Success — or failure — of strategic plan will affect all

This past year our school district, with the support of parents, business leaders, students, pastors and others, created a new Strategic Plan.  This plan, our district’s road map for the future, includes goals, strategies, objectives and our first-ever core values.

I need to emphasize that while this is a strategic plan created for our school district, it is also a plan for every person who lives in our district.  Regardless of which community you live in – Elk River, Otsego, Rogers, Zimmerman or any point in between, the success of this plan affects not only every child, but every adult as well. Everyone who has children in our schools has a vested interest in the quality of the education being provided. This plan shows that the district is dedicated to and invested in providing the absolute best education to any and all who come to our schools in any one of our communities.

By a unanimous vote, the School Board voted to put two levy questions on this year’s Nov. 6 ballot.  The first question renews an existing levy that, with passage, will allow us to continue to receive $386 per student for the next 10 years.  The second question is for a new levy that will provide $400 per student, for the same 10 years for free all-day, everyday kindergarten for every child, curriculum and technology. Both of these questions align to our strategic plan, and move us closer to providing the type of education for our learners that our new plan calls for. For us to accomplish the goals set forth in our Strategic Plan, we are asking our communities to make informed decisions Nov. 6.

In anything the School Board does, our primary focus is on our more than 12,600 learners. However, we must also consider what is best for our communities and stakeholders as well, and research shows strong, quality public schools have a positive impact on communities. These two levy questions are about our school districts mission, our strategic plan, our learners and our communities.

Our school district is already very good. With our new Strategic Plan, we can be the very best, but we can’t do it alone.

As you vote this Election Day, I ask that you think strategically as it applies not only to public education, but to our communities. Your informed vote not only supports all students in ISD 728, but you will be voting for the betterment of all of our communities. To make an informed decision, go to our website at  And don’t forget to vote Nov. 6. — Sue Farber