At the March 22 regular meeting of the McGregor School Board, the board voted to work with the Minnesota School Board Association to develop its next strategic plan.
Nexus Solutions also made a bid to conduct the strategic planning process.
Gail Gilman, director of strategic planning and leadership at MSBA, presented a proposal to the board for strategic planning services.
“We have served school districts of every size and shape, including charter schools and education cooperatives,” Gilman said. Gilman added that it is a state requirement (the “Striving for the World’s Best Workforce” bill, M.S.120B.11) to have a strategic plan in place and to have “The World’s Best Workforce” initiative connected to it. The WBWF strategic plan goals are listed in the sidebar to this article on page 8.
Board members are in a governance role, so one of their responsibilities is making sure that there is a strategic plan in place. The benefit to the district is the creation of a visionary roadmap that will align district actions with the goals of the superintendent, teachers and students.
Gilman pointed out the need to regularly interact with stakeholders, both inside and outside the school. Gilman said the MSBA will help with the design of surveys and other instruments for stakeholder involvement as well as helping with reporting about the results of stakeholder involvement.
She outlined the agendas for the three strategic planning meetings the board would hold to work on developing the district’s strategic plan. In general, the process takes about 12-14 weeks, but it can vary by district.
Nexus Solutions provided an update on the building project. Russ Schumacher walked the board through the status of efforts to get the school project back in line with the budget.
The board approved Nexus’ work scope bids Nos. 05, 07, 09 and 10, which had come in under budget. The board voted to reject the remaining bids, Nos. 01, 02, 03, 04, 06, 08, 11, 12 and 13.
The board unanimously approved hiring Matt Carlstrom as head baseball coach.
Dakota Boyd’s maternity leave was approved, as well as her request to work a few days during that period. The district is hoping to find a substitute during Dakota Boyd’s leave. Board members made favorable comments about Boyd’s performance as American Indian liaison for the district and stated how much they value having her on staff.
Superintendent Brad Johnson reported that field trips are taking place now and it feels like school life is getting back to normal.
MCA testing will be starting in April, benchmarking the district’s progress during the past year.
High school principal Bob Staska reported that prom arrangements are underway and baseball practice has started.
Staska requested approval to hire an additional special education teacher. Case loads are getting large and there are nine or 10 students with very high levels of need for special education support, Staska said. The board unanimously approved posting the position, funding for which is available starting in the school year 2021-22.
Dean of Students Ryan Dilner spoke to the board about discipline data. In grades K-6, 44 students had referrals for discipline — 38 minor and 81 major referrals.
“Disruption is the number one problem. Physical aggression without injury is fairly common in kids who have no self-regulation during recess. Pushing matches are the most common visible manifestation of this,” Dilner said.
They are trying to provide more support to children who are acting out, with the understanding that home issues might be carrying over to the school.
Liz Dean asked Dilner to provide a comparison between disciplinary action in 2019-20 and the data he provided for 2020-21. Dean asked if the number of students being referred for disciplinary action was larger or smaller than in 2020.
At the high school level, Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports may be included next year.
School-wide PBIS is a multi-tiered framework to make schools more effective places. It establishes a social culture and the behavior supports needed to improve social, emotional, behavioral and academic outcomes for all students.
Suspensions are tracked and reported to the state per state requirement, Dilner said.
McGregor staff is implementing a suicide prevention/response protocol and prevention plan.
Safe Schools and Question, Persuade, and Refer Gatekeeper Training for Suicide Prevention teach lay and professional “gatekeepers” the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to respond.
Dean asked how parents are being informed of the plan, to which Dilner replied that parents have not yet been involved. Dean suggested some outreach to Riverwood Healthcare Center staff might be helpful.
The district’s Meet and Confer meeting is April 6.
Facility meetings will be scheduled soon — three staff members are on the facilities committee.
Budget committee meeting at 4:30 on Wed. April 17.
Work session April 12 at 6 p.m, and the regular meeting April 26 at 6 p.m.
World’s Best Workforce Goals
The World’s Best Workforce plan addresses the following five goals:
• All children are ready for school.
• All third-graders can read at grade level.
• All racial and economic achievement gaps between students are closed.
• All students are ready for career and college.
• All students graduate from high school.
It also addresses
• Teacher Equity: Low-income students, students of color, and American Indian students are not taught at higher rates than other children by inexperienced, ineffective, or out-of-field teachers.
• Annual Report and Annual Public Meeting: Districts develop a WBWF Annual Report, engage in an annual public meeting with stakeholders, and release the annual report publicly on district websites.
• Summary Report Submitted to MDE every year in