What does the future Brainerd School District look like?
Is all-day, everyday kindergarten available for every child? Are the school days longer? Class sizes smaller? Are the school buildings highly energy efficient? Are students of all ages learning Chinese, Spanish and other languages so they can compete in the global economy?
The Brainerd School Board long-range planning committee met Friday and board members added their own ideas to a developing updated long-range plan for the district. The committee previously held meetings with community members, business organizations, educators and other groups to gather input on what priorities the district should focus on.
Ruth Nelson, a board member and chair of the long range planning committee, said the committee's ideas, along with the community input, will be revised and four community meetings will be held in March to gather additional input on the draft long-range plan before it reaches board approval. The plan will act as a road map for the current and all future boards, she said. Brainerd's vision is for quality teachers, rigorous and individualized curriculum, sensible class size and adequate facilities, said Nelson.
The committee is working on developing reachable goals for this long-range plan based on the following nine key statements:
There are many academic roads, but all are rigorous and all lead to higher education.
Education investment starts early.
Learning takes as much time as it takes.
Great educators have great support.
Data and research inform teaching and improve learning everyday.
Funding is predictable and sufficient to produce world-class performance.
Services for students with special needs emphasize outcomes, not processes.
Global citizenship is a core academic subject.
Facilities capable of supporting Brainerd's vision.
Ideas from the committee to achieve these priorities in the future included expand online learning; provide different learning methods; expand early childhood opportunities; create a community-based literacy program; build additional collaborations with Central Lakes College, other area schools and day care providers; provide opportunities for all children, including all-day, everyday kindergarten; create more teaching mentoring opportunities; get more community members and parents involved at the schools; keep an eye on trends and strengthen common student assessments; maintain stable fund balance; consider additional foreign language opportunities for students in all grade levels; define "neighborhood schools" concept; look at future property acquisitions and the cost of transportation.
JODIE TWEED can be reached at email@example.com or 855-5858.
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