Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Follow Mom's Advice

With the myriad of challenges facing schools today, it is easy to become overwhelmed and lose focus. Unfortunately, it has been proven time and time again that this is surely a recipe for failure.

In his fable, "The Boy and the Filberts" Aesop tells the story of a boy who was given the opportunity to pull hazelnuts, (filberts) from a pitcher. Unfortunately, the boy attempts to take such a huge handful of hazelnuts that he cannot remove his hand from the pitcher. The boy became increasingly frustrated as he was unwilling to give up any hazelnuts and yet could not get them out all at once. The boys' mother told him that if he could be satisfied with fewer hazelnuts he could easily pull his hand out, (and perhaps reach back in later and retrieve more hazelnuts at a later time).

What is the lesson here? The Saline Area Schools has no shortage of important goals to achieve. All are important and all are worthy. However, if we attempt to reach all of our goals at the same time, like the boy in Aesop's fable, we too are doomed to fail. Rather we must establish priorities and take action on a limited number of goals at any one time.

Saline Area Schools has engaged our staff, administrators and the community at-large during the past few months in a very important strategic planning process. Hundreds of man-hours have been devoted to this process and the Strategic Framework that has been created represents the smaller handful of hazelnuts we must pull from our jar in the coming months and years so that we may continue to successfully serve and meet the needs of our students.

The Strategic Framework will be presented to the Board of Education at 6:30 PM on Tuesday, April 23.