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SMART goals give Hays USD 489 board new direction




From small immediate changes to sweeping long-term modifications in the way the district does business, Hays USD 489 central office administrators continue to work on the SMART goals based on consultant Randy Gustafson's recommendations made at a board retreat in November.

"He found a lot of issues we need to be working on, obviously," Superintendent Dean Katt said at the retreat.

Interim director of curriculum Shanna Dinkel oversaw the process of transforming the recommendations into SMART goals. SMART goal is an acrynym that stands for a goal that is specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused and time-bound.

SMART goals provide "a timeline so that you can judge where we are in the process and hold us accountable for what we should be doing," Katt said.

The board voted at its December meeting to approve the SMART goals.

"We will have an update on these every meeting," Katt said.

Some of the goal components will be ongoing, while other changes already are happening.

Some board meeting changes already have been made.

The Toepfer Board Room at Rockwell Administration Center has a slightly different look for meetings.

USD 489 business manager Tracy Kaiser joins the board, Katt, board clerk Sheryl Shubert and board attorney Bill Jeter at the board table.

Mark Hauptman, assistant superintendent of special services, and Dinkel sit at a table to the board members' left. Dinkel operates the computer controlling the overhead projector for the meetings. Media representatives are at a table at the opposite side of the room.

A podium with microphone has been added for those addressing the board.

Board meetings are videotaped.

Work sessions will continue as a permanent part of the process, with action items reported on, but the work sessions no longer are televised.

They are conducted in a more relaxed atmosphere, with board members and administrators sitting in a circle.

Other SMART goals projects with a tentative January completion date that affect meetings include adjusting meeting rules, revamping financial reports, setting deadlines for board meeting presentations and having the superintendent filter all material presented to the board.

Work on an organizational analysis also is targeted to be completed in January.

Long range goals include a five-year budget, cost-centered budgeting and manpower utilization for classified and certified employees in each department.

"This is where we're going, and this is when we're going to have it done," Katt said of the goals.