Olson wants a good cross-section of the community represented

    Soon after being hired last year as Crookston School District superintendent, Jeremy Olson indicated that he felt it was important to soon embark on a strategic planning initiative to provide a map going forward for district leaders to follow for the next handful of years.

    He wants community input to be a major part of the process that results in the strategic plan, and in order to get the ball rolling, a Community Input Session will be held on Tuesday, April 23 beginning at 5:30 p.m. in the Crookston High School Commons.

    In order to try and get as good of a cross-section as possible of district residents to attend, the session will include free pizza and beverages, as well as free child care in the CHS gymnasium for children in kindergarten through third grade. Food and drinks will be served at 5:30 p.m., with the session starting at 6, he said.

    A partner piece to the community session is a survey about what people think “is going well and what is not going well” in the district. It’s critically important, Olson said, that a lot of people complete the survey and submit it. You can find the link to the survey at the school district website at crookston.k12.mn.us.

    Olson said it’s critically important as well that a big crowd come out for the April 23 gathering. The superintendent tells the Times that once he started talking about the strategic planning process, who might be involved and the community session itself, people started to reach out to him with suggestions of various people in Crookston and the school district who would be valuable contributors to the process. While Olson says he’s very appreciative of the suggestions and adds that he’s been reaching out to the suggested people to ask them to participate, he says it’s important that other district residents and stakeholders not only feel welcome to take part, but that they actually take part.

    “I want a good cross-section of people,” he said. “There are a lot of leaders in this community and they’re very proactive and you typically see them show up to things like this, and that’s great. But I would love it if the demographics of our school district matched the demographics of the people we’re encouraging to come to this meeting.

    “I want the every-day Crookston person who has something to contribute but maybe feels they haven’t had the opportunity to participate in and speak up,” Olson continued.

    That’s why there’s going to be pizza and child care; he said he wants to make it as easy as possible for parents and families to attend. “If you have to cook supper or you have to find child care because you’d like to attend, that’s a burden,” Olson said. “Most people probably aren’t going to pay a sitter so they can come to this session. We don’t want them to be concerned with having to do that.”