Just getting started
Superintendent Haugen’s overview forwards goals
by Laura Adelmann
Reflection yielded to anticipation during Farmington Superintendent Jay Haugen’s Jan. 9 self-review of his first six months in the district.
He spoke of transforming how business is done in the district and the way education is delivered to customize education.
To define those transformations, the district plans to renew its strategic plan using a process that is more in-depth and better implemented than in the past.
“We need to stretch our strategic plan and do more than just a yearly update. … We need to do something larger,” Haugen said.
He said a consultant has agreed to a reduced rate to avoid rehashing work that’s already been done and instead start focusing on implementation of how to customize education.
The consultant will train all administrators and action plan leaders to grasp the plan’s “philosophical base,” he said.
Haugen said the strategic plan should guide the district in figuring out how to do something that hasn’t been done before.
Details about the plans will be discussed at a Jan. 27 all-school staff development meeting and at public round-table meetings during the year.
With a March start, a completely updated plan could be in place by the beginning of the 2012-13 school year.
Another focus Haugen emphasized is the need for schools to have current technology.
Describing the world as having “fundamentally changed” in the way people interact and learn, he said schools are behind.
“Students don’t do their work in the same way they would working outside of school,” Haugen said.
He announced the formation of a 12-member technology working group that will provide recommendations of how to bring technology to students so learning becomes 24/7, paperless and up-to-date.
Haugen also indicated his vision for transforming education reaches far beyond the Farmington School District.
A member of the Minnesota Association of School Administrators, Haugen said he feels the changes being planned in Farmington should be supported by the association and are in line with where he thinks all school districts in the state need to go.
Additionally, Haugen said his top cabinet members will “take a long, deep, critical look” at the budget and the way it’s been done, including capital projects.
The district used about half its capital funds to pay off a state loan interest-free, saving the district millions in 2011.
Among the issues to be determined is space and