is expected to conclude in March 2018. At that time, Assistant Superintendent Cristen Herring said she hopes to help present the board with options to move forward in a new goal-setting process.

"It's my privilege to lead this work," Herring said to the BOE on Tuesday during its regular monthly meeting. "We hope to give you a new plan in about one year ... This is our fifth and final year, and phase three starts tomorrow."

Herring presented the board with a summary of the 14 action plans that were accomplished in phase two, which wrapped up this week. Those plans ranged from enhancing counseling opportunities for students and offering more training and development opportunities for teachers to creating more community partnerships for student learning opportunities and improving resources for English-Language Learners and English as a Second Language teachers, among many other objectives.

Career technical courses have also increased for students, and Herring said she has received word that career certifications awarded to students in the program are expected to be higher than ever this year. Communication with the public was also a key component of the action plans in phase two. Herring said that through the use of social media, ACS is interacting with community members now more than ever.

When creating the strategic plan, ACS named six action team leaders and involved many community members in the process. Superintendent Dr. Karen DeLano said she aims for the community to be involved in creating the next five-year plan.

"We've looked at some other ways to plan; we'll be bringing something to (the board) soon about what we think might be our most efficient way and how to include people in the community again because I feel like that was a big part of what made this so successful," she said.

At its meeting this week, the BOE also approved a contract for moving furniture and equipment from the existing high school to the new as well as the two moves from the junior high and middle schools.

The contract was awarded to the lowest bidder, The Move Store in Auburn, and will cost $94,682.

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