NYM School Board receives five year strategic plan

Photo by Tucker Henderson
The New York Mills School Board recently heard about a new strategic plan that will guide the school district for another five years.

By Chad Koenen


A new vision for the next five years at New York Mills School was unveiled last week. 

During its regularly scheduled meeting last Monday night, the NY Mills School Board heard an update on its strategic plan that will guide the school district for the next five years. The presentation was made by representatives from True North Consulting Partners, who guided the school board through the highlights of the new plan.

The school district recently completed its previous strategic plan and sought input from the public and other school representatives to develop a new set of goals for the next five years. 

Jeffrey Olson, of True North Consulting Partners, complimented the school district for the amount of input the district received, which was just shy of 200 responses. He said that amount is significantly higher than the consulting company typically sees in a school district of NY Mills’ size. 

Though the plan is meant as a guide for the school district it is designed in a way to be flexible for unforeseen changes and circumstances. For example, Olson said few people would likely have seen the need for distance learning and technology changes prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“You have to have the ability to have adaptability and flexibility in your strategic plan.” 

Jeffrey Olson, True North Consulting Partners

Each of the areas identified for the strategic plan have individual goals under the overall goal. 

The first strategic plan priority  identified was providing every student with a rigorous, relevant and well rounded curriculum and instruction that leads to college, career and choice readiness. 

The second priority was to ensure that all students have their social, emotional and academic needs met. 

The third priority was to engage in partnerships with business, industry and the community to enhance academic programs and provide real world learning experiences for students. 

The fourth priority is to provide updated and appropriate facilities that meet the capacity and adequacy needs of all programs and services of the school district.

The final priority was to develop and implement a communication, branding and marketing plan to improve stakeholder satisfaction and understanding of school district operations. 

While the strategic plan framework covers a number of top priorities for the school district, Olson encouraged the school board to not do too much at one time. He suggested the school board should prioritize each of the goals within the framework of the strategic plan.

“This is a very comprehensive strategic plan. There is a lot here,” he said.

In other news

• Heard an update on summer building projects at the school, which include a number of projects in the sports center. The school district is planning to redo the gym floor and give the sports center a fresh look. 

• Approved setting a school board workshop for Monday, March 14 at 5:30 p.m.

• Discussed how to handle additional snow days at NY Mills School. Due to the large amount of snow days already incurred at the school, the district will need to make up two additional days of school. One day will be on Monday, April 18 and the second day will be on Tuesday, May 31. School board members questioned if there was something it could do to avoid bringing students back for one day after Memorial Day should there be no more snow days for the rest of the school year. NY Mills School Superintendent Blaine Novak said the school board could look at forgiving a student day should no more snow days take place for the remainder of the school year. No action was taken at this time and the school board said it would wait to see what happens in terms of the weather for the remainder of the school year. 

• Accepted the following donations: $4,000 from the NY Mills Lions Club for a softball pitching machine, $500 from the NY Mills VFW Post 3289 for the wrestling cheerleaders and $1,000 from the NY Mills Post 3289 for a softball pitching machine.