New Rockford Transcript - Official Newspaper of Eddy County since 1883

NR-S outlines strategic plan


June 6, 2022

At New Rockford-Sheyenne’s regular school board meeting on May 9, NR-S Superintendent Jill Louters presented the district’s long range strategic plan.

According to Louters, the district analyzes its long range strategic plan as a part of the district’s annual budgetary planning process.

Louters began by identifying growth mindset, engagement and technology as the necessary “conditions for organizational learning,” and by explaining that NR-S has four objectives:

• Academic proficiency and personalized learning

• Fiscal management

• Providing a safe and inviting environment

• Exploration

To accomplish each objective, NR-S will achieve a number of goals, explained Louters.

The goals for the first objective include developing authentic assessments to measure achievements, prioritizing English/Language Arts competencies, designing learning opportunities in partnership with students, and emphasizing the use of technology in all areas.

For fiscal management, the district’s goals are to identify financial trends, monitor enrollment to inform long-term space needs, establish a fund balance target, and complete infrastructure projects such as the boiler and roofing replacement.

To provide a safe and inviting learning environment, the district will implement programming focused on community interaction and contribution, said Louters, as well as building a positive learning culture with student/staff activities and making a curriculum that's focused on physical, social and emotional wellness.

Lastly, for exploration, the goals are to “diversify academic and extracurricular programming to meet diverse staff and students needs,” develop academic-based extracurricular activities and design a mentoring program for high school students.

Next, Louters reviewed enrollment trends for the district, which revealed steadily increasing enrollment numbers at NR-S.

For the 2017-18 school year, the total ADM (average daily membership) at NR-S was 293.74. That number has increased consistently every year according to Louters, and is projected to reach 325.7 for the 2022-23 school year.

NR-S Business Manager Dave Skogen also reviewed some of the district's financial information - such as district levies and budget expenses - followed by a brief review by Louters and High School Principal, Avolt Baumbach, of the district’s academic and extracurricular programming.

“We do offer a breadth of programming here in the district, which includes both academic and athletic programming,” said Louters. “However, participation/enrollment in some of these areas has been very light the last several years.

“We’ve seen the growth of programs like archery and esports, however our SADD program had very few students participating this year, as well as our speech program and our yearbook program,” explained Louters. “So we’re going to take some steps going forward to see what it means to be viable. We’ve never put a number to these programs, but for efficiency we maybe need to.”

Louters then briefly reviewed facility needs within the district, which include vehicle storage, the second gymnasium, instructional space for elementary and preschool, and continued deferred maintenance - such as roofing and flooring.

Before wrapping things up, Louters shared with the board results from a survey of last year’s and this year’s graduates. Of the 12 graduates from 2021 that responded, 10 are in a four-year college, one is in a workplace and one is in a two-year college. All of them, added Louters, indicated they are “performing in their respective role where they thought they would be.”

Among the 25 seniors who graduated this past weekend, nine plan to attend a four-year college, 11 plan to attend a two-year college, one plans to go into the military, two plan to enter the workforce, and two more responded with “other.”

In a follow-up message to the Transcript Wednesday, Louters said, “NR-S is a growing district; the demographics in our community have changed dramatically over the last 10 years. Our culture is moving towards a personalized approach to learning. Students demand options that are customized to their learning needs; couched in a safe and inviting learning environment. Our district needs to retain it’s ability to be nimble and responsive to these changing needs.”


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