July 28, 2022

Our school district worked with representatives from CESO Communications in the spring and summer of 2022 to engage with middle school and high school students, team members, and parents/guardians, as well as other community stakeholders to get community input on our strategic planning goal of creating a learning environment that is collaborative, safe, and inclusive for all students. More than 100 members of our school district community responded to the call to participate in person. In addition, 1,767 middle school and high school students provided input through a survey on the learner experience, belonging, and empathy at their school. CESO’s report on the input from these community engagement activities is contained in the attached report.

After analyzing the information in the report from CESO, I draw the following belief statements from our community input.

  1. It is essential that all students, no matter their background, have a right to be welcomed into our school community.
  2. Students should feel physically and mentally safe in our schools.
  3. Students should feel comfortable being seen for their uniqueness and not be ridiculed for it.

Below are actions we are committed to taking to ensure a sense of belonging for all students, consistent with the input from our students, staff, and community. School and district leaders will work to translate these commitments into annual priorities through our strategic planning process.

  1. Elevate student voices - Establish processes to directly engage with groups of middle school and high school students in the discussion of complex topics and decisions that impact them.
  2. Address negative behavior to improve school climate - Address negative behaviors, including accountability for the use of derogatory comments. This includes behavior that occurs in class, as well as in the hallways and throughout the school. Our processes will help students understand what they did wrong, the harm that was caused, and how to move forward from the mistake. Students need to know that when they report mistreatment that their concerns are taken seriously and that something is done about it.
  3. Teach critical thinking skills - Provide training to teachers to integrate and teach critical thinking skills.
  4. Teach conflict resolution - Provide training to teachers to teach students to learn to disagree with peers, respect differences, and practice empathy.
  5. Teach and promote community, belonging, and accountability – Provide training to teach and integrate the skills associated with these themes.

District leaders will report progress on any annual priorities generated from this list of commitments to the Board throughout the school year.

We also remain committed to improving mental health support for students. We have added middle school and high school counselors over the past two years and are prepared to expand in-school therapy capacity this fall with our community mental health partners.

We have important work ahead of us. We welcome the input and support of our community to ensure our students are getting the best education in positive learning environment, consistent with our vision and motto.


Dr. Brad Welle

Superintendent of Schools

Community Input Summer 2022

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