Nashua school superintendent eyes new strategic planBy KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Union Leader Correspondent
February 20. 2018 11:31PM
NASHUA — Superintendent Jahmal Mosley says he hopes to have a new strategic plan in place by August, designed to guide the school district, its administrators and teachers.
“That would be a tentative timeline, but I would certainly like to do that,” Mosley told the Nashua Board of Education last week. Prioritizing initiatives within the district is essential, according to Mosley, who said the plan should include about five clear goals, including board governance and full-day kindergarten.
Mosley said his first goal for the current school year is to work in collaboration with the board to implement government processes and procedures while restoring trust in board leadership that will help add value to the city’s public education.
“We need to know where the governance piece is in the district,” he said. “It needs, in my mind, to be stable.”
Currently, he said school officials spend an exorbitant amount of time trying to work on details that could take two minutes to complete. Workflow needs to be improved and board members need to walk away from meetings feeling a sense of accomplishment, said Mosley.
Mosley has been at the helm of the district for more than 100 days. He said he developed his own entry plan with a set of goals designed to promote simple and fluid achievements.
With full-day kindergarten now implemented, he said that should remain a goal in an effort to make improvements to the program. Faculty and staff throughout the district are seeking stability in their jobs, which is another goal set by Mosley.
Developing a strategic plan, a process he hoped to start last October, has been slightly delayed but is now expected to be completed by the start of the upcoming school year, he said.
By this time next year, Mosley said the budget should reflect initiatives and priorities highlighted in the new strategic plan, including various projects, programs and infrastructure needs.
Setting reasonable goals and expectations will be crucial in making sure the strategic plan can be followed, he explained.
Throughout the past three years, the district and the board have had many leadership transitions, acknowledged Mosley, who said several programs have been launched as well.
Now is the time to step back and evaluate what is being done districtwide, Mosley said. For example, Mosley said every elementary school should be using the same reading programs and same assessments, and i-Ready and common assessments should be administered at the same time for each school. Ongoing discussions about competency-based grading must also continue, said the superintendent. “I think there is a lot of angst on that,” he said of competency-based grading. These questions need to be addressed in the strategic plan, said Mosley, adding curriculum programs should be reviewed every five or seven years to determine if they are still useful.
He also stressed the importance of having multi-year contracts for each of the district’s unions, and to ensure that those contracts reflect the district’s goals and funding priorities.