Over the last several years, the Howard-Suamico School Board, along with district administration, have adopted our Profile of a Graduate as a core goal of the district. The profile includes characteristics we as a community feel are essential for the future success of HSSD graduates. One of these characteristics is “collaborator.” In an increasingly complex and inter-connected world, collaboration is perhaps one of the most important skills a student can develop, and our faculty, staff, administration, board and community all bear the responsibility to model this for our future graduates.

In an effort to build on the robust collaboration that exists between the district and the community, the Board has again formed a Task Force to study the unique financial and educational needs of our district, and propose solutions that will continue the success we have enjoyed. This year, over 40 community members make up our Renew & Invest Referendum Task Force, representing district parents and grandparents, community members without students in their household, faculty and staff from each of the district’s buildings, and even two students.

The Task Force is charged with uncovering creative solutions to meet the future needs of the district. In our first two meetings, Task Force members have invested time discovering Wisconsin school finance practices, including the inequity that exists for underfunded districts like HSSD. Members have also reviewed the results of our current referendum, passed two years ago, including details on how those funds have been invested in class size reduction, employee retention and facility maintenance. And, we have reviewed the current facility needs of the district’s buildings along with high-level initial cost estimates for the most pressing needs.

The Board thanks these community members for giving up their time and energy to think collaboratively and creatively about the future of our district. We recognize that this work brings unique challenges at a time when meeting in person is not possible, but it is vital for the Board and district administration to hear open and honest feedback from our community. For this reason, we have empowered the Task Force to bring a recommendation to the Board in January.

For more information about the Howard-Suamico School District, please visit our website at www.hssdschools.org, or for additional information regarding this article, contact school board member Jason Potts at (920) 615-9766 or jasopott@hssdschools.org.