Van Buren Schools Strategic Plan

A collection of community members, school employees, and board members worked together to provide input on a strategic plan. Over 70 people were involved in the process and divided into the following areas:

  • Community Relations and Communication

  • Vision, Mission, Beliefs

  • Curriculum

  • Facilities

  • Finances

  • Technology

STRATEGIC PLAN – Goals and achievement levels

The Board adopted the following goals that align with the strategic plan approved on February 9, 2017:


Ensure safe facilities that are adequate to educate our children.

2017-2018 Goal: A written facility plan for replacement of items (including buses) is developed and presented to the Board by the June 2018 Board meeting.

Goal Status: The study has been compiled and will be presented to the board at the July 2018 meeting.


Improve the technology experience in and outside the classroom.

2017-2018 Goal: The One-View product from E-School View to be ready for full implementation for the 2018-2019 school year.

Goal Status: Work is continuing in the technology department. As of July 2018, things look good to deploy prior to the start of the 2018-2019 school year in the capacity of student enrollment. The long term goal is for the OneView portal to allow access to ALL parent/student/stakeholder information.


Engage and empower staff to operate at the height of licensure or capacity.

2017-2018 Goal: A benchmark survey of staff engagement is conducted by the November 2017 Board meeting and results are presented to the Board by the January 2018 Board meeting.

Goal Status: Results presented to the BOE.


Provide effective communication throughout the District among staff, students, parents, and community.

2017-2018 Goal: Superintendent to define key community business stakeholders by the December Board meeting to continue to foster the school’s relationship with business. Superintendent to develop a written engagement plan to improve communications between the school and business by the January Board meeting.

Goal Status: Meetings occurred throughout the school year with Battelle, Hancock County Work Force Development and Raise the Bar. Meetings occurred with the village Mayor and video communications to the staff and community have been instituted. A community facilities committee was recalled and met May 7, 2018.

2017-2018 Goal: Conduct “State of the District” meetings with staff on a triannual basis to discuss current district events and financial situation.

Goal Status: A presentation was made to the staff on opening day on August 15,2017. Mr. Binger presented this annual November meeting to the staff on the in-service day on November 20., 2018. There was a third presentation on the last teacher day on May 25, 2018.


Ensure district finances are aligned and managed to achieve the strategic goals of the District.

2017-2018 Goal: Board to adopt “true cash days” policy by the September Board meeting based on the recommendation of the Finance committee.

Goal Status: Completed.


Provide a K-12 curriculum instilling the desire to become a life-long learner and providing graduates with the 21st century skills and knowledge to become contributing community members.

2017-2018 Goal: Adopt the plan of action from Battelle for the 2017-2018 school year by the September Board meeting.

Goal Status: Completed.

Further Explanation and Documentation



This committee reviewed the past Vision, Mission, and Belief Statements of the Van Buren Schools and recognized that though previous statements served the district well, they were long and not easily recalled by the school and community. A survey was made available to the school and community requesting comments and input on the previous statements and to select the values that were deemed most important for the school district. This information was used to craft a vision/mission statement that was short, precise, believable, easy to recall, and easy to support.


The survey showed 7 primary values deeded most important to the Van Buren Schools and Community. A logo which incorporates all of these elements was designed. Teamwork is the driving statement, “EMPOWERING STUDENTS THROUGH ONE TEAM”. This team involves the school, the community and the families that comprise the Van Buren School District. The 7 values include: Respect, Collaboration, Integrity, Responsibility, Communication, Leadership, and Excellence. This is represented by the acronym ouR CIRCLE.

Remaining Work:

The committee is seeking input on the statement, values, and design of the logo.

Additional Resources & Information:

Logo and Values

Beliefs Analysis Survey

Beliefs Analysis Survey Results



The committee recognized that internal communication in the school district and external communication with the families and the community of the school district is vital. New technologies and the way that different factions of the community receive their information about the school have changed significantly over the years. It is prudent that the school look at ways to make sure we are reaching all factions of the school and community. The school should use this access and attempt to build improved understanding and relationships with staff, parents, community residents who have no other direct district ties, and business and industries located in our district. The committee operated under an overall goal to: “Increase effective communication with school and community stakeholders and provide that communication consistently through appropriate channels”.

Goal 1:

Improve our web presence through reorganization of school website.

Goal 2:

Reach out to non-digital stakeholders.

Goal 3:

Streamline school processes; allowing for day-to-day interaction with the school to be simple and convenient.

Goal 4:

Maintain a positive school image and openness by using various media, including social media.

Additional Resources & Information:

Communications Committee Report

Public Relations & Communication Action Plans



This committee recognized the importance of technology and technology skills for our students, parents, and community. The district’s commitment to technology is clear. The utilization of technology as a tool to improve and expand educational opportunities and learning, to improve operations, and to increase and streamline communication and processes are the fundamental basis of this committee’s recommendations.

