PORTLAND – A steering committee made up of community leaders will guide Portland school administrators in developing a comprehensive plan for Maine’s largest school district.

The plan will outline the district’s academic, financial and operational goals for the next five years. It also will identify specific strategies and staff members responsible for meeting the goals, and set timelines and benchmarks to determine whether the goals have been accomplished.

“We don’t want a plan that sits on a shelf,” said Peter Eglinton, chairman of the 11-member steering committee. “We want it to be a meaningful measure of actionable goals. The steering committee will be there as a reality check, to make sure that happens.”

The Board of Public Education will vote on a proposed slate of steering committee members Tuesday. The school board now holds its regular business meetings on the first and third Tuesday of each month.

The comprehensive plan steering committee is scheduled to hold its first meetings at 7 p.m. on Jan. 10 and Jan. 24 in Room 321 at Portland Arts and Technology High School.

Eglinton recently ended a three-year term on the school board, including two years as chairman. The school board appointed him to lead the steering committee and select its members.

“The nominees have a nice blend of expertise, including literacy, science and technology, and higher education,” Eglinton said. “Several have backgrounds in facilitation and strategic planning.”

Eglinton is a senior manager for Abt Associates, an international consulting firm that specializes in government regulation and policy development, strategic planning and program evaluation, training, communication and outreach, survey design and data collection. He has two children in Portland public schools.

Superintendent Jim Morse is expected to present a draft comprehensive plan in May and a final plan in June to be voted on by the school board, Eglinton said. The deadline may be extended slightly if necessary.


Staff Writer Kelley Bouchard can be contacted at 791-6328 or at: [email protected]