OUR BUILDINGS ARE NOT EQUIPPED FOR THE EDUCATION WE PROVIDE
As a small school system that provides BIG opportunities, we work hard to use space wisely. However, we have reached the point where investments are needed to sustain success.
As the School District developed the plan the voters will consider in May, we carefully considered all the needs and identified the following as the top priorities.
Our buildings lack properly supervised and controlled access. We hope that there are never issues in our school that would put students and staff in harm's way. However, properly-secured entrances and smart building design are critical to keeping our students and staff safe if anything were to happen.
Additionally, portions of our building don't meet federal accessibility standards (Americans with Disabilities Act). We need to bring these sections of our buildings up to code so they are safe and accessible for all.
Students need an education that equips them for life beyond graduation, no matter the path they choose. That education today looks a lot different than it did in 1935, 1950, 1966 and 1971. Our buildings are not designed or built in a fashion that works for today's educational best practices. Here are areas of note:
- Our building lack proper space for science labs, early learning, and special education.
- No collaborative spaces exist so that students can work in small groups under proper supervision.
- Special Education spaces are not large enough or designed for the needs of today's students.
- Added programming for preschool and state-funded, all-day kindergarten were not anticipated when our current facilities were constructed.
- Enhancements are needed for our vocational and technical programs.
- Lack of natural light in classrooms.
- Lack of proper space for STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) education creates barriers to hands-on learning that is critical to student success.
Professional engineers with Nexus Solutions have assessed all 3 of our buildings to determine whether they meet standards for education, safety, security, and building operations. In the 18 categories defined by the Minnesota Department of Education as important for educational success, both buildings were below standards in more than 75% of the criteria.