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Rib Lake School District residents need to let their voices be heard

Rib Lake School District residents need to let their voices be heard Rib Lake School District residents need to let their voices be heard

For the past year the Rib Lake School District has been working toward a proposal to address current and future needs of the district.

School board members, administration, teachers and other staff have worked with engineers and architects to identify places in the district’s buildings that need to be addressed as well as identifying ways to improve the use of the school buildings to increase safety, educational effectiveness, and community use of the buildings.

School buildings are among the first things people look at when they come to a community. The quality and care given to their maintenance and upkeep is a direct reflection on the commitment people in the community have to quality education.

The months of work on behalf of the board, staff and engineers has resulted in a plan that includes expanding elementary education classrooms within the footprint of the building and connecting the middle and high school building with an addition that will include shared offices, a central and secure entrance and a new, modern gym space. The proposed project includes addressing priorities around the school buildings, streamlining in some places and making improvements in others.

In the plans are many areas of improvements as well as many long-term maintenance needs that will need to be addressed, one way or another, regardless of if the project advances as it currently stands.

Rather than barreling ahead and sending the proposal to voters, school leaders are now taking the time to ask for feedback. Simply put, they are asking if this project is something the district’s voters think is a good idea or would support.

Every residence in the district received a letter with the survey. District residents are asked to fill out the paper response and mail it back postage-paid to the company hired to conduct the survey, or to use the provided unique code to fill it out online. Residents wishing additional surveys for other members of their household may follow the directions on the survey to get additional copies or codes.

The surveys provide a valuable tool for the district and a way for residents to have a direct impact on what plan, if any, is ultimately brought to voters next spring. It is also a way for voters to directly share their views and priorities beyond simply voting “yes” or “no” in the isolation of a voting booth.

District residents must use this opportunity to provide feedback whether it is in support or opposition to the proposed plans. School officials must then take this feedback and use it to refine the plans and bring forward something the community can support and be proud of.

Rib Lake School leaders have asked the questions, it is now up to the residents to answer.