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School Board OKs strategic master plan

October 20, 2009|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN -- The Washington County Board of Education on Tuesday approved a strategic master plan that will serve as the school system's operational guideline for the next five years.

The board voted 6-0 to adopt the plan, which was presented by Shulamit Finkelstein, executive assistant for strategic planning and board and community relations for Washington County Public Schools. Board member William Staley was out of the room when the vote was taken.

All 24 of Maryland's public school systems are required by state law to develop their own five-year master plans to describe the goals, objectives and strategies that will be used to improve student achievement. In addition, master plans help ensure that local and state performance standards are met in each segment of the student population.

School systems that perform favorably are rewarded with increased funding and spending flexibility, according to the Maryland State Department of Education's Web site.

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Finkelstein told the board that "the master plan is our blueprint for helping students and families fulfill their dreams and aspirations."

Washington County Public Schools has 41 staff members who often enlist the help of outside agencies to create specific parts of the master plan, Finkelstein said. An anti-bullying initiative, for example, was created by staff, and professionals from law enforcement and social services.

Finkelstein said one of the updates to the most recent master plan included an initiative to increase the percentage of students who achieve at high levels.

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