Spring has Sprung!

Maple Valley is taking their spring break this week and that means our Spring Sports will be in full swing when we get back!

As we announced earlier, we are joining the Big 8 Conference next year. In preparation for that transition, we are gearing up to do a Strategic Planning Session for our Athletics Department. We are in the midst of our District Wide Strategic Plan that was adopted in the spring of 2020. Athletics planning is next to be followed by a plan for our other extracurriculars and opportunities for our students to be well-rounded young people. This article will inform you of what we plan to do and how it will benefit our programs.

A colleague of mine once referred to athletics as the front porch of any school district or university and I think that is a great analogy. To extend that idea further, now is the time to spruce up our front porch and improve our curb appeal for our future conference and the greater community all around us.

As with all things we do in the Valley that have an impact on our kids, staff, and community, we want your input and collaboration. After our break concludes, we will send out a survey. We hope you will respond and let us know your thoughts. That survey will contain an opportunity for interested individuals to volunteer as planning representatives for groups who are impacted by our athletics programs. Youth sports directors, Coaches, Athletic Boosters, 7-8, 9-10, and 11-12 sports parents, community members, youth sports parents, our athletes, local business/Route 66 members, and teachers not affiliated with coaching are some of the stakeholder groups.

We will invite stakeholders who can help us to do the good work of determining areas of focus for ongoing development and then setting some goals and objectives to guide our work for the next five years. This group will be limited to around 28-35 members, allowing us to focus productively on the goals. Not all respondents can be selected, so we will ensure balanced representation among all stakeholder groups.

A Saturday session in late April will be planned to allow as much time as needed for the work at hand. We will plan a 3-5-hour session. During that session, we will share the results of the surveys from the community and our athletes as well as some statistics from our sports programs. Once all of the strategic planning partners are on the same page, we will set 3-4 areas of improvement that will be supported by 3-5 Goals and objectives. This will set a bar for achievement and ongoing reporting on our progress. Progress reports will be provided at the conclusion of each of our three seasons of Fall, Winter, and Spring sports going forward. Accountability expectations will be set for administration, coaches, athletes, parents, and attendees.

I had the good fortune to attend the Maple Valley Athletic Booster’s Reverse Raffle last weekend. It is clear from the goodwill, tremendous support, and positive energy I witnessed that we have a huge civic investment in our kids and our programs. We owe it to our community to honor that investment with a plan we can all get behind to elevate our athletics and our students to a worthy station within our district.

It is a great day to think spring in the Valley, Dr. B

Dr. Katherine Bertolini

Dr. Bertolini