Goal 1:

Use technology to bridge the limits of learning and create an “Anytime”, “Anywhere”, “Any Device” educational environment.

Goal 2:

Use technology to create a more consistent and engaging learning experience for all students and staff.

Goal 3:

Leverage technology to streamline stakeholder processes by making those interactions more efficient, effective, and engaging.

Additional Resources & Information:

Technology Committee Report & Action Plans



The committee looked at the current curriculum offerings at the high school, middle school, and elementary levels. The previous strategic plan was reviewed to determine the completion status. Input was received on suggested additions to the curriculum to provide the skills and knowledge that our students will need for their future success. The committee operated under an overall goal to: “Provide a K-12 curriculum instilling the desire to become a lifelong learner and providing graduates with the 21st Century skills and knowledge to become a contributing member of their community.”

Goal 1:

Evaluate and align the K-12 curriculum to ensure seamless transitions in progression from one grade to the next. Provide opportunities for inter-school and intra-school collaboration. Close gaps in the curriculum through standards based instruction. Determine a unified data system to monitor progress. Promote school and community involvement.

Goal 2:

Provide opportunities for high school students to participate in hands-onproject-based education in conjunction with one or more local institutions of higher learning which may culminate in earning transferable college credit and/or an Associates Degree upon graduation from high school.

Goal 3:

Assess the feasibility for a district Curriculum Director in order to maintain the curriculum in accordance with ODE demands and changes and to ensure that the district’s curriculum continues to advance.

Goal 4

Increase student confidence and competence with computers in grades K-5. Develop an Elementary Technology Curriculum that includes computer and multimedia literacy, information literacy, technology literacy, and keyboarding. Integrate the use of computers into daily instruction.

Goal 5:

Increase Elementary and Middle School Foreign Language instruction.

*Additional Resources & Information:

Curriculum Committee Action Plans

School Curriculum

EdWorks HS Report

Ohio Technology Benchmarks



This committee has discussed the complicated school funding process in Ohio, and the current financial situation of the district. The district is heavily reliant on local funding while many other districts receive greater funding at the state level. The committee discussed the effects of local property re-evaluations, the loss of tangible personal property taxes, funding caps, and state regulations effecting the district. The current financial condition of the district shows yearly deficit spending with dwindling funds in the next several years. While this committee supports a strong educational environment providing the best opportunities for our students, current financial conditions could affect the future of the district. The committee is looking at what to do if current funding levels continue to not meet current needs, to maintain current levels of staffing and programming, and to provide the changes needed to continue to provide the greatest educational opportunities to give our students the skills, tools, and knowledge for their future. This committee operated under an overall goal to: “Improve community knowledge and relations in regards to the school’s finances and stabilize the financial situation of the school to continue and always be a great school regardless of financial times”.

Goal 1:

Stabilize school finances.

Goal 2:

Communicate with community and staff school funding and financial knowledge that they can easily understand.

Goal 3:

Grow financially so the district can accomplish its Vision and Mission (Grow to be the School of Choice).

Additional Resources & Information:

Finance Committee Goals

Finance Committee Graphs & Action Plans

Financial Information Flyer



The committee reviewed the facilities recommendation of the previous strategic plan, toured the buildings, and discussed facility needs both now and for the future. There was discussion about the previous bond issues asking why the issues failed, what would the community support, and how we educate the community about the needs and conditions of our facilities. The committee has suggested several tenets to guide the future of Van Buren School facilities including controlled growth and keeping all education and extra-curricular venues at the current site as long as possible. The priority should be on academic space with the possibility of moving support structures or extra-curricular venues as additional academic space is needed. The committee placed an importance on maintaining our current facilities with safety being the primary concern. The committee recommends upkeep and repairs to existing facilities while maintaining fiscal responsibility by not spending significant funds on facilities with limited life spans. Future building should be addressed in the near future when the existing bond issue is paid off. A timeline outlines the recommendations of this committee.

Goal 1:

Source of Funds: Use tax-payer money for academic success; Seek non-tax-payer funding options for updates to sports facilities.

Goal 2:

Develop a plan to fix and maintain buildings and grounds —safety a priority.

Goal 3:

Pay off 2003 buildings before asking voters for a new building (Dec. 2020).

Goal 4:

Replace the 1918 building.

Goal 5:

Keep everything on current site, except for bus garages.

Goal 6:

Add additional parking; close to building entrances, for evening and weekend uses, and improve traffic flow and safety.

Additional Resources & Information:

Facilities Committee Proposed Timeline

Committee Building Tour & Notes

District Overhead Map

Building Maintenance Schedule

Palmer Engineering Study 2015