Column: District 518 focus meeting is coming soonWORTHINGTON — District 518 over the past couple of years has worked to make structural changes in the organization to allow for more efficiencies and effectiveness, as well as participation and involvement.
By: John Landgaard, District 518, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — District 518 over the past couple of years has worked to make structural changes in the organization to allow for more efficiencies and effectiveness, as well as participation and involvement. This organizational change included the establishment of two committees that serve under the operational committee of the district. These two additions are the communication committee and the facilities/grounds committee, which are working to provide direction for the future of the district.
The communication committee is currently working on goals that will guide the work for this committee. Since it is a relatively new committee, the discussions have centered on the current communication of the district and how we can improve and/or expand communications to all stakeholders. As the committee works to build a direction for quality communication, the district is taking steps to implement tools that will help in the future such as a new updated website. We hope that over the next year, the communities of District 518 will feel better informed and more involved in the education of the students.
The facilities and grounds committee started this fall with a full plate of information about the current conditions in the district as well as identifying the various needs. Over the past month, the committee has discussed and addressed the issue of a growing enrollment that will create a need in the near future. With the enrollment projected to reach approximately 2,850 students over the next four years, the committee is discussing potential options in order to find a direction for the district. The potential options that have been identified at this time are: use of temporary facilities; adding on to current facilities; purchasing an existing facility in the community; adjusting schedules/increasing class sizes; and building a new facility. Each of these items have been reviewed by the committee, and financial estimates for each of the options are being developed in order to define the best option for the district.
This leads me to the next step in the process, which will be a focus group meeting scheduled for the end of January in which community members will be personally invited to attend by the committee members, school board members and administration. The goal for this focus group meeting is to present background information on the district, present the options with some details, have some small group discussion and utilize an immediate response system in order for all in attendance to see the potential direction for the district. With this input, the committee will develop a final recommendation for the school board to discuss and potentially move forward with a plan to address facility needs.
In the next two weeks, the committee members, school board members and administration will be handing out personal invitations to attend the focus meeting. The input during this meeting will be valuable in helping to determine the future direction of addressing the enrollment growth of the district. Once this is finalized by the school board, the discussions will become more specific to the option determined by the school board. The district has always been appreciative of the support and input received in order to continue with all the quality programming offered to our students. We should all be very proud of the educational opportunities for students and what we had available to each of us when we attended school. These opportunities have helped allow each of us to succeed at our own goals. District 518’s current opportunities will allow students the chance to create their own successes in the future. Thank you for supporting District 518.
John Landgaard is District 518’s superintendent.