AUGUSTA — School officials have heard that city schools need to meet the needs, both academic and otherwise, of all its students.

Now they have to figure out what to do with that information and who should be represented on a committee that will be asked to turn that vision for the future into action and eventually results.

The Augusta Board of Education meets Wednesday to discuss forming a committee that will be given the task of taking the input received during nearly 11 hours of work Nov. 18 and 19. Officials called it the “Future Search” process in which 90 area residents, business owners and members of local organizations participated in small-group sessions to try to form a shared vision of the future of Augusta Schools. Officials want the committee to turn the ideas into recommendations on how to accomplish the goals envisioned by participants.

Kim Martin, chairwoman of the school board, said among the themes that emerged from the Future Search sessions was that the schools must meet the needs of all its students.

And not, Martin said, just their academic needs.

“The biggest thing I heard (during the Future Search sessions) was our community wants to make sure we’re meeting the needs of all our children,” Martin said Monday. “And not just the academic needs. That we’re serving the whole child so they’re able to learn. Students learn differently, they have different needs and we need to be able to accommodate those needs.”

Martin noted an executive summary will be prepared to present the results of the Future Search.

She said other general themes that emerged from the sessions were that people want the schools to be the center of the community and want schools to teach students how to engage in discussions with others with civility.

A guiding question sent out to participants in a letter beforehand stated: “Recognizing all the challenges and opportunities that exist, how do we build a school system that is responsive to the current and future needs of our students?”

She said the approximately 90 people who participated represented a good cross-section of people.

At 6 p.m. Wednesday, board members are scheduled to meet in a workshop session in the cafeteria at Capital Area Technical Center to discuss the next steps in the Future Search process.

Martin said that will include discussion of who should be represented on a committee expected to be formed to implement the Future Search findings. Martin said the new committee will likely be formed by board action in December, and she could have appointees to it in January.

Board members Wednesday are also scheduled to discuss a new district website, computers and network changes, school board goals, and a meeting schedule to work on next year’s proposed school budget.

Keith Edwards — 621-5647

[email protected]

Twitter: @kedwardskj

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