As students return from winter break, Homewood City Schools is inviting residents to be a part of its strategic planning process.
The strategic plan, which the school system completes every five years, is meant to guide every aspect of growth, changes and decision-making for Homewood schools.
At the forefront this year is the proposal for expansion of Homewood’s schools, which was first presented to the public in September. The plans provide additional room for students either through construction of a fifth-grade wing and small addition at Homewood Middle School or through additions at all three elementary schools as well as the middle school.
The proposal, which was put together by B.L. Harbert International and local architecture firms, includes a model for relocating Homewood High School to a property adjacent to West Homewood Park to provide additional room for growth. It is also possible to make some changes to the existing high school property, though options there are limited by topography.
The school system has not officially announced which plan it intends to pursue for all levels of student body growth. In November, the City Council approved a $110 million bond, paid for with a 1-cent sales tax increase, to fund the school system expansion as well as growth plans for Homewood Parks and Recreation.
This expansion will be one of the most significant parts of the strategic planning process, but HCS spokesperson Merrick Wilson said there are many ways for community members to be part of the strategic plan creation.
In early January, the district website will have a signup form for the strategic plan “action teams.” Any Homewood resident or HCS employee can view proposed strategies and sign up for a team. The strategies the teams will discuss include instructional formats, learning spaces, financial resources, technology, wellness and professional learning.
Wilson said action team members are not required to have a special skill set other than a willingness to meet with their action team regularly. Signups will only be available for a week, and notices will be sent out through the HCS social media and rapid notification system when the forms have been posted online.
The final strategic plan will be presented to the Homewood Board of Education at the end of the 2016-2017 school year. Find out more about the action teams at homewood.k12.al.us.