This time of year provides us with an opportunity to reflect on the past year while looking forward with great anticipation of what the new year will bring. As I reflect on the changes I have experienced in the past year, I am most thankful for the opportunity to serve the students, parents, employees, and the NRHEG school community. I wish you a blessed holiday season and a new year filled with hope and joy!
The NRHEG School District is a great place to learn, live, and work. Our staff approaches their work each day with a commitment to serving our students so that every student has the opportunity to achieve at the highest level. I am proud to be part of a team that values every child, and is dedicated to continually improving what we do so that our students receive the very best.
We are fortunate to be led by a Board of Education (BOE) that is committed to continuous improvement in everything that we do. As part of this commitment, the BOE will be leading and engaging the school community in the development of a revised strategic plan that will provide us with a roadmap designed to lead us to achieving our “destination” or vision as a school district.
The BOE has approved partnering with the Minnesota School Board Association (MSBA) to assist our communities with revisiting a strategic planning process with the goal of crafting a continuous improvement plan that will clearly identify a vision of what we want to achieve as a school community, confirm our purpose or mission, and affirm what core beliefs and values we believe in, live by, and expect from all of us. We are fortunate to also have the South Central Service Cooperative collaborate with MSBA and us on this journey.
A thoughtful and purposeful strategic plan developed with the input of stakeholders across the school district is essential for our sustained success and growth as a school community. Understanding and believing in a clear vision of what we want to achieve in the future is critical to our continual improvement. Knowing and committing to a shared mission or purpose is also essential to growing and improving what we do for our children throughout our communities. Finally, and perhaps most important is acknowledging what we believe and value collectively as a school community. This is especially important in organizations like a public school district that employs a diverse workforce and also serves a diverse stakeholder base. Public school districts are some of the most diverse organizations when you consider not only the students that are served, but also the communities at large. Having shared beliefs and core values as a school community enables you to work together more effectively in achieving your vision.
Throughout my 31 years in public education, I have found that we often share the same end goal in what we want to achieve, but it is agreeing on the best plan to reach the goal that can create challenges. A strategic plan will not only bring clarity to what the end goal is, but more importantly, it will assist us with maintaining our focus on what is most important in order for us to reach our agreed upon priorities and goals.
The BOE looks forward to leading the strategic planning process in order to set a vision for what we want to achieve in the future after considering the input from stakeholders throughout the school community on what is most important when it comes to providing quality programming for our students. You can anticipate hearing more about opportunities in the coming weeks and months for you to participate in the planning process. The BOE is developing a survey to be administered to school district residents in late January and/or early February. The BOE will also be hosting public engagement sessions as part of the strategic planning process planned for February or March.
The BOE conducts its regular monthly School Board meeting on the third Monday of each month. The location of the meeting is rotated monthly between the NRHEG Secondary School Media Center in New Richland and the NRHEG Elementary School Media Center in Ellendale. The December 21 meeting will be in New Richland, and the January regular School Board meeting will be held in Ellendale on January 19, 2016, which is a Tuesday. The BOE is meeting on a Tuesday in January due to the School District’s observance of the Martin Luther King Holiday on January 18.
Thank you for your continued support and for the difference you make in the lives of our students.