Tricounty News

April 12 Update

Legislative committees begin work on appropriations bills:

This week the legislature officially returned from its weeklong Easter/Passover break.

Constitutionally the legislature must adjourn on or before May 20. With a firm deadline and only seven weeks remaining, the House and Senate have been busy this week with many committees returning to their work.

The focus of the session now turns to the finance committees that will create the various omnibus funding bills and to the House and Senate Tax Committees that will create the taxing mechanisms to pay for the funding bills. We expect most action to begin following the Third Deadline, which is the deadline for all funding and tax bills to reach the House and Senate floor in their respective bodies. The Third Deadline is Friday, April 19.

Prior to the break, both the House and Senate released their budget targets. These are the amounts of new spending (or cuts) that each body’s leadership has assigned to their respective committees.

The House E-12 target provides for a $550 million increase for education over the biennium. Key elements of their plan will include fully paying back the education shifts, funded by a temporary income tax surcharge on high earners. The details of the House education finance bill are expected to be released on Tuesday evening. The committee is expected to wrap up the bill on Friday, April 12. 

The Senate DFL budget target calls for a $486 million funding increase that includes money to buy down local levies by $150 million. The details of the Senate education finance bill is expected to be released on Tuesday morning. The committee is expected to wrap up their bill that same day.

Strategic Planning:

We’d like you to take part in the Eden Valley – Watkins School District’s Strategic Planning process. Strategic planning is an organization’s process of defining its strategy, or direction, and making decisions on allocating its resources. In order to determine the direction of the school district, it is necessary to understand our current position and the possible avenues through which we can pursue a particular course of action. Generally, strategic planning deals with at least one of three key questions: 1.”What do we do?” 2.”For whom do we do it?” 3.”How do we excel?”

In many organizations, this is viewed as a process for determining where an organization is going over the next year or, more typically, 3 to 5 years. 

The key components of “strategic planning” include an understanding of the district’s vision, mission, values and strategies. (Often a “Vision Statement” and a “Mission Statement” may encapsulate the vision and mission).

Vision: outlines what the district wants to be, or how it wants the community in which it operates to be (an “idealized” view of the world). It is a long-term view and concentrates on the future. It can be emotional and is a source of inspiration. 

Mission: Defines the fundamental purpose of an organization or an enterprise, succinctly describing why it exists and what it does to achieve its vision. 

Values: Core Beliefs that are shared among the stakeholders of our school district. Values drive an organization’s culture and priorities and provide a framework in which decisions are made. Strategy: Strategy, narrowly defined, means a combination of the ends (goals) for which the firm is striving and the means (policies) by which it is seeking to get there. A strategy is sometimes called a roadmap - which is the path chosen to plow towards the end vision. The most important part of implementing the strategy is ensuring the company is going in the right direction which is towards the end vision.

Organizations sometimes summarize goals and objectives into a mission statement and/or a vision statement. Others begin with a vision and mission and use them to formulate goals and objectives.

We have scheduled three community meetings to take place on May 15, 22, and 29 from
5:30 – 7 p.m. in the High School Media Center to solicit your feedback and values as we develop our strategic plan. We would be happy to have you join us for refreshments and sandwiches as we shape the future for our school district. Please RSVP to Marsha Davidson in the District Office at (320) 453-2900 ext. 1142 if you would like to be involved.

Parent Power:

There are many ways you can support your child’s learning and school. Here are a few ideas:

• Spend a few minutes every evening looking over handouts your youngster brings home. Fill out forms and return the next day.

• Tell your child’s teacher if you can help them out at school or at home.

• Make sure teachers know you appreciate their efforts. From time to time, send a thank-you note or an e-mail message.

• Contact your child’s teacher immediately if you see a problem. Working together will help your child succeed.

• Attend conferences, parent meetings, and school events on a regular basis.

Senior of the Week:

The EV-W School District would like to recognize Tina Streit, daughter of Joe and Diane. Tina will graduate in the top third of her class with 19 college credits. Tina is a member of FFA, NHS and the vice president of her class. While challenging herself academically, Tina also participates in volleyball and softball. Outside of school Tina works at Jerry’s Meat and Processing and volunteers in various programs at her church. The EV-W administration, faculty and staff are extremely proud of your accomplishments. Congratulations!  .