CENTRAL — After four years in existence, the Central Community School Board is preparing to create a strategic plan of action for the district by March.

The effort kicks off in earnest at 6 p.m. Thursday at Central High School. Residents with an interest in the public schools are asked to come out and answer three questions:

• What do you feel most proud of when you think about the Central Community school system?

• What do you think are the top issues facing students today?

• What are the suggestions you have that could lead to the school system becoming “world class”?

The school system has already sent this same survey out to parents and school employees and has it posted on its website: http://centralcss.org/district_office/strategic-planning-survey.

The survey will remain on the website for another two weeks or so, but Tony Arasi, the consultant the School Board has hired to oversee the planning process, said the best information will come from the people who show up Thursday.

“It becomes more powerful if it’s face to face,” said Arasi, director of professional development for the Georgia School Board Association.

The input from the gathering and the surveys will be used by a series of planning teams that will include 20 to 25 people each, a mix of educators and residents, school officials said.

James Gardner, president of the Central School Board, said Central had some success with that approach as the school system has developed and implemented plans to build and repair schools.

After the planning teams finish, Gardner said, he expects a second phase involving the creation of smaller “action teams” which will turn the planning team work into specific initiatives and action steps.

The third phase is where the School Board will take these initiatives and action steps, and align it with the school system’s budget, and also will use it as the basis for how the board evaluates the superintendent and its own work in the future, Gardner said.

Superintendent Michael Faulk said he will largely serve as a go-between, helping to get people what they need to do their work. Once the strategic plan is complete, Faulk said, he will work with the board to come up with performance measures to see how the school district is doing and hold its officials accountable.

“I hope it brings into focus the direction of the board and a basis to make decisions in response to what the community wants in their school system, not what any individual board or staff member wants,” Faulk said.