Caston School Corporation Leaders Implement Strategic Plan

Writer / Matt Keating 
Photography Provided

Angela Miller, curriculum director for Caston School Corporation, says there are exciting days ahead for the schools. 

“During the spring semester of 2021, the Caston School Corporation held meetings to update the vision, mission, beliefs and strategic plan for the school corporation,” Miller says. “During this time a community steering committee made up of staff, students, parents, administrators, school board members and community stakeholders met to look at surveys, and gather information to update the direction of the school corporation.” 

The four strategic priorities are curriculum, instruction, and assessment; culture; communication and marketing; and campus. 

Regarding the first priority, the plan is to advance student achievement and growth by engaging staff in quarterly student achievement data analysis, align kindergarten through grade 12 in math, English language acquisition, science and social studies by August of 2022, explore and communicate Indiana Graduation Pathways to all stakeholders annually, and lastly, create and implement strong instructional practices annually. 

Caston School

Under the culture priority, the strategic plan is to nurture a respectful and positive school community to recruit and retain students and staff. The plan also involves strengthening positive student interventions and support during the 2021-2022 year and monitoring these initiatives yearly, and also creating a monitored teacher recruitment and retention plan during the 2021-2022 academic year. 

With regard to the campus priority, the strategic plan is to prioritize financial and facility resources to support student achievement by conducting a yearly fiscal analysis to ensure responsibility and stability, develop a facilities improvement plan to be reviewed and shared annually, and implement equitable technology resources in all classrooms by August of 2022. 

Under the communication and marketing priority, the plan is to increase effective communication and marketing. Corporation leaders plan to do this by developing an external and internal communications plan during the 2021-2022 academic year with yearly progress monitoring, and also coordinating and aligning the district’s marketing plan during the 2021-2022 academic year with similar monitoring. 

The school district’s tagline is “Big enough to do great things, but small enough to care.” 

Caston School

“As a small rural school, there is always a feeling that students who attend small schools miss out on activities and opportunities that bigger schools offer,” Miller says. “At Caston schools, we pride ourselves in finding a way to meet student needs in a small setting. Our athletics and Future Farmers programs are competitive at the state levels. Our robotics program has won state and national awards. We strive to offer as many programs as our building and staff can accommodate, and we then depend on our partnerships with the area career center and local universities to help with other courses that meet students’ needs.” 

Miller says the small setting provides a school community unlike many others in the state.

“With K-12 under one roof, we have many opportunities to share valuable resources,” Miller says. “Our high school students get to volunteer in elementary classrooms, and our elementary students get the benefit of positive older role models. It’s a win-win. Since the school is not in a large town, the school is the center of the small farming community. There is a lot of pride in the school and the graduates it produces.”

The Caston School Corporation serves approximately 750 students in kindergarten through grade 12. 

“With little industry, most families work away from the area,” Miller says. “School events bring everyone in the community together. One of our beliefs is that students should learn to serve the community. It is through these volunteer activities that Comets give back. These volunteer opportunities start in elementary school and then culminate into a senior project that all seniors must complete to graduate from Caston High School. These senior projects get our students out into the community, and we have met many community needs over the years.” 

Miller says the future looks bright for Caston students.

“Like any school corporation, Caston schools would like to keep growing,” Miller says. “This year we set a goal for the number of students in the district, and so far this year we have exceeded that goal by 50 students. Growth means adding staff to support additional programs, and continued updates to the facilities so that students’ instructional needs are met. We will keep focused on our strategic priorities, and update them as needed to meet student and community needs.” 

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