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SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO : New District Head Proposes a Retreat

The new head of the Capistrano Unified School District wants to bring district administrators, teachers, parents, local business leaders and other residents together at a retreat to devise a five-year strategic plan for the district.

Supt. James A. Fleming said the retreat, tentatively scheduled for this fall, might address issues such as year-round schools, more independence from district policies for schools, and how the district’s conversion from junior high schools to middle schools should be handled.

He also wants to rewrite the district’s philosophy statement, which was adopted in 1968 and was last amended in 1974.

Fleming, who came to the district in July, said about 25 people would be selected to participate in the retreat. He also said that Harold Hester, who recently retired as the district director of elementary education, would plan and conduct the retreat for a $15,000 fee.

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“The members would select as few as five but no more than nine objectives that they feel the district should meet in the next five years,” Fleming said. “And after adopting specific items, task forces would be appointed to oversee each objective and measure how well we are achieving those objectives.”

In previous years, the board and the administration would agree to between 15 and 20 one-year objectives, but Fleming believes that method fails to involve teachers or the community and creates too many short-term objectives.


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