Fifteen minutes could save our county

Published 3:43 pm Tuesday, April 15, 2014

If you could spend just 15 minutes to help ensure a brighter future for our community, would you take the time?

It appears the answer for most is “no.”

Administrators with the Butler County School System have reached out to the community via an online survey for help in crafting the system’s new five-year strategic plan.

Email newsletter signup

According to Superintendent Amy Bryan, officials have received just more than a thousand responses. They were hoping for at least a few thousand responses.

In recent years there’s been a good deal of discussion about our school system.

Much of it has been negative.

Many parents, students, teachers, elected officials and community members have complained that they had no voice when it came to the school system. They felt the school system’s administration didn’t value or want their feedback.

Whether that was true or not doesn’t really matter at this point.

Bryan, who took over as the top administrator in the county in March, has made it clear that she wants to hear from the community as the school system begins to craft its plan.

But the community has largely been silent.

The survey takes 15 minutes or less to fill out, but it will impact the next five years for our school system.

The previous Butler County Strategic Plan covered 2006-2011 and led to the development of local curriculum guides, school safety improvements, Pre-K expansion and facility upgrades.

The new plan will focus on four key areas, according to Bryan.

Those areas will be learners, support systems, professionals and schools/systems.

Learners will focus on student academics, while the support systems will focus on all other aspects of a student’s experience in the school system.

Schools/systems will focus on finances, technology and facilities and professionals will focus on areas concerning faculty and staff in the school system.

You may not have a student in one of the county’s public schools. You may not work for the school system. But if you live in Butler County this plan will impact you.

It’s a simple truth that as our school system goes, so goes our county.

Businesses interested in moving into our community need to know that we have a qualified workforce, and that starts with our schools.

We’ve taken a number of positive steps in recent months, such as the creation of the Industrial Maintenance Academy and the Health Science Academy, which will help prepare high school students that choose not to attend college to enter the workforce.

We know that in order to continue to attract businesses to the area, and create a better quality of life for all of our residents, our schools must be the magnet that draws those interested businesses in.

A first-rate school system is key to bringing businesses and industries to the area, and a key to having a first-rate school system is community involvement.

This formation of a new strategic plan offers a perfect opportunity for us as a community to get involved with our school system.

It takes just 15 minutes and can be done from the comfort of your own home.

We hope you will take the time to make your voice heard and help ensure that our schools and our county have the brightest future possible.