Our District » 2022 Comprehensive Planning Process & Purpose

2022 Comprehensive Planning Process & Purpose

South Butler County School District

The Pennsylvania Department of Education Strategic Planning framework is designed to create opportunities to reflect upon the needs of our student population and community.  The comprehensive planning process includes several layers of effective organizational and educational practices that will lead to improved student performance.  The South Butler County School District Comprehensive Plan provides a blueprint for the students, staff, and community members to provide a clear focus on the goal of supporting the unique learning needs of each student within the South Butler County School District.

Comprehensive Planning 2022

Approximately 50 students, parents, community members, Board Members, and Administrators participated in the first Comprehensive Planning Meeting on March 22, 2022. We spent time talking about progress related to the 2019-2022 plan. Most of the meeting’s agenda was dominated by our need to revise the District’s Mission and Vision Statements. Superintendent Dr. David Foley discussed with the Comprehensive Planning Committee that this was the right time for a name change and that we are moving forward with some significant momentum.  The renovation project, labor peace, nearing the end of the pandemic, a curriculum re-write for all secondary courses, purchase of $700,000 of math and English curriculum, a commitment to getting each student a Chromebook, and outside-the-box thinking with virtual learning options are monumental changes that will result in improved learning opportunities for our students. A new Mission and Vision to focus stakeholder attention seems to make sense at this point in the history of the District. 

Volunteers were asked to choose a specific area of interest among six different subcommittees:

  • Academic Achievement
  • Budget and Fiscal Affairs
  • Operations
  • Special Education
  • Staff Services
  • Student Services
Administrators have been assigned to oversee and lead discussions within each subcommittee related to developing three goals and three action steps for each goal.   Although most of the first meeting focused on the Mission statement, administrators will be reaching out to their subcommittees and conducting subcommittee meetings to determine goals and action steps.

The notes below summarize critical points discussed with the hope that we as a collective whole can write a meaningful Mission Statement that will move the Knoch School District forward. The discussion regarding the Mission Statement was driven by questions that were designed to frame our thoughts for a new Mission and are included below:

Question 1: What do our students need to know and be able to do by the time they graduate?

  • Give kids tools they need to do what they want; address their unique learning needs
  • Strong academic foundation (Special Education)
  • Resilience for whatever they will face in life (Student Services)
  • Emotional maturity (Staff Services)
  • Approaches to life experiences, limits in life and how you handle them, setting goals, being adaptable, and knowing how to transition to adult life - whatever that might be (Academic Achievement)
  • Purpose-driven, Prepared, Passionate about things, Problem-Solver (Budget)
  • Learning things that apply to regular life; helping them cope with hardship (Operations)
  • Academics are the floor (foundation); the ceiling is what the Knoch School District does beyond the Standards.

Question 2: What are we currently doing or planning to do that would be an attractive selling point for an incoming family or prospective employee?

  • Renovation:  We continue to evolve and be relevant, so our kids are up to speed. We need to publicize that.  We have a small community feel with …?  (Budget)
  • Sense of Community:  small classes vs. opportunities (we have both); parental input; values (Academic Achievement)
  • Renovation:  investing in future and improvements  (Staff Services)
  • Leadership opportunities:  field trips and special outings, experiences (Student Services)
  • Making progress toward the goal of academic excellence (Special Education)
  • School and District is a “safe place” (Operations)
Question 3: What do our students need, and what do our parents and community value most?
  • Ability to develop empathy - beyond academics; What is valued by different groups may vary.  Why do students grow up and come back?  Sense of small town is excellent, but not always kids aren’t always prepared for life outside of this community/town/area. (Special Education)
  • Positivity and safety (day-to-day as a person with the people around you, not in terms of weapons, but more emotional safety) (Student Services)
  • Community would value a well-rounded student who manages their time well (Operations)
Question 4: What kind of image do we want to convey to the outside world as a school district?
  • Competitive - Prepared (Budget)
  • Safe (Staff Services)
  • Progressive (Student Services)
  • Be progressive, ahead of the times, hones and not pretenders, competent, inclusive (Operations)
Question 5:  What is the District’s purpose?
  • High expectations; student citizens in all things (Special Education)
  • Good environment; safe to learn (Staff Services.)
  • Comfortable/Challenged
Question 6:  What would our students/employees say they like/dislike about working in our District?
  • Larger lunches
  • Being limited by budget
  • More progressive learning - women/black history beyond the basics of Black History Month; teachers having P.D. to know what and how to teach about this and to have awareness themselves
  • Scheduling is an obstacle for progress - lunch and vo-tech limit course scheduling
Question 7:  What differentiates the Knoch School District from other school districts?
  • Different and proud of it
  • We have space, excellent programs
  • Progressive
  • Trying to prepare kids
Documents Shared at the March 22 meeting:

Following the initial meeting, Dr. Foley sent information to Comprehensive Plan Committee members in preparation for the next meeting at the end of April regarding suggested Mission Statements and additional pertinent information that would assist in developing a meaningful Comprehensive Plan.  He also provided them with the 2019-2022 Scorecard to assess our progress related to the expiring Comprehensive Plan.

Update March 25, 2022:

To date, there have been a few Mission Statement suggestions:

  1. Student-focused, future-driven.
  2. Student-driven, future-focused
  3. Cultivating and engaging students to be progressive, purposeful, positive, and problem-solvers of the world.
  4. Connecting with and engaging students to make a difference and impact on society.
  5. Inspiring students today, tomorrow, and for the future.
  6. Knoch School District, where every student is educated and prepared for wherever life leads them.
  7. Developing creative, inclusive, critical thinkers and problem-solvers, that impact the global society.
  8. Mentoring creative, caring, competent, and collaborative minds that successfully transform the community.
  9. Engaging and inspiring respectful, responsible, resilient, and powerful minds to progressively connect with others to meet the continually changing demands of society.

Timeline Established by the Pennsylvania Department of Education to complete the Comprehensive Planning Process:

  • March 22, 2022 - Initial Comprehensive Planning Meeting
  • March 23 - April 1, 2022 - The Subcommittees work outside the entire Comprehensive Planning Committee to develop the goals and action steps (in-person or electronically).
  • April 27, 2022 - The entire Comprehensive Planning Committee will reconvene to share progress regarding the goals and action steps of each Subcommittee. Further Mission Statement discussion will occur.
  • Throughout April and the beginning of May 2022 - Groups will have the opportunity to refine the critical components of the subcommittee work. Utilizing the information submitted, a communications plan for rolling out the Knoch School District Comprehensive Plan will be developed, refined, and prepared for public display and sharing the plan following final approval.
  • June 8, 2022 – Board Meeting - Comprehensive Planning Team Members will provide a Board/Community Presentation of the tentative Comprehensive Plan.
  • June 9, 2022 – July 13, 2022 - The plan will be on public display, and community members will have an opportunity to provide feedback regarding the contents of the Comprehensive Plan.
  • July 13, 2022 – The Knoch School District School Board will consider community feedback and vote on the Comprehensive Plan.
  • Before the August 30, 2022 deadline, the South Butler County School District Comprehensive Plan will be submitted to the Pennsylvania Department of Education.


Questions about the District's Comprehensive Plan should be directed to the Superintendent's office at 724-352-1700 x 5605.