VIEWPOINT: Building on sucessAs was shared at our May 10 school board meeting, our district’s schools have received a great deal of positive recognition for their performances and achievements.
By: Corey Lunn, District 834 Superintendent, Woodbury Bulletin
As was shared at our May 10 school board meeting, our district’s schools have received a great deal of positive recognition for their performances and achievements.
It was recently released that Stillwater Area High School (SAHS) received a top-15 ranking in U.S News’s Best High Schools in Minnesota. When compared by size (over 1,500 students) SAHS finished in the top ten.
In addition, the website SchoolDigger, which compares schools across the nation based on a variety of characteristics, shows that our elementary schools are performing among the best in the state. When looking at combined third and fourth grade scores in the 2010-2011 State MCA II reading and math test, the district has three schools ranked in the top 10: Withrow, Afton-Lakeland and Marine elementaries are ranked sixth, seventh and eighth in the state respectively. We are the only district with more than one elementary school listed in the top ten! These results are evidence of our top-notch students, staff and community.
As a parent and educator, I realize that althoughthese are great achievements, the world is changing quickly and our students need a diverse set of skills earlier in their lives than I did when I was growing up. In response next year, which is the last year of our current action plans for Vision 2014, our focus will be directed toward innovative teaching and learning, hands-on learning experiences including STEM in all schools, personalizing instruction for all learners, developing positive and supportive relationships by involving parents and enhancing customer service and continuing our strong tradition of excellence, especially in terms of academic performance.
In my first year as new superintendent and community member, I have heard from many of you. I have heard comments consistently encouraging the school district to become more financially conservative, direct more resources into the classroom and develop a clear plan for the future before engaging the community in discussions about resources.
We are moving forward in all of these areas. We have found many efficiencies and made reductions across the organization, including over $350,000 in the central services office alone. The result has been a softer impact on the classroom. We’ve also given ourselves one more year before more significant budget reductions are necessary and provided the time and attention to engage the community in a detailed plan regarding the future of our schools. A key question during this process will be, “What does the community want its schools to look like?”
This summer and into next school year, we will be launching this community-driven process by collecting input from the community and involving community members in the detailed planning to provide our school district with a new and exciting direction. If you are passionate about these efforts or have a perspective you believe matches the values of the St. Croix Valley, I encourage you to become involved in this process. Please send questions, comments or suggestions to Barb Proulx at firstname.lastname@example.org.