I was drawn to your education article in the May 13 edition. It summarized the May 8 meeting of the ISD 728 School Board which voted 5-2 to adopt the Strategic Plan. I was disheartened that two of the newest board members did not support the adoption of the Strategic Plan. It was clear that in doing so they are not respecting the voices of the 507 people who attended the community input sessions or filled out surveys.

ISD 728 should be commended for the way they went about gathering input prior to writing the Strategic Plan. The process was thorough and allowed many entry points for community leaders, parents, staff, students, taxpayers, and concerned citizens to respond to open ended questions in person. As an Elk River taxpayer, I was one of the many community members who attended one of the “café sessions.” I found participants’ opinions to be diverse and insightful. All the information was recorded and given to the Core Planning Team consisting of 21 members including parents, staff, community members, and students. The school district also had the guidance of information offered in surveys. The Core Planning Team was tasked with the distillation of the dialogue, finding common threads, and determining the focus of guiding principles for ISD 728 long range plan. They focused on three key areas: Excellence in achievement, Excellence in partnership, and Excellence in operation.

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