September 12, 2013 | Volume 118, Issue No. 37

School board fine tunes goals

The Moose Lake School Board met in a working meeting on Monday, September 9, to fine tune its strategic goals.

The board had met with Sandy Gundlach of the Minnesota School Board Association in August and had targeted five areas where preliminary goals were identified.

Gundlach had compiled the information and the school board members received it at last month’s regular meeting of the board.

The Monday meeting was to finalize the goals and to set timelines for completion.

The five goals that have been identified are: Student Learning and Achievement, Finance, Facilities and Property, Build Community Relations and School and Community Pride, and Support Services.

The number of goals was reduced to four when Support Services was removed. It was said that many goals with Support Services, such as tracking and providing services for struggling students, was already in place. Other goals were identified in previous goals.

The board set high goals for Student Learning and Achievement: MCA scores and graduation rates to be the highest in the area, decrease the number of required college remediation classes, and increase the variety of curricular offerings. That would be an ongoing goal, to be reviewed annually by the board.

Increasing the amount of public relations to market the school and its offerings and achievements was also identified. Various forms of media were named, and it was said that all could be used to market the school. It would be an ongoing project once the new ideas were implemented.

Ongoing efforts would also be made to improve the curriculum. That would results in increased test scores and increased enrollment, especially open enrollment. The board will ask the staff to determine if that goal is feasible by next summer. New offerings could be implemented in three years.

For Finance, the main goal was to increase the unassigned expenditures in the General Fund to eight weeks, instead of three weeks, as it is now.

That goal could be accomplished by continuing efforts to increase student enrollment, writing grants, continue to seek legislative assistance to fund district building needs, research new proposals and existing programs to determine need and viability, and work with the city to develop the property along Highway 73 and County Road 10.

The timeline for the goals was one year, with researching programs a three-year project.

For Facilities and Property the goals were: Maintain the existing district buildings, determine the full cost of damages to the school building and grounds from the 2012 flood, determine the community’s expectations to funding a building that meets the students’ needs and develop a plan, and decide what to do with the Family Center building downtown.

For the damage to the school building, there will be an annual inspection and report made. Several of the board members expressed concerns about damages appearing in the future that were not apparent after the clean-up from the flood waters.

The board members expressed a desire to maximize the profit potential by renting more space in the Family Center to appropriate businesses or services, or to sell the building.

All were one-year projects, with the community’s expectations for the building and students needs set for five years.

Building Community Relations and Pride also included developing mutually beneficial strategic partnerships with business, government, other school districts and the community.

Assessing, developing and implementing a district-wide communication plan that promotes the students and district was one objective that was identified. The timeline for that goal was two years.

Another objective was to create opportunities and/or respond to requests to speak with community groups, parents, city and individuals within the school district. That would result in building relationships. The timeline for that goal was one year.

Support Services, which included the goals of engaging in an ongoing review of existing support services to determine areas of need and recommend appropriate action, such as counseling and nutrition; and review existing services and consider additional support services for the community as practical, such as child care, before and after school day care and adult programming, were said to already being provided or included in the other goals.

The category was eliminated.

The monthly meeting of the Moose Lake School Board was set for Monday, September 16, at 5 p.m. in Room 115 at the school. Note the time change.

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