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Task Force Feedback

The School Administration and School Board met in 2015 and 2016 with a group of community members to begin discussion about a possible referendum. Here is the feedback from those meetings.

CLASSROOM EXPANSION

POSITIVES:
*          Be better prepared for future/more opportunities for future
*          Better opportunities for students
*          Growth will provide more opportunities
*          More room for growth
*          Growth in school leaves positive image which reflects well on property values
*          Keep/continue small class sizes
*          Additional programming
*          Classrooms for all classes – No teachers on carts
*          Opportunity to make sure new classrooms supplement needs of teachers
            (ex: enough science labs w/appropriate technology and equipment)
*          Have enough classrooms to stay a reasonable pace ahead of district growth
*          Increase open enrollment – more money
*          Space for new “courses” to be offered
*          More space/more student/more $$

CONCERNS:
*          Cost – always a negative for tax increase
*          $$ - Public taxes
*          Cost and size of expansion
*          Levy and tax increase/increase to school budget/loose K-12 “feel”
*          Very difficult to pass at this time following close behind 2017 Levy
*          Better/Safer Learning environment for all students
*          Teachers loose the 1 on 1 time with larger classroom sizes
*          When you have larger classroom sizes my concern is the kids that are struggling, will they get lost in the system?
*          Behavior issues - with a large classroom size will these kids take most of the teachers time with discipline and will that take away from learning.
*          Not looking hard enough at managing space needs by managing open enrollment
*          Decline in open enrollment
*          Staffing level increase with expansion – younger inexperienced teachers, lack of staffing

  QUESTIONS;
*          Where will expansion take place?
*          What types/areas are being considered?
*          Where does expansion in the classroom take place? Elem/MS/HS?
*          Where do we build?
*          Will the classroom expansion be limited to being by the proposed Auditorium?
*          Can we over build – so it will last longer than 5 years?
*          Do we increase the number of rooms or the size?
*          What can we put in place to maintain the learning atmosphere w/larger classroom #’s in small rooms?
*          Do we have room for 0 – 4 year olds?
*          When each open enrolled student brings less money than it costs to educate, how does that make money?
*          Open enrollment – if they fill vacant space, you make $.  If they overflow requiring more class space, you lose.

SUPPORT:
12 = YES    - with more education
 0 = NO

 

 FINE ARTS AUDITORIUM

POSITIVES:
*          See list from staff/would be able to host more MSHSL events
*          Pillager has a lot of talent in the Fine Arts area – be it speech, plays, music, etc.
*          More electives in the Fine Arts
*          Fine Arts increases student ability in math, science and other academic areas
*          Expand offerings for students
*          Community Use/outside groups to use
*          Community involvement in Arts adds to the student experience and culture
*          Added revenue for the school (rent)
*          Adding a “draw” to the district
*          More chance of student open enrollment
*          Would bring cultural opportunities to town that have not previously existed
*          Would improve our community image outside of Pillager
*          Would expose the school to the non-school population
*          Offering a more suitable environment for performing arts/give our kids a proper place to perform/need upgraded facility/much needed space
*          Better viewing for concerts and plays/comfort for spectators/ideal for “concert/program” setting instead of the gyms
*          Alleviated the congestion of doing concerts in the gym

CONCERNS:
*          Cost
*          Cost vs. consistent usage
*          Is the cost worth it to the community?
*          Bring in outside performance and events
*          Needs to adequately address all performance and rehearsal needs
*          Can we have both classrooms and auditorium/would this replace classroom expansion
*          Daily use
*          If build – would it be big enough for the next 15 years?

 QUESTIONS:
*          Where will it go?
*          Will it be open to the Public for a fee?
*          $ in the budget?  Will it outweigh the plus to having it?
*          Can we utilize it enough – all year long?
*          Will there be a fine arts committee?
*          Is there a particular model you like?

SUPPORT:
11 = YES     - Definite Yes/Easier sell than the classroom expansion
 1 = NO

 

 

FINANCIAL SUPPORT

POSITIVES:
*          Community will support

CONCERNS:
*          With over 49% free and reduced meal families, were would they get the extra $ for tax increase.
*          Hard to discuss without details
*          Could get one or the other – had to choose - where would the greatest need be – a fine arts center or classrooms.  Fine Arts vs. classroom – What is the priority?
*          Main taxpayer per survey, age 35 and up

QUESTIONS:
*          Is there a way we can get the open enrollers tax $?
*          Should we be moving forward now or wait a few years?
*          Perception = levy is up, expenditures are up, have to make staffing cuts, school expenses are up.  Now you want me to pay for a new building.

FINANCIAL SUPPORT:
PER MONTH
$1 – 20 = 7
$21 – 40 = 1
$41 – 60 = 0
$61 – 80 = 0
No Property Increase = 0
Other = 0