Superintendent also says Oliver and her staff are leading examination of district’s preschool program in the future

    Crookston School District Superintendent Jeremy Olson says he’s looking to February of 2019 as the launching point of a strategic planning initiative for the school district that will involve the community as a whole and attempt to look five years into the future.

    “We’re working on a process that would commence in February and it would incorporate staff, the community, and the (school) board,” Olson said. The initiative would be driven by two primary questions, he explained, as in “What kind of school do we want to be?” and “How do we get there?”

    Olson said the idea would be to set certain goals, then establish a “process to get to the point” of achieving the goals.

Preschool planning

    It’s likely that the district’s early childhood education/preschool offerings will be a major talking point in any strategic planning process, although Olson says an effort to shape the district’s preschool programming is already underway.

    Preschool programming in the district has been expanded and seen increased enrollment in recent years, and talk of increasing its impact no the community as well as the district’s future enrollment is certain to continue as efforts continue in at the State Capitol in St. Paul. In a visit to Crookston on Saturday, Minnesota Gov.-elect Tim Walz indicated that he favors free, universal preschool programming, but said he realizes the adverse impact it could have on day care providers who would potentially lose kids to early childhood education programming.

    “On our preschool configuration, we’re having talks on preschool in the future, and we’re continuing to evaluate and get information,” Olson said. “We’re really looking at what does preschool in Crookston look like down the road, and what is best for our community?”

    Olson said Washington School Principal and ECFE Director Denice Oliver is leading the current talks, along with her staff.