Advisories Will Help Drive VCS Strategic Plan

By: Valparaiso Community Schools Last Updated: February 14, 2011

valpo-community-schoolsFrom Asst. Superintendent Rob Haworth, Ph.D. for the week of February 14, 2011:

Advisories will help drive VCS Strategic Plan

Our district is recognized for its commitment to ensuring student success through a strong focus on academics, the arts and athletics. To help maintain our position as a state leader in public education, the recently adopted VCS strategic plan created a number of advisories and a Whole Student Committee. These groups are guided by two student achievement goals:

  1. Each student will experience challenging and appropriate instruction; and
  2. Each student will be a contributing citizen in our democratic society.

The advisories are; Wellness, Safety, Literacy, Character, Mentoring, Experiential Education, Alternative Education, PBIS, and Curriculum. The members of the advisories will serve as experts in their field and provide council to the district. Advisories will meet monthly. Example advisory tasks include; determine the effectiveness of current practices, discover best practices, evaluate best practices to determine fit for VCS, identify innovative methods, create methods for capturing data, and counsel the school board and district superintendent.

On a monthly basis an advisory will report out to the board of school trustees. The advisories are composed of teachers, including VTA discussion representatives, administrative staff, students, parents and community members. The chair of each advisory, along with the Valparaiso Teacher’s Association (VTA) President or his/her designee, forms a Whole Student Committee. The VCS management team will chair the Whole Student Committee.

The Whole Student Committee will meet monthly to discuss various findings, issues and initiatives identified by the advisories. The advisories process is proactive. The advisory process allows the district to be in front of local, state and federal mandates, and allows our district to examine research, best practices, and current issues on a routine basis. The advisory process is deliberate. The advisories will report out to the board of school trustees on a scheduled basis. Administrators and teachers will report the work of advisories during staff meetings and VTA discussions in order to stimulate discussion and receive feedback. The minutes of the Whole Student Committee and advisories will be made available to district constituents.

Some parents and staff members have already been contacted by a building principal, advisory chair or the teachers’ association about serving on an advisory. Advisories need to be kept at a workable number; therefore, a waiting list will be established for advisories having a large number of interested parties. If you have not already been contacted and would like to participate on an advisory or have a question regarding the advisory process please contact me at

VCS News

I appreciated speaking to the Cooks Corners parent organization last Monday regarding our VCS Strategic Plan, and look forward to speaking to other building-level parent groups in the next several weeks.

VCS Standouts

I enjoyed reading to first grade students at Cooks Corners on February 1. I appreciated being invited to participate by the Cooks Corners Book Fair PTA chairs. I also appreciated the other community members who read to our students that day.

Our “Viking University” session last Wednesday was well-attended. The presentation made by Executive Director of Elementary Education Stacey Schmidt and Assistant Superintendent Rob Haworth was comprehensive and the level of parent participation was impressive.

Dr. Haworth and I enjoyed judging “Cupcake Wars” at VHS last Friday. Students did a great job making cupcakes!

Important Dates:

  • February 15 School Board Meeting
  • February 18 Mid-Winter Break
  • February 21 President’s Day (No School)
  • February 28 ISTEP+ Writing Begins