Engaging families new to the districtOur school district’s reputation for excellence draws families to our communities. Wayzata Public Schools are at the vanguard for early intervention, preschool, free and reduced lunch, and more – but when families are in transition, they are overwhelmed, and can miss the opportunity to boost that learner up before Kindergarten, to ease a transition for a grade-schooler, or facilitate a middle or high schooler’s transfer. The New Family Welcome Center has the potential to be transformative for our new families.
Growing the best brainsTo grow the best brains, we need to provide the best fuel. Along with the new Culinary Express Director and recently formed District Wellness Committee, I want to take the opportunity to look into affordable, delicious, breakfast and lunches that meet parent expectations for meals that more closely mirror what parents are offering to their children at home. Choice, driven by parent guidance, is key to offering the right options.
Education fundingEven with the recently passed MN biennial budget giving a 2% increase to districts, inflation is projected at 1.9% in 2020, leaving few dollars for educational innovation. Responsible stewardship of taxpayer funding to ensure long term stability for the district requires long term fiscal planning and continued strong legislative connections. We have that responsibility to each and every taxpayer – both households and businesses.
Safe schools fundingWe need to take a proactive approach to student safety. Whether that means taking a look at the physical structure and safeguards – or ensuring enough mental health support to students in need, we need to continue to advocate for key funding from the MN legislature. Research shows that prevention efforts by teachers, administrators, parents, community members, and even students, helps to build connections and relationships for students. We need schools to help kids put down roots in their community.
Managing the enrollment boomWith the 12.5% rise in enrollment over the past five years and the projection that growth will continue through 2021, we must thoughtfully plan to have the infrastructure and resources for those learners as they move through our nine elementary schools and into our three middle schools – and then on to the high school. Demographers are predicting steady growth tied to a strong economy, but if things change our planning must also consider how to best utilize the buildings and staff.