Yarmouth school chief, board set goals, deadlines

  • Mail this page!
  • Delicious
  • 1

YARMOUTH — Superintendent of Schools Andrew Dolloff has three goals for the upcoming school year involving strategic planning, communication and employee benefits.

Dolloff on Aug. 25 presented the goals to the School Committee, which adopted them as presented. Each goal was presented with steps and a deadline.

“They agreed that the list of tasks is extensive and will be challenging to accomplish in the next 10 months, but we have a good team working together to make sure we stay on track,” Dolloff said.

The first goal is to implement the second year of the district’s five-year strategic plan, which has eight main priorities.

Dolloff said in the 2016-17 school year he hopes to expand alternative pathways for high school students; recognize community service; explore dual enrollment at local colleges; engage the larger community; increase funding for professional development; research private contracting opportunities; improve the peer mentoring program for staff, and explore expansion of world language offerings.

Part of this goal also includes giving the School Committee more information on a variety of topics, including high school guidance and student mental health, admitting nonresident students, library technology, student government, and curriculum review.

Dolloff said he hopes to complete this goal by June 30, 2017.

The second goal involves communication, primarily with regard to the school budget. Dolloff said strong and transparent communication is always a priority, but this year’s goal focuses on informing residents about the budget process.

“This year I want to focus particularly on the budget communication piece to ensure that people who want to know more about the process or the budget itself can easily find that information,” he said.

This year’s school budget was a topic of rare debate in Yarmouth, with some residents saying an increase was needed to help Yarmouth students, and others saying the tax burden was too high for those on fixed incomes to absorb.

Some people to placed signs on their lawns urging people to vote either for or against the budget. A citizen group called the Tax Study Committee submitted a petition with more than 100 signatures to the Town Council asking for a reduction in the school allocation.

Dolloff said he hopes to have a communication plan in place by Dec. 1 that would include press releases, mass emails, and online publications.

The third goal is to adjust health insurance plans for school administrators, staff, and employees. Dolloff said he is trying to reduce the cost of insurance for the district and for employees.

“There are better options out there, but it is a difficult process to help people understand all of the various options,” he said. “It’s my belief that most Americans are over-insured, and we could more efficiently provide appropriate coverage for our employees by considering other options.”

Dolloff said this will be “a laborious process,” but he intends to complete the goal by June 1, 2017.

Kate Gardner can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or kgardner@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter: @katevgardner.

Doloff

1
I'm a reporter for The Forecaster covering Freeport, Yarmouth, Chebeague Island, and Cape Elizabeth. I'm from a small town in NH no one's ever heard of. When not reporting, I can be found eating pasta and reading books, often at the same time.
  • Chew H Bird

    It is very “telling” that none of the three goals included reducing the burden to taxpayers…

    • David Craig

      The Yarmouth School Committee and the Town Council have worked closely together to reduce the Yarmouth tax rate for 3 consecutive years. Please name one other town in Maine to accomplish that.

      • Chew H Bird

        The point is reducing the tax burden should always, without exception, be one of the primary goals.

        • David Craig

          I guess you couldn’t name another town that has reduced the tax rate three consecutive years. Instead of saying that the goals are “telling” and implying that the School Committee doesn’t have their eyes on the ball when it comes to tax burden, why not recognize the clarity of their strategic vision, acknowledge the quality of their product (Yarmouth schools are excellent), and applaud the downward trend in the tax rate? Why the compulsion to be so negative?

          • Chew H Bird

            The point is that I have yet to see any town focus not only on providing an exceptional learning experience, but also providing the best value (not cheapness) for the dollar for the taxpayers. Brunswick just went through a process in determining goals and objectives and nowhere was there any mention of enhancing the perception and reality of taxpayer investment in our education system. While many of us complain about costs, I believe some of the blow back can be reduced by raising awareness within our tax supported education system of the vital role of the taxpayers.

            While our teachers are often great, their union has greatly contributed to the perception of wasted funds and since Maine’s economy has been in the tank for many years people without kids are starting to protest. I look at these three core values as a missed opportunity for our educators and administrators to help change the growing frustration within the non-child rearing population.