Our children are quite literally, and figuratively, our future, so it only makes sense that the education that they receive during the most developmental stages of their lives is no less than exceptional. Our kids deserve to not only being taught the basics of math, science, language, government, and every other subject that is necessary in turning their young minds into prospering young adults, but also teaching them how to learn for themselves, how to develop their own intellect, and how to construct their own educated opinions...
Well, on Wednesday, September 14th, our friends at the Salina Public Schools system and USD 305 enlightened us about what exactly the plan is for the future of our children’s education. The Salina Area Chamber of Commerce partnered with USD 305 to host a Q3 Lender’s Luncheon in which the lending members of the Chamber that attended were provided with a free lunch and given a presentation by Linn Exline, Salina Public Schools and USD 305 superintendent. In Exline’s presentation she outlined the future of Salina Public Schools and the opportunities that lay ahead, including business partnerships that incorporate advertising.
To begin, Exline shared the vision and mission statement of the district and included the strategic plan below:
“The vision of the Salina Public Schools is to Transform Salina and the world.”
“The mission of the Salina Public Schools is to be the best place to learn and work by embracing challenges, creating belonging, fostering pride, and inspiring hope.”
Additionally, she shared the Three Main Goals that our schools are working to achieve including:
Goal 1: Increase the students’ communication skills
Goal 2: Increase the students’ critical thinking skills
Goal 3: Increase the students’ social-emotional skills
The Salina Public School system has conducted research and found that for the most prominent growth of the developmental mind, a dedication to these three attributes will provide the most growth in a child and promote a healthy learning environment. They believe that an early adoption of strong academic prowess and social-emotional preparation is the best way to prepare our children for adulthood. Starting early in their lives will instill strong character into their unique personalities as an adult. Promoting an opportunity for the children and young adults to explore their own interests is a great way for them to develop their own love of learning, and USD 305 is working on opportunities to allow students to pursue professional studies in exchange for school credit in our own community to inspire academic and economic growth in Saline County.
Exline believes that if we can get the students to buy into our community early on and give them the opportunity to explore their interests in Salina, then our postsecondary retention rate of the population will increase. Exline also understands that education goes beyond academics and that the students’ interests don’t stop at their professional aspirations, but goes into their personal and social lives. Exline has created a culture of opportunity with programs such as the fine arts, elective offerings, athletics, clubs, and after-school programs. Additionally, business partnerships will make internships and job shadowing possible give students the capability of exploring their options early.
For access to the slideshow of the following information please see the bottom of the page, or click here.
Moving forward, USD 305 believes that it is important to stay on top of current trends in marketing and making sure to include parents and guardians in what is going on in, and around the school; a school is only as strong as the community that surrounds it, and an educated community makes for an educated program, which makes for educated children. Additionally, increasing the number of students that the schools attract is just as important to the community as it is to the school system, more students mean more families, and more families mean more circulation in the local economy. USD 305 has divided their marketing plan up into four sections, updated materials, online testimonials, family rep programs, and community surveys. Updated materials located in the district and local buildings would account for those walk-in parents looking for informational material describing the type of education that their kids will receive. Online testimonials uploaded onto the website and social media will provide potential parents, looking to move into Salina, with the content that they need, when they need it. A new family rep program will give visiting parents a connection to the community and honest answers from a family that knows the school personally. These rep families will act as a liaison and answer any questions that the visiting families have that need that familial touch. Finally, community surveys that will take place in October online and on mobile devices, this will show an insight to what the families and parents think of the school and their processes, further implementing parental connections into the schools’ operations.
Career and Technical Education Programming
Most recently, USD 305 has seen more students pursing CTE courses, with more students earning CTE credits, and an increase in the total credits earned. This implies that the students recognize the value and importance of post-secondary education and, given the opportunity, will enroll in it early. Below are the statistics revealing the past several years of data:
In the spirit of honesty and transparency, USD 350 has conduct an enrollment study on the Salina area. According to the study several key points stood out:
Early Childhood Education
Looking into early childhood education, USD 305 has a Pre-K classroom in every elementary school with 192 children and a waiting list of children waiting to get in and Early Headstart has 76 spaces. Overall, USD 305 is facing staffing challenges in this sector and is as well looking for a family consultant for Early Headstart. Additionally, USD 305 has organized partnerships between Kindergarten Prep and the Central Kansas Mental Health Center in preparation for school, the Child Development Associate (CDA) with the Salina Area Technical College, and a CDA high school option.
Business and Community Partnerships
USD 305 is excited to announce that they are looking for business and community partners in various different support roles. The first of which is that the district is looking for businesses to partner with to offer job shadowing, internships, and performance-based credits. Each business will work personally with the district to develop a tailor-made program for the students to engage in their professional interests and in-turn, earn credits for school. While still focusing on, and achieving government-mandated credits, the students could potentially be out of school for a majority of the day learning the skills of a trade of their interest and graduate with vital experience that colleges, universities, and employers so desperately look for. Finally, USD 305 has opened the opportunity and is looking for new advertising partners for the 2022-2023 sports seasons with a tiered-donor format. Exline wants it to be known that this is an informational campaign for businesses with interest to pursue and that she will not be pushing anyone to make a decision that they are uncomfortable with. If you would like information on this campaign, please download the informational PDF with the varied tiers below, or contact the USD 305 office.
Exline has announced some exciting things for the Salina Area Public School system and is doing her best work to ensure that our children are receiving the education that they need to become educated young adults. For more information on Exline’s presentation, please see the presentation below: