Enhanced language options, year-round school, how to help struggling students, and whether District 861 leaders will continue to close schools are some of the topics expected to be explored by the Winona Area Public School Board of Education Thursday night.
The board will receive an update from administrators on a list of topics identified by the board in May during a strategic planning session. During that May session, board members came up with a list of goals that they asked the administrative team to study, and an outside consultant was hired to help administrators in drawing up plans for how to tackle the task.
Many of the goals identified by the board have been talked about in the past, including ideas for enhanced language offerings and year-round or modified school calendar. Also on the list was a goal to determine how best to deliver district resources to students who are struggling in school.
The board also discussed at length the goal of long-term facility and financial planning. Board member Steve Schild said during the May meeting that the district should seriously look at the future of school buildings as it anticipates declining enrollment. He said he didnít simply want a conversation about whether elementary buildings will remain open to students, but he wanted steps made toward more cohesive financial planning in general. Citing several instances in which the board was not made aware of future spending needs when making financial decisions, Schild said that without long-term financial planning it can be hard to prioritize spending. Board chair Greg Fellman said it would be a good idea to study enrollment trends and facility space to see if the district could fit more students into fewer buildings.
Other than those goals, the agenda for the meeting Thursday is relatively light. Not included on the agenda is a discussion of the role of the school finance committee, a request made by board member Jay Kohner during the last regular meeting. He said he had concerns about the committee that he wanted to see discussion of it on the next agenda.