Twenty-five Caledonia community members attended Caledonia Area Public School’s stakeholders’ meeting hosted by Krin Abraham, school superintendent. The meeting was held Wednesday, May 17, from 6-9:32 p.m. at Caledonia Middle/High School.
Abraham warmly welcomed all who attended and discussed the purpose of the evening’s meeting. Abraham stated, “The goal for tonight is to create goals. First we have to figure out what those goals are.” Abraham asked participants to state their name, affiliation with the school district, and what one hopes is accomplished in regards to the school district. A number of participants shared:
Board member Mike Peterson and Superintendent Craig Ihrke both shared they hope to see things that are doing well, to continue building.
Board member Daniel Small shared, “I want my grandchildren to have the educational opportunity to thrive.”
Houston County Commissioner Bob Burns hopes for improvement in educational capacity.
Intervention Specialist Rachel Nielsen hopes to ensure the school is a good place to send her children and a good place at which to work.
Fifth grade teacher Jake Hebeisen stated, “We’re all here because we want the best for the kids,” with “we” including teachers, parents, and administration.
Caledonia Public Library Director Stephanie Eggert expressed, “We’ve become a hub for the schools over the last few years.” Eggert wants to hear feedback.
Abraham had created an online survey for the community and staff at Caledonia Area School District to complete. The survey offered a number of questions related to the school district with those completing the survey expected to rate their answers from strongly disagree through strongly agree. The goal for the survey is to achieve responses where under 25% fall under “disagrees” and over 50% agrees. Abraham shared the survey’s results with the group and discussed the areas that fell short of expectation.
In regards to the community survey:
•26.59% of respondents disagreed in that CAPS (Caledonia Area Public School) treats all with dignity while respecting the role of parents, staff, and community.
•26.59% disagreed in that CAPS adheres to professionalism, ethics, and personal responsibility.
•30.05% disagreed in that CAPS is open with parents/guardians.
•49.13% of respondents felt CAPS energizes students through freedom of speech, thought, and discussion.
•25.44% disagreed on CAPS’ commitment to providing all students with an equal opportunity to succeed.
•46.25% of respondents felt CAPS manages human and material resources wisely.
In regards to the staff survey:
•73.69% of staff enjoy working with Caledonia School District!
•29.82% disagreed with the CAPS administration keeping staff informed about school concerns.
The CAPS Free Response Survey Results included both strengths and weaknesses within the school district.
Abraham commented these to be, “small areas to keep in mind this evening.”
After the survey results discussion came to a close, Abraham presented common trends found through the surveying process that need attention which include: culture/discipline, communication, school/community partnership, curriculum, staff, and finances.
Abraham took each of the six specified trends and wrote each trend on a large sheet of paper to hang up for the community members to see. Each trend consisted of related points which stemmed from the survey results.
For example, under “trend culture/discipline,” lists specified points such as PBIS in need of modification, lack of clarity and expectation, or inconsistent treatment of staff, all of which were derived from the survey results.
Abraham placed the community members into five groups and supplied each person with four sticky dots. Each person was asked to place a sticky dot next to the trend related point that one personally feels needs immediate attention. Once the community members completed their assigned task, Abraham tallied the votes and noted the top six areas in need of attention. The top six included: staff retention (9 votes), lack of follow through in regards to discipline (7 votes), innovation in expanding opportunity (7 votes), expand staffing (7 votes), small class sizes (7 votes) and build relationships with legislators/community (6 votes).
Next, each group was to create SMART goals to address each of the six stated points. SMART goals consist of goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, offer Results, and conducted in a set Time. Once the SMART goals were created, Abraham took six large sheets of paper and wrote down each of the six voted areas in need of attention along with all corresponding SMART goals for each area. The community members were then provided six sticky dots and asked to place each dot next to the SMART goal one felt best fit the voted area of attention.
Once the community members completed their assigned task, Abraham tallied the votes and noted the top voted SMART goal for each of the six areas in need of attention. In turn, Abraham and the community members began the Caledonia Area Public School District’s Strategic Plan. The plan goes as follows.
The Strategic Plan is set for four years with benchmarks each year in hopes of meeting set goals by the 2026-2027 school year.
•Staff retention – CAPS will improve staff retention by addressing top concerns raised in annual employee survey/exit survey (15 votes).
•Follow through with discipline – CAPS will have substantial reduction in disciplinary occurrence by defined framework of actions and consequences (17 votes).
•Expanding innovation – CAPS will increase specific exposure to life skills for students by offering X amount of opportunities by utilizing expertise of community members (15 votes).
•Expand staffing – CAPS will support mental health of students by engaging in partnerships with local mental health professionals by providing all students with access to a mental health professional (13 votes).
•Small class sizes ended up removed from list as school district already adheres to state guidelines when it comes to teacher to student ratio. CAPS will continue to maintain flexibility as needed (11 votes).
•Build relationships – All students will be involved in a community outreach service project organized by grade level with completion of at minimal one service project per year (16 votes).
Abraham proudly praised the community members who participated in the evening’s Stakeholder’s meeting, “I am incredibly impressed by what I saw here tonight!