Hannibal Public School District seeks community input for Comprehensive School Improvement Plan

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Mary Hendricks-Harris from Education Plus, watches an attendee place a sticky note on the poster board labeled "Threat." Photo by Megan Duncan

HANNIBAL, Mo. – A group of parents, community members and school officials from the Hannibal School District gathered Thursday evening in the high school cafeteria to discuss the school’s Comprehensive School Improvement Plan (CSIP).

Mary Hendricks-Harris from Education Plus, a nonprofit education service agency located in St. Louis, led the discussion and showed data on various topics at the school through charts in a slide show presentation. 

Although the charts showed data regarding a rise in student discipline and a fall in attendance, they also showed rising numbers in the gifted program, graduates, an overall positive response in the latest parental survey and more.

After viewing the data in each chart, the floor opened up for questions.  

Superintendents of the Hannibal Public School District, Susan Johnson, Shawn Brown, and Meghan Karr, along with several school board members, got the opportunity to sit in public seats and participate in the discussion.

“We were excited to have Mary because we wanted to be active participants. We wanted to give our input on where the strengths and weaknesses are,” Brown said. “Also, with Mary working with many districts, she has a different perspective coming into our school district.”

The CSIP is a five-year plan for the Hannibal Public School District. Brown said the new plan will give a deeper focus on fewer issues. 

The meeting tonight was to determine which issues to focus on, with community support. 

After viewing the slides, each attendee wrote a strength, weakness, opportunity, and threat on a sticky note then placed the notes on a poster board with the corresponding heading.

Once the notes were posted each person read them and placed a green dot to indicate which issue they felt the school should focus on and a red dot on the issues they shouldn’t.  

Some listed strengths included for the district was the Hannibal Career and Technical Center, along with dedicated teachers and staff. 

Some listed weaknesses included staff shortages and a lack of parental involvement in the schools and classrooms. 

Some listed (outside) threats included drugs in the community and mental health needs for students and staff.

Some listed opportunities included maximizing mental health partners and improving their financial outlook.

Brown said another goal of the evening was to find people for several subcommittees that will work around those goals. Those who participated and asked questions on Thursday could be approached to serve on the committees.  

“If you have ideas to bring to the table then let’s bring them to the table,” he said. “I am hoping that tonight was an open invitation to really open that door for people to dig in and work on those committees with us.”

Anyone who is interested in serving on a committee can contact Shawn Brown at the Hannibal Board of Education.

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