Community Cafes designed to draw crowds

by Jim Boyle


There are at least 40 people planning to attend one of three Community Cafe conversations being arranged by the Elk River Area School District.

More than 17,000 e-mails went out last week asking people to attend one of three conversations on May 3, May 11 or May 18.
To have 40 RSVPs already is encouraging to school administrators.

“That’s not a response we’re used to,” said Jana Hennen-Burr, the assistant superintendent in charge of educational services. “I’m excited.”

The purpose of the conversations will be to help shape the future of the district’s students, families and communities. The meetings are considered the first step of reshaping the school district’s five-year Strategic Plan.

Assistant Superintendent Hennen-Burr, who is leading the one-year planning process, stressed that in reshaping a successful Strategic Plan, the district needs input from parents, businesses, churches, non-profits and senior citizens, among others.

“From these conversations we will seek diverse perspectives and the collective wisdom from our entire community and gather insights about our future opportunities and challenges,” Hennen-Burr said. “I truly believe that our greater community cares about public education and this is perhaps the best way that they can help us create a plan that furthers our mission of educating, inspiring and empowering all of our learners well into the future.”

For logistical (seating, food, childcare) purposes, participants are asked to RSVP no later than April 25 at

For questions, call 763-241-3419 or e-mail [email protected]

The strategic planning process will kick into a higher gear this fall.

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