Fall Greetings

Greetings!

Fall is my favorite time of the year in Wisconsin!  Welcoming back students, having cooler weather, seeing vibrant colors, and approaching holidays, all contribute to making September through November in Wisconsin special.  Our early snowfall and cold temps are definitely a reminder that “Old Man Winter” is alive and kicking with December rolling in! As we approach this holiday season, I would like to express my thankfulness and appreciation for the opportunity to serve the children of our community.  We are blessed to have a community that values learning and the role education plays in preparing all young people to be positive contributors to society.

With this blog entry I would like to continue a thread I started a few weeks back, discussing the work of our Long Range Planning Committee and how last fall’s community survey has been informing our work and driving our improvement strategies.

You may access the survey through the banner on our opening webpage at www.oostburg.k12.wi.us. or you can go directly to the survey with the following link:  http://oostburg.k12.wi.us/pdfs/Oostburg_2013_Survey_Report.pdf .   The survey was developed over the course of about 6 months with the goal of gaining feedback in four key areas: Academic Excellence, Communication, Facilities, and Finances.  We were very pleased to receive a stronger than typical response rate, reflecting the interest our community has in The Oostburg School District. Our staff, administrative team, School Board, and Long Range Planning Committee each reviewed the survey results and used your feedback in planning specific action steps, including:

  • Restructuring our guidance department to improve preparation and communication as students transition from OSD (survey p. 14).
  • Implementing a new Student Information System (Infinite Campus) to improve communication (survey p. 14).
  • Increasing social media presence and preparing for a complete rebuild of our District website (survey pp. 10/24).
  • Increasing LTC-based Youth Apprentice opportunities (survey p. 18).
  • Building 100 day strategic plans around College and Career readiness (survey pp. 20/24/30).
  • Implementing 1-1 technology pilot program (survey p. 20).
  • A facilities needs assessment focused on 1956 wing at OES (survey pp. 33-35).
  • Replacing bleachers and updating HS gym as opposed to phase II of last referendum which included converting gym into theater and replacing gym (survey pp. 33-35).
One area where we did not follow the feedback of the survey was in budgeting. The survey showed clear support for funding at a comparable level to our conference schools (survey pp. 36-40). We have been able to continue providing an excellent educational experience while also reducing or having no increase in our local levy in 4 of the last 6 years, keeping us on the low end of conference comparables. That trend is likely not sustainable but did allow us to “do our part” in controlling expenses during our recent recession.
We appreciate the feedback provided by our community, and we are particularly proud of the 88% satisfaction rating we received from respondents (survey p. 62). We are also focused on and share the desire expressed on p. 65 of the survey as we work to make The Oostburg School District the best learning environment possible.  I hope this blog entry provided a brief lens into the value we place on community feedback and how that feedback is resulting in specific action steps for our continued improvement.  Thank you for partnering with us in serving the young people of our community.
Kevin Bruggink