RAYMOND – The Raymond Central Board of Education heard the district’s strategic plan and handled several personnel issues in its Aug. 14 meeting.

On the day school started in the district, Superintendent Dr. Derrick Joel laid out a plan for the Raymond Central school district. Joel addressed the coming school year and the vision that had been formulated from a recent 2025 strategic planning process.

The plan lays out eight goals for the district to accomplish in the next six years. Those goals range from finding better ways to recruit and keep the best staff to ensure the schools of Raymond Central school district are safe.

While some of the goals are multi-faceted some are as simple as increasing enrollment and continuing to improve facilities around the district.

The long term plan is the culmination of a specific plan over several years to make decisions based on established data that the district has gathered in Joel’s tenure as superintendent.

“It’s only year three,” Joel said, “but we can say those goals are supported by data because we have been purposeful with our conversations and data sets as we’ve gone out and about to develop that.”

As the school year begins, the board has been tweaking its reunification plan, for after crisis events and plans to test it out as soon as it is completed. Raymond Central has a part-time school resource officer, a Lancaster County Sheriff’s Deputy, who went over school safety procedures.

In other business, the school district also received a $20,000 grant for a new school bus. Joel said that the aim of the “clean diesel” grant is to get older, less efficient busses off the roads.

To get the grant, the school district must drill a hole in the engine block and cut the chassis in pieces to prove it has been taken out of commission.

Joel expects the bus to be acquired soon. The district is just waiting on some paperwork from the state.

The board also went over the district’s new technology plan. According to Joel, each student will receive or have exclusive use of a device like a Chromebook or similar pared down laptop.

Grades nine through 12 will get full use and will be permitted to take their devices home while grades six through eight will house theirs at the school.

Joel said that he expects there to be a learning curve with students and teachers in the first year of every student having a device.

Each teacher’s comfort and familiarity with teaching with devices will vary, Joel said, but that as they continue to use them, the devices can be a great asset.

Several personnel actions were taken, accepting three resignations. Joel said that going into the school year that all positions were filled and that the district was in good shape.

Three positions were considered to be added to the official positions in the district. Adding a strength and conditioning coordinator and a junior high speech coach were approved, adding an assistant coach for junior high volleyball was tabled to be revisited later.

Along those lines, the Board approved a vote to acquire PowerSchool hiring software. Joel said all applications and human resources will begin moving on-line.

The software costs the district $3,260 to acquire and then $1,260 annually after the initial purchase according to the meeting minutes.

There are a few dates of importance coming up for those in the district. A budget workshop will be held Aug. 28.

An informational meeting about a random student drug testing policy is set to take place Sept. 4. Joel said Adams Central will come to talk about their “journey” with its policy as the district tries to learn more.

The next regular Raymond Central Board of Education meeting will take place Sept. 11. The district hopes to finalize the budget from the Aug. 28 workshop at that meeting, Joel said. Meetings are held at 6 p.m. at Raymond Central Junior/Senior High School in Swing Classroom No. 108.

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