Out for Lunch

Out for Lunch
Posted on 06/17/2015

One of the greatest benefits of working in a school district is the opportunity to interact with children on a regular basis. During the past year, I really enjoyed visiting our schools in Menomonie, and, on several occasions, having lunch with students. Most of the time, students were very receptive to having me join them for lunch, and they were very willing to share their thoughts about our schools.

The feedback that I received from students was quite enlightening! Elementary students at Oaklawn Elementary School thought our school district could be improved by having an ATV race track and bounce house on the playground. Some students at Menomonie Middle School thought that the district should consider cancelling school on nice days in addition to snow days.  And, I heard plenty about the desire to have open campus lunch and to take backpacks to classes at Menomonie High School. 

I was also happy to hear that nearly all students that I talked with liked school and their teachers. Many elementary students commented on how much they enjoy their homeroom teacher, along with the opportunities our school district provides in the areas of art, music, and physical education. Older students often shared positive comments about the teachers who challenged them to be their best, put in extra time and effort to reach students on an individual level, and served as coaches or advisors. Several students also told me that they were thankful for high discipline standards that made them feel safe in our schools.

Much research has been conducted to determine how school districts can provide children with the best educational experience possible. While my “lunchroom conversations” might not qualify for a doctoral dissertation, the themes seem pretty obvious. Most students want to be engaged and challenged. They want a well-rounded educational experience, and most students appreciate structured discipline that keeps our schools operating in an effective, efficient, and secure manner.

I am very thankful to all of the students who welcomed me to the lunchroom this year, and I am very happy to report most of the students that I talked with are quite pleased with what our school district has to offer. As the landscape of public education continues to change, we will continue to evaluate and extend programming and operations in our school district, but it is likely that the general themes for school success will remain.  

Providing a rigorous, well-rounded educational experience in a safe and healthy environment will continue to be our focus in Menomonie. It is our mission to prepare ALL students to become lifelong learners, caring individuals, and responsible citizens.

Should school stakeholders have any questions about our school district, I invite you to visit the Administrative Service Center on Pine Avenue or contact me at 715-232-1642. More information about our schools can be found on the school district website (www.sdmaonline.com) and on Twitter (www.twitter.com/sdmaonline).