The Joppa-Maple Grove District 38 school board began the steps of establishing a District Strategic Planning Committee at its Monday, Jan. 25, meeting.

The committee will consist of a variety of individuals who will help address the district’s strategic plan.

“Strategic planning is needed for our district that aligns with our mission to succeed in the best educational interests of our students,” said superintendent Dr. Vickie Artman. “This will help our district define what it intends to achieve when it comes to student success objectives and organizational goals.”

Three JMG school board members — Kevin Castleman, Chris McGinness and Stacey Reames — volunteered to be part of the committee, which will also consist of school administration, teachers, staff and community members.

The strategic plan to be developed by the committee “must be about improving students’ school experience and their learning outcomes while staying financially solvent,” Artman said. “The goal is to have a plan of action as to what we should do for the future of our school district. We will be investigating all options.”

Artman noted no limit has been set for the number of committee members. Anyone interested in volunteering for the committee can contact any JMG school board member or Artman at or 543-7589.

In other business:

• Graduation dates have been set. Joppa High School graduation will be at 7 p.m. Friday, May 14. Joppa Junior High School graduation will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 18.

• Ashlin Lowery was congratulated for winning a $500 Touchstone Energy Classroom Empowerment Grant for a learning kits project for her classroom.

• Artman informed the board that state testing has been placed on hold until mid-March.

• The board approved the resignation of nurse Betty Fry.

• The board approved the employment of Lori Jones as healthcare provider.

• And, the board approved moving Joy Copeland to the pre-K classroom.

The board’s next regular meeting is 6:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 22, at the JHS library. Due to COVID guidelines, the public is asked to submit comments to be read during the meeting to Artman at

Classes will dismiss at 1:26 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 12, which is Lincoln’s birthday, and will not be in session Monday, Feb. 15, in observance of Presidents’ Day.

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