Updates from Superintendent Woelber 1/13/21
January 13, 2021
Greetings Fulda Folks,
The weather has been amazing and we are nearly ½ way through January and I am very thankful for the break from the cold. I think we can all make it the duration of the winter now. As we begin the New Year, I am hopeful for a great 2021 for all of you as well as our great school district.
Monday night the 11th, the board and administration took a couple hours to visit about next year. Our Regional Service Cooperative Executive Director Cliff Carmody walked us through prioritizing our most immediate needs and hopes for the next few months. I want to commend the board for their genuine love for this district and their desire for the Fulda School to remain a part of the community for many years to come. We are all in this together from the community members to the families and the students. We learned a few things about ourselves and I hope we can capitalize on our findings.
- We take great pride in giving our students a small school experience with employees that enjoy the small setting and are there to be a positive part of the students’ lives. While every parent and every student won’t “love” every one of our employees, it’s a learning experience on how to get along with others in the real world that they may disagree with. Most SW MN schools are faced with the “numbers” game. 95% of our SW MN schools worry about student numbers and student numbers drive the financial numbers because each student is over $10,000 in funding. For small schools that is some crazy “numbers” if you lose or gain a family. The more kids a district has, the less a district worries about referendum dollars. A great school equals more numbers. Local school loyalty equals more numbers. It’s quite a cycle.
- We brainstormed about a dozen items to keep in mind as we move through this year and focus on next year. We narrowed it down to 3 items that we wanted to continue to place on the front burner.
- The first is to “tell our story” and let folks local and those that send their kids here what great things we do. We need to share positive stories about what is happening in our school. We agreed it’s not about billboards and ads. We need folks locally to be proud of their school and share the story about what this small district has to offer. We need relatives and friends in neighboring communities “looking over the fence” and ask themselves how they can be part of this school. We look forward to public comment on this.
- The second goal to address is All day preschool and to get as many of our young children into our system as soon as possible. We have to change our attitudes about the old days of “all we do is teach the curriculum and nothing else.” We are a great place for kids to learn not just academics but also a place to assist families with social skills and a safe environment. We look forward to having public input on this issue and to have some sort of solution in place by fall.
- The third goal is to brainstorm what our district will look like in 5 years and plan accordingly. Data is important and we need to take a detailed look at enrollments, staffing demographics, building needs, and curriculum trends will be valuable moving forward. We also look forward to getting public input on these matters as well.
My goal to get the word out is to address a different topic every week and try to inform our local community about questions at the school. The more everyone knows about what we do the more we can gain and keep the public informed as well as their trust. Your board and administration are here for you and feel free to communicate with them. Fulda has a great opportunity to thrive and I need all of you to be a part of it!
Thanks, Superintendent Loy Woelber