A preview of 2019 in the MPS District

As the Marshall Public School District transitions into the new calendar year, important work on a variety of different things will continue to take place. The winter break gives us a few days to catch our breath and focus on some of the things that we haven’t quite found time for while also preparing for the second “half” of the school year.

This is the second year with our district’s Five Year Strategic Plan that includes 10 specific goals that were identified during the process of creating this plan. The school board annually selects two of these ten goals that we then dedicate a (more) significant amount of time and energy toward accomplishing, all the while continuing work in all other areas, including goals from the previous year. The goals for this school year are to “Identify barriers to learning and provide intervention and support” and “Identify, recruit, develop, and retain excellent staff.” For each of these goals, we create objectives and action plans, both of which guide the specific activities that take place relative to each of the goals. The goals, objectives, and action plans are crucial in our continuous improvement efforts. We continue to strive to align these with our Site Continuous Improvement Plans, World’s Best Workforce Plan, Achievement and Integration Plan, Literacy Plan, and other plans that we have to ensure we are examining programs and opportunities for students, families, staff, and the school district with somewhat of a critical eye and asking the question, “How can we get better?”

Another focus area for us transitioning into the new calendar year will be on our long-range facilities planning efforts. At their meeting on Jan. 7, I anticipate the school board will approve a Long-Range Facilities Plan and direct administration to take relevant next steps. The plan they will review and consider was created over the last several months and includes input from staff, parents, and community members. It is a comprehensive plan that includes potential work at all of our sites over the course of the next several years, using a prioritized system for various phases of work and projects. This comprehensive plan will assist us in planning and being prepared to keep the district’s facilities meeting the needs of our students, families, staff, and community.

I’ve previously shared that this school year is a transition year for us with our approach to school safety. We began implementing the ALICE model of preparedness with our staff at the start of the year and have received positive feedback. ALICE stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate. With the new calendar year starting, we will continue to work with and get feedback from our staff regarding ALICE. We will also work more closely with our students on what ALICE stands for and means for them in emergency situations. We will shift our focus and work to threat assessment planning, ongoing training for students and staff, and reunification planning, all of which are important aspects of keeping students and staff safe and secure. As we know, education and being as prepared as possible are keys to any new type of program, such as ALICE, and our Safety Committee will continue with their due diligence to make sure students AND staff have a thorough understanding of the ALICE model.

As we transition into the new calendar year, important work in these areas (and others, as well) will become an even higher priority. For more information about something or if you have questions, we encourage you to reach out to the District Office at 507-537-6924. You can also contact me at scott.monson@marshall.k12.mn.us. Thank you for taking time to read this and for the support shown for the Marshall Public School District. Go Tigers!