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Photo: Picasa, License: N/A, Created: 2018:12:05 19:50:28

The Old Forge School District Board, from left, sitting: Alisha Hudak, Julie Grimes and Jenna Shotwell. Standing: Christopher Thomas, Patrick Aulisio, Frank Scavo, Marie Ciuferri and superintendent John Rushefski.

The Old Forge School District is making some adjustments to its mission statement, and it wants input from the community.

On Wednesday, Feb. 6, the district will host the first of several public meetings geared around its Comprehensive Strategic Planning Process.

The meeting will take place at 6 p.m. in the LGI Room of the high school. From there, additional meetings will be held on Feb. 27 and the first and last Wednesdays of March and April. According to Old Forge Superintendent John Rushefski, the process “will conclude with a plan that will enable the Old Forge School District to focus its vision and priorities in response to a changing environment and ensure that members of our organization are working toward the same goals.”

Mandated by the state, the comprehensive Plan is updated every four years, said Rushefski, who had just begun his job when the district finished its most recent update in 2015.

“Part of its mandate is seeking representation from various stakeholders from the district, which includes students, parents, community members and educators from various parts of the district,” Rushefski said.

The meetings will cover a number of pertinent areas, including: staff development, teacher induction, mandated reporter training, curriculum, the district’s textbook series, technology upgrades, school safety and suicide prevention. Separate committees will include elementary, junior/senior high school and district.

“We’ll cover all the important things that are crucial to the district’s mission statement,” Rushefski said.

Already, Rushefski has put together a committee composed of about 26 people, among them district teachers, administrators, principals, paraprofessionals and students, plus school board members, borough officials and other community members. That said, additional borough residents are welcome to come out and share their input, he said.

“We’re just trying to get fair representation,” Rushefski said. “You want to hear the perspective of others. It gives the plan more validity and reliability when you have more people involved in the process. It’s going to be a collaborative effort. It’s going to give us a chance to see what’s working in the district, and to see if there’s areas where maybe we can do something a little different. Any areas where we’re lacking, we’ll attack.”

The goal is to have a completed version of the plan ready for public view by May, Rushefski said.

“We just need to roll up our sleeves and get to work on all the goals and objectives for our district,” he said. “The most important thing to stress is that we have a good plan. It’s not like we have to start from scratch. There will be things that we’ll validate, and other things we’ll change, depending on the need. It’s an opportunity for us to validate the good things we’re doing and look for areas where we can do things better.”

For more information on the Old Forge Comprehensive Strategic Planning Process, call the district office at 570-457-6721, ext. 130, email or, for further information on the district, visit