Happy New Year from Crookston Public Schools! It is no secret that I am incredibly proud of the students and staff at Crookston Public Schools.

    Our staff and students continue to do amazing things whether it is STEM projects in the classroom, service projects, building a house, putting on a tremendous concert, or the building of positive relationships. I could not be happier being a part of Crookston and am thankful for what the staff and students have accomplished together in 2018. As we shift from looking backwards to looking ahead to 2019, we have many things to look forward to in the coming year. Here are a few things that we have on our radar so far:

Preschool

    What is most pressing in January is our focus on our Preschool Programming and direction.

    This month the school board will be engaged in conversations surrounding the direction of our Preschool Program and what this program will look like for the 2019-2020 School Year.

    Much of this conversation will be centered around the structure of our 4 year old program: do we offer half day every day programing, full days everyday programing, or an option to choose either full or half day programming based on what parents and kids need? How do these decisions affect our childcare providers and partners such as Head Start? For the past few months we have been having internal conversations regarding the pros and cons of each of the programming options, conducted a parents survey, as well as meeting with Childcare Providers and Preschool Teachers to get some additional opinions as these decisions have a large effect on a variety of levels.      

   The School Board will begin taking up this issue this month as we work to ensure that our Preschool Programming meets the needs of kids and families.  

Interventionist at the high school

    We are preparing to submit a final plan to the Minnesota Department of Education for an Interventionist at the High School who will be providing additional support primarily for 7th and 8th graders who are struggling academically.

    This position will be funded out of Achievement and Integration Funds which is a new funding source from the state that is 70% state aid (money from the state) and 30% local levy. We believe that the addition of this position to help struggling students as they transition into the High School setting will help position our students for future success.

Strategic planning

    We are looking down the road to have strategic planning sessions in order to build a road map for our district’s future endeavors. Just as a ship must have a heading to reach its destination, so to must a school. In the coming months, we will be working on developing a shared vision and strategic plan to accomplish this vision over the next few years.

    If you would like to contact me with any thoughts, concerns, or questions please feel free to call my cell phone at 218-770-8717, email me at jeremyolson@isd593.org, or stop into the district office (please call ahead so that I am available to meet with you). You can also follow district updates on twitter @crookstonsupt.

    Jeremy Olson is superintendent of the Crookston School District.