All Voices are Welcome in the SDMA

All Voices are Welcome in the SDMA
Posted on 10/04/2018

There are many ways that success can be measured in schools. Graduation rates, test scores, attendance counts, participation figures, and the number of disciplinary referrals are just a few of the many indicators that officials in the School District of the Menomonie Area track each year. While all these data points can be used when evaluating specific programs, overall success for the school district- or any organization for that matter- might be best determined by how well available resources are aligned with the mission for why that organization exists.

It is the mission of the School District of the Menomonie Area to prepare ALL students to become lifelong learners, caring individuals, and responsible citizens. Each year, the elected members of the school board consider input from administration, staff, community, parents, and students to set a work plan and budget for the school district that is aligned with this mission.

School board members in the SDMA continue to do their best to solicit input and listen to constituents and other school stakeholders so that they can do a good job representing everyone in the school district.  As decisions are made, school board members often consider a wide variety of feedback to ensure that the actions of the school district are well-aligned with the needs and expectations of our community.

While the school board in the SDMA has done a good job providing direction for the staff and students in the school district, the ever-changing needs and expectations of our community can make the tasks of setting clear goals and aligning limited resources quite challenging. When thinking about the future, and the world for which the school district is preparing our students, these tasks become even more difficult.

To this end, one of the most important goals that the school board has adopted for this year is to work with stakeholders to create an updated strategic plan for the school district. Done correctly- with good stakeholder involvement- a strategic plan can set a shared vision for the future that clarifies expectations and provides the direction for the school district that is so critical for achieving goals and successfully allocating limited resources.

There are many ways that SDMA stakeholders can participate in helping to create an updated strategic plan. Last month, nearly 900 people completed a digital strategic planning survey that was shared across our community. Several listening sessions were held with the teachers and other employee groups in the school district, and in October, several more listening sessions will be held to gather additional input from students, parents, and community members.

All voices are welcome in the strategic planning process, and we encourage stakeholders to consider attending at least one of the following upcoming listening sessions:

Monday, October 15-             3:00 pm-  UW Stout- Memorial Student Center- Birch Room

                                        7:00 pm-  Menomonie High School- Lecture Hall (Parent-Focused)

Sunday, October 21-             6:00 pm-   Menomonie Middle School (Parent-Focused)

Monday, October 22-             7:00 am-   Administrative Service Center- Board Room

                                         7:30 am-   Menomonie Chamber Office

                                         9:00 am-   Wakanda Elementary School (Parent-Focused)

                                         9:00 am-   Governmental Center- City Council Chambers

                                        11:00 am- Oaklawn Elementary School (Parent-Focused)

                                        11:30 am- Menomonie Leisure Center- Multipurpose Room 1

                                        4:00 pm-   River Heights Elementary School (Parent-Focused)

                                        4:00 pm-   Knapp Elementary School (Parent-Focused)

                                        7:00 pm-   Menomonie High School- Lecture Hall

                                        7:00 pm-   Tainter Town Hall

Tuesday, October 23-            9:00 am-   Downsville Elementary School (Parent-Focused)

                                        11:30 am-  Menomonie Public Library- Community Room

Should families or other school district stakeholders have any questions about strategic planning or anything else in the school district, I invite you to contact or visit with me at the SDMA Administrative Service Center. More information about our schools can be found on the school district website (, on Twitter ( and on Facebook (