Over the past 18 months I have included several blog entries focused on the work of our Oostburg Long Range Planning Committee. That committee has been meeting since 2012 and includes the following members: Jack Stokdyk, Beth Grosshuesch, Jim Swart, Bob Brusse, Melanie Wisse, Gary DeMaster, Jill Davies, Pete Scheppmann, Ceanne Simmelink, Brian Nyenhuis, Terry Lemkuil, and Cassie Ongna. This committee began with a focus on what we value as a community and school and how we can continue moving forward in our District’s mission to develop students that are positive and productive contributors to society and the world. In 2013 our committee released a community-wide survey, the results of which provided clear direction in the following areas:
- Do not pursue “phase 2” of the 2008 referendum. (Phase 2 included converting our current HS gym into an auditorium and building a new gym.)
- Develop plans to reduce elementary school overcrowding and replace 1956 wing.
- Focus on graduating students who are college and career ready
- Consider a referendum prior to 2017 to accomplish above priorities
This 2013 survey set in motion several action steps including a partnership with Bray Architects to complete a district facilities needs assessment focused primarily on our elementary school, but also including general areas in our middle and high school. A focus for our committee includes working to ensure our community has the opportunity to provide input during the process. With that in mind, we have again partnered with a survey development firm to construct a second community-wide survey focused more specifically on our facilities needs and the recommendations of the long range planning committee. All community members living within the Oostburg School District should be receiving this survey in the next two weeks.
The survey will provide specifics around the Long Range Planning Committee recommendations and ask for your input. Our committee worked through over 20 drafts of the survey in an effort to develop a survey which is easy to understand. The survey provides details around our committee recommendation to replace the 1956 elementary school wing as a top priority. I would like to invite you to contact me directly should you have questions regarding the survey and our long range recommendations. Although the survey will inform our next steps and lead to more specific informational sessions, I welcome the opportunity to talk with community members at any time, particularly as you work through the survey questions.
The survey will close on October 2nd, and we plan to review the results during our October 21st School Board meeting. Please take time to have each adult in your family complete the survey. We look forward to your input and thank you in advance for your response.
Kevin Bruggink, Superintendent