Eastern Regional approves 2019-2020 district goals

At its meeting before the start of the school year, the board discussed chronic absenteeism, physical fitness, it’s future five-year Strategic Plan and more

Eastern Regional High School’s Board of Education met Wednesday, Aug. 21, with Superintendent of Schools Robert Cloutier leading his first meeting as the incoming superintendent for the 2019-2020 school year.

In conclusion of the previous school year, Cloutier reported that Eastern has 528 eligible students for graduation last spring, with only nine not meeting any or all graduation requirements.

The meeting had four presentations, including an Annual Wellness Report and Eastern’s efforts to provide nutrition information and healthy lifestyle choices to students and staff members, as well as additional topics on wellness.

Health and physical education instructor Jason Hill discussed the various options Eastern offers to those within the building that can benefit them physically.

One highly touted program is the Lifestyle Fitness course, now entering its second year, which offers students the opportunity to set a specific goal and learn about different ways to achieve the goal while also working toward it during class.

“One thing I’m very proud of about that class is that it really does tailor to the diverse needs of individual students,” said Hill. “The days of typical P.E., where students do a regular sport-based activity, run the mile, basic fitness … they don’t apply anymore. In order to get more students engaged, we need to have more diverse options, and that’s what [this class] does.”

Hill also reminded the board that Eastern is starting an all-new fitness club this school year.

Cloutier presented his 2019-2020 district goals for the upcoming school year that include having Eastern Regional reaching Future Ready School Silver Medal certification by 2021. To do so, Eastern must develop a five-year strategic plan, according to Cloutier.

After undergoing a process during last school year to identify both weaknesses and strengths of the district, Cloutier says this year will be the creation of the strategic plan due to the work done last year and to input from the community.

“Issues of social emotional student and staff well-being definitely dominated a lot of discussions, a lot in positive ways,” said Cloutier. “But there were definite areas that we want to improve as we get more students involved.”

Moving forward, Cloutier hopes to bring more parents and community members into district advisory and other committees to further conversation about Eastern Regional’s plans for the future.

Other goals, according to document, include the hope to foster a positive school culture and climate for all students, parents and employees; ensure equitable access and success for all students to advanced mathematics; and to reduce chronic absenteeism for students in all grades.

The board’s next meeting is Wednesday, Sept. 18 at 7:30 p.m. However there will be a reception starting at 7 p.m. to honor the 2018-2019 Educator of the Year and staff members with 30 years of service.

In other news:

  • Cloutier presented the new organizational chart for administration at Eastern Regional entering the 2019-2020 school year.
  • Cloutier reported that since June 12, Eastern experienced four HIB cases, with one being founded and three being unfounded.
  • Eastern Regional collected approximately $95,000 in athletic participation fees during the previous school year.
  • The board acknowledged the sale of 137 Solar Renewable Energy Credits for a price of $227 each, or $31,099 in total.
  • Cloutier said Eastern Regional expects another decrease in overall student enrollment with the incoming freshman class, although exact numbers are not yet available until the school years starts.