Superintendents Reach Out to Public to "Reimagine Minnesota"
Columbia Heights Public Schools students, community members and staff joined their peers from the Anoka-Hennepin, Spring Lake and Fridley school districts Thursday, March 9 to create ideas that will support more than 40 district superintendents as they develop a plan to address equity and integration. This - the last of ten grassroots community conversations called “Reimagine Minnesota” - drew more than 200 volunteers who collaborated to create ideas that can benefit all students.
The purpose of each conversation - held during February and March - was to provide community input as superintendents create a plan and recommendations for new local and statewide policies and practices. Thursday’s format followed the previous nine by having attendees participate in rotating small-group discussions. At each table, student facilitators asked questions intended to spur ideas. Among those participating from the City of Columbia Heights were Police Chief Scott Nadeau and Recreation Program Coordinator Liz Bray. School Board Clerk Hala Asamarai, Director of Teaching and Learning Zena Stenvik, Interim Director of Student Services Laura McLuen, Valley View Dean of Students Camille Erickson, Adventure Club/Mini Adventures Manager Jodi Gadient and Staff Development Coordinator Jennifer Babiash and six high school students represented Columbia Heights Public Schools. Director of Community Education Kristen Stuenkel, a participant, also coordinated the District's participation.
The results will be compiled, analyzed and prioritized and from these findings the superintendents will create what they refer to as a “Collective Education Plan” that addresses integration, access, opportunity and educational achievement. This plan is intended to create a new model of education in Minnesota designed for the success of all students.