In response to a facility report that recommended closing schools and making other changes to facilities, the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 Board of Education endorsed a plan that will engage the community over the course of the next few months and result in specific recommended actions.
“Better decisions are made when those who will be impacted by the decision are included in the decision making process,” Battle said. “We must engage our community if we want to do this right.”
The district will hire a consultant to help facilitate the process, noting the amount of time the process will need and the benefits have having a neutral, third-party facilitator that brings valuable experience to the district. Stakeholder input and development of options is expected to take place now through October, with decisions being made by December.
Details about how community engagement will take place are still to be developed, but Assistant Superintendent Brian Gersich noted that the district will be insistent that the entire community be represented and that any potential recommendations would reflect the district’s commitment to equity.
“We are approaching this not from a deficit lens, but we’re talking about the opportunity we have as a community to get better through this process,” Gersich said, “both from a financial efficiency standpoint and also in terms of strengthening student achievement because of the efficiencies we can find.”
Dr. Battle added that the facilities process will be one part of an integrated approach to put the district in the best position to serve students, families and the community, which includes financial management, seeking alternative funding sources like grants, continuing to improve our schools and programs, and advocating for better funding through legislative action.
As the facility process continues, information will be available online at www.isd191.org/facilities.