Greetings from Crookston Public Schools! May is a month filled with many things from Spring sports, graduation, and the last days of school. It is a time filled with anticipation as we finish up one school year and prepare for the next. I would like to thank the over seventy five community members that joined us for the strategic planning input sessions. I know that three hours of strategic planning can be a long time, however, this feedback was very valuable to us! You reported out several very positive steps that have been taken in the past years as well as some less than positive items that we need to address as a district. This feedback combined with the input that we received from the staff was reviewed with the School Board, Administration, and Staff Facilitators on April 24th to develop near and long term priorities.

    Over the next couple of months, the Administrative Team will be putting "legs" on the identified priorities.  The final strategic plan  will be released to the community once it is approved by the school board.  The intention is to implement the plan next year.  It is important to note, that the entire plan cannot be implemented in a single year.  However we will address the most pressing needs in the first year.

    The purpose of the strategic plan is to provide a roadmap for our decisions and plans over the next several years.  Please be patient.  Our goal is to make steady, directed, and focused progress over the next several years, not to simply take meaningless action.  We cannot confuse mere action with effective action.  We need to do this correctly.

    The final point I'd like to make is that there is a chance that some of our initiatives may fail.  There are calculated risks involved.  Some organizations fear failure so much that they're afraid to change.  The result of this is stagnation.  While I am not promoting failure for failure's sake, it is imperative that we recognize that there will be times when we will try something, miss the target, retool and then adapt.  

    I would rather deal with failure from time to time than lead an organization that is so paralyzed with fear of failure that nothing new is ever accomplished.  Fear of failure is more dangerous to an organization than failure itself.  We simply aren't going to move the needle as a district, unless we accept that there will be risks because adapting to a changing environment is risky business.

    The road to get to the destination desired by the school and the community is paved with risk tolerance, discipline, patience and determination.  With your help and support we will get there!

    Olson is superintendent of the Crookston School District.