Tuesday, September 18, 2018

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Menomonie school district advances with strategic plan

Series of focus group meetings to begin

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MENOMONIE — The school board heard an update Monday on its new district strategic plan.

Studer Education was chosen earlier this year to lead the school district in formulating major goals and activities for the upcoming school year.

According to facilitator Joann Sternke, more than 25 focus group meetings will take place in the next few months. In March a final plan will be presented to the board.

“It needs to be representative of the community,” she said.

She explained that the focus groups will cover teachers, school staff and students.

A steering committee, which has already began meeting, has also been created to help guide the district in creating goals and activities.

Board member David Styer said the first meeting was refreshing and helpful to see where the district can build.

The strategic plan is one part of a long list of district goals for the upcoming school year the board unanimously approved Monday.

Schools Superintendent Joe Zydowsky said some of the highlights include improvements to social and mental health in the district. He also emphasized the want to improve security measures and crisis response.

Another facet of the 2018-2019 goals is updates to the district’s fiber optics.

Director of technology Katie Krueger told the board that fiber construction in Menomonie began in May and wrapped up in June.

The district will be moving to a 10-gigabyte connection, which is a bump up from its current 1-gigabyte connection.

Looking ahead to next meeting, Zydowsky said that according to the state Department of Public Instruction, the school district is projected to receive an increase of $1.4 million (7.6 percent) in state aid next year.

He asked the board to not get too wrapped up in the projections, however. After an audit it is projected there could be $750,000 to $1.7 million more in revenue than expenditures in the final 2017-2018 budget.

Zydowsky said this is a result of good fiscal oversight by the board and wise spending by the district staff, among other factors.

It is being recommended at the next meeting that the board consider approving budget transfers to the district’s capital improvement fund and the post-employment trust fund.

Contact: 715-830-5840, ben.rueter@ecpc.com, @BenRueter on Twitter

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