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What's Next for Westonka Public Schools?
Borg Report June 2, 2022
The Mound Westonka High School Class of 2022 graduated Wednesday night on Haddorff Field. As a superintendent and a dad, I am so very thankful for our Westonka experience from preschool through graduation. Thank you to everyone who loved and supported our graduates along the way.
We were incredibly proud to celebrate each one of our graduates and usher them into the next chapter of their lives. If you’re interested, you can watch a replay of the ceremony on the district YouTube channel: MWHS 2022 High School Graduation.
Westonka Public Schools is also looking ahead to what’s next, with summer programming just around the corner and plans for the 2022-23 school year starting to take shape.
Mental Health Services Review
As communicated last month, the Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement (CAREI) at the University of Minnesota completed a comprehensive review of Westonka Public Schools’ implementation of the Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) framework and school mental health services. An executive summary CAREI’s review is posted on the district website, and Dr. Kim Gibbons and Dr. Laura Potter will present their findings at the June 6, 2022 school board meeting.
The goal of the comprehensive mental health review is to establish a more coordinated district approach and compare Westonka’s current practices to research and best practices to identify strengths and areas for improvements. The results of this review will be prioritized over the summer, and we will be working with CAREI for the next few years on ways we can better help our students.
District Facilities Review
Over the summer, the Westonka School Board Facilities Committee will continue its extensive review of facilities needs across the district. To help forecast classroom space needs, a demographic study of the district is currently being conducted, and the results will be presented to the board in July. Additionally, in order to provide data on the attitudes and opinions of district residents on possible facilities maintenance/improvements, the board approved a community survey to be conducted in August. We expect the results of the survey to be presented to the board in September.
We are excited to be welcoming several new staff members to Westonka Schools over the summer months, including incoming Mound Westonka High School Principal Jolene Herfel. We will be interviewing for the Westonka Community Education and Services Director position on June 22 with the goal of having a new director in place by mid-July. If you know of someone who would be a good fit for the community ed. director position, please encourage them to apply online by June 16.
We know that the unimaginable tragedy in Uvalde, Texas has made this a stressful and emotional end of the school year for many. Campus and building security is top-of-mind as the school board and administration continue to review our district mental health services and school facilities. We are continually thankful for great collaboration with our local police departments as our district works to incorporate best practices into safety/security plans.
Westonka’s small school community allows us to truly know our families, which helps us to recognize concerning behaviors and intervene. As a reminder, if you or your child observes or becomes aware of actions, words or social media postings by students or others that may pose a danger, please contact the school. Additionally, if you have thoughts or ideas for how we can create safer learning and working environments in Westonka, please share them with your school principal or directly with me.
COVID-19 Situation Monitoring
I wish to again express my appreciation for your collaboration and support as we worked to protect in-person learning experiences for Westonka Public Schools students this year. Westonka’s Safe Learning Plan is set to expire at the end of the 2021-22 school year. The district will monitor guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health and CDC during the summer months and will plan to communicate start-of-year guidelines in August.
The district’s COVID-19 Dashboard will not be updated over the summer. However, there are several resources available for tracking transmission of the virus in the state and our local area:
- Minnesota Department of Health Situation Update
- CDC Community Levels
- Minnesota School Opening Statistics Dashboard
Summer COVID-19 Guidelines - The district’s current quarantine/isolation guidelines will remain in place for 2022 summer programming. This includes a minimum 5-day isolation period for students and staff who test positive for COVID-19, as well as a minimum 5-day quarantine period for unvaccinated household close contacts. [Quarantine/Isolation Guidelines]
Westonka families and staff can expect to receive more information in August about our start-of-year plans. Until then, have a safe and relaxing summer, Westonka!