During the summer of 2014, a group of about 40 staff, board of education members, parents, high school students, and community members engaged in a three day process to develop a strategic plan for Gering Public Schools. The intent of the sessions was to lay the path to the future for our school system. The members of that planning group developed four strategic goals that have driven much of what has happened in Gering over the past five years, right up to the completion of our high school building project this summer. The goals were:
1. Gering Public Schools will have in place a prospectus to align grade-levels that include workable and efficient grade-level configurations, a facilities master plan that accommodates the grade-level configurations, and a timeline for implementation.
2. Gering Public Schools will accommodate the technology needs of all students in Pre-Kindergarten through the 12th grade.
3. Gering Public Schools will have in place flexible learning options for all students.
4. Gering Public Schools will build a consistent and inspiring brand that will be utilized throughout the entire district.
Each of the goals above have or are being met in very specific ways. GPS is in the final stages of aligning our grade-level configurations and, with the completion of the Gering High School Project this fall, will be changing our configuration to a standard Kindergarten - 5th grade elementary, 6th - 8th grade middle school at Gering Junior High, and 9th - 12th grade at Gering High School.
Accommodating the technology needs of students has been accomplished in many ways. Since 2014, our district has adopted a one-to-one Chromebook initiative so that all high school students have a personal Chromebook, and students in junior high and elementary have access to Chromebooks when they need them. Additionally, other pieces of technology have been added to improve the infrastructure within the district and further enhance learning through programs like the STEM program at Gering High School.
GPS is in the final stages of developing and implementing career pathways and enhancing dual credit offerings as a way to increase and enhance flexible learning options for our students. Starting with the upcoming school year, junior high students will be exposed to a broad offering of exploratory classes that lead into focused pathways at the high school level. High school students will be able to participate in pathways in Business, Marketing, & Management; Skilled and Technical Trades; Health Sciences; Human Sciences & Education; and Communications, Arts, and Technology. Additionally, by the 2020-2021 school year, GHS students will be able to participate in an Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources pathway.
Lastly, the district has worked to create a recognizable brand that accurately represents who we are as a school and as a community. This was undertaken with a website redesign, consistent logo development and use, the development of the “Learners Today, Leaders Tomorrow” district mantra, and many other things.
This summer, it will once again be time to develop a new and updated strategic plan for Gering Public Schools. In June, we have invited a group of approximately 40 staff, students, parents, community members, and board members to spend three days helping our district set the path for the next five years in Gering. As our team develops goals and ideas, we will share them with our community, parents, students, staff, and board of education. Sometime later in the summer or early fall, you can expect that the board of education will formally adopt goals developed by this team and for action plans to be put into place to bring the goals to fruition.
It is enjoyable to be able to look in our rear view mirror and see the road we have traveled since our original goals were developed. GPS is proud and grateful for all of the people who have put their heart and soul into making these goals our new reality. It is also invigorating to see where our new process will take us in the years to come!
Thank you for your support of Gering Public Schools!