Chippewa Falls School District seeks input from community on future planning

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CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) -- A meeting in Chippewa Falls is bringing people of all backgrounds together.

It is happening at the Avalon Hotel and Conference Center. Parents, school board members, teachers and even police are talking about the future of the school district.

The event is three days of meetings focused on the past, present and future. The idea is to have a community conversation to help decide where the district should go in the next 15 to 20 years.

When all is said and done, everyone in this room will have talked about the Chippewa Falls School District for 16.5 hours.

"People can talk about what they're upset about, what they're appreciative for and also what concerns them," said Brad Saron, the Chippewa Falls School District Superintendent.

All topics are fair game.

"We're looking at curriculum, technology, we're looking at state trends and mandates," said Jim Dimock, the School Board President.

The idea is to bring a group of people together that represent all types of backgrounds, including teachers, board members, students and parents. It is open to the public but people were asked to come to all three meetings.

"I have three children currently in the school district," said Kathy Strecker.

She is a parent and part of what is called the Design Committee. She is one of fifteen people that were selected to help put the event together.

"I've always felt it's a wonderful school district and if I can do anything else to help people realize how wonderful it is and put their voice out there, like so many of us have done for many years," Strecker said.

Drew Howick from Petina Solutions in Madison helped oversee the event. He worked with 20 to 25 school districts over the last decade to organize similar meetings.

"All of them do it differently, all of them have different questions they want their districts to respond to," he said.

Dozens of people with several goals - all united with one common thought in mind.

"We want well educated, capable people who can work in today's environment and do a good job," Strecker added.

The last meeting will be held Saturday morning. All the ideas and feedback will then be collected to help the school board form its strategic plan.

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