by Dennis Dalman
To help make sure the Sartell-St. Stephen School District is up to snuff and state-of-the-art for the next 20 or 30 years, residents are urgently needed to become part of the Community Schools Planning Committee.
The district is now faced with a big challenge. All four school buildings are filled to capacity with students, and enrollments in the coming years are expected to increase. By how much is uncertain, and that is why the school board recently contracted with professional analysts to research facts to be used in a districtwide planning process. In January, the board agreed to hire the services of the Cuningham Planning Group of Minneapolis and St. Cloud architect David Leapaldt, as well as Hazel Reinhart Consulting Services of Edina. The latter will do a detailed 10-year school-enrollment study.
The district hopes to form a committee comprised of 50 to 100 members, including district staff, students, families, other residents and key partners. The large number of members was determined to be necessary in order to have the most diverse involvement possible in working toward a comprehensive plan.
A steering committee will guide the members in their research and visioning processes that will ultimately lead to recommending priorities and baseline needs for all school facilities. The recommendations by the committee will be presented to the school board in fall 2015.
“We want to truly engage our community,” said Sartell-St. Stephen Superintendent Jeff Schwiebert. “This is an important process that will allow us to create a plan that will support student learning at all levels, during and outside of the traditional classroom and school day. Our school buildings are hubs in our community that offer a variety of learning opportunities for all of our citizens.”
Citizen participants must be willing to participate in a series of nine workshops this March through the coming October. All of the workshops will meet from 4-8 p.m. on Wednesdays. For a full schedule, see below.
To apply for participation, call Stacy Karolus at 320-656-3715 or contact her at email@example.com. For more background information, visits www.sartell.k12.mn.us/cspi.
The first review of applications will take place Tuesday, Feb.17. All applicants will be notified via email after the Feb. 23 school-board meeting.
The following is a schedule of the meetings that will take place:
Workshops I – What You Want: Creating a Shared Vision for Facilities, March 11; and Generation of Issues and Facility Principles, March 18, both at the Sartell Middle School.
Workshops II – What You Have/Facility Implications: Information Forum, April 8 at the Sartell High School; and Creation of Facility Standards and Initiation of Gap Analysis, April 15, Sartell Middle School.
Workshops III – What Might It Look Like? Gap Analysis and Districtwide Scenarios, May 6 at Pine Meadow Elementary; and Site-Specific Design Workshop, May 13 at Oak Ridge Elementary.
Workshops IV – What Might It Look Like?/When Will It Unfold?/What Might It Cost? Synthesis, Phasing and Costing, Sept. 16; and Board Study Session and Community Presentation, Sept. 23, both at the Sartell Middle School.
Workshop V – Topic To Be Determined, Oct. 28 at Sartell Middle School; and Possible Presentation/Board Work Session, Dec. 2 at the District Service Center.