Again, thank you for taking the time to be informed on Building a Better Future, Phase II. Please make sure to connect with any questions. You can refer to district279.org/BetterFuture, reach out to information hotlines BetterFuture@district279.org or 763-391-8990, or attend this fall’s final Community Informational Meeting at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 11 at Maple Grove Senior High School’s cafe.
Over the last several weeks we’ve been sharing the critical school building projects proposed for schools throughout the district to address needs, including for: schools in Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center, schools in the city of Osseo and surrounding area and schools in Maple Grove. This list of 10 reasons why a bond referendum is being held this fall is a helpful summary:
10. Continues Phase I and strategic plan work: Building a Better Future, Phase II, builds upon the work already started in Phase I and the district’s new strategic plan. These are set to provide our families with the learning experiences they desire and deserve.
9. Evaluation revealed needs: Seven committees/study groups extensively looked at school building needs. Their work revealed critical safety/security, teaching and learning, and building space needs. The Oversight Task Force reviewed all these needs and made final recommendations to the school board – the Phase II plan. Along this research journey, staff, families and community members were involved.
8. Survey respondents agreed on needs: Surveys show that the majority of community members see the need for the proposed projects within the Building a Better Future, Phase II plan. Additionally, more than 80% of respondents said that flexible learning spaces and having consistent offerings among school buildings are important. Almost 90% believe student enrollment will increase over the next five years.
7. Aging school buildings: The average age of our school buildings is 47 years old. The newest school, Woodland Elementary School in Brooklyn Park, opened in 2002. The oldest school, Osseo Senior High School, opened in 1952. School building needs have significantly changed over this time.
6. Inconsistent learning experiences: Although lots of efforts have been put into providing consistency amongst district schools, inconsistency continues to be the reality. This includes how spaces function, the type of learning opportunities available and class size levels.
5. Overcrowded schools with more students coming: Extensive research shows that student enrollment is going to continue to grow. Schools in growth areas are experiencing higher class sizes, classes on a cart, tight hallways and common areas, and lunches standing up, on the floor or on the window sill.
4. Students needing specialized services is increasing: More students continue to need specialized learning services, which is expanding the space needs of special education, multilingual learner and gifted/talented programs. The unique learning needs of these students are not fully being met as a result.
3. Science, math and career/technical education opportunities: Several data points, including a school choice survey, show that families are interested in science, technology, engineering, arts and math programs as well as career and technology education programs within our learning offerings. After extensive research, these offerings have been added, but appropriate spaces are needed to properly accommodate them.
2. Maintain and enhance safety/security standards: The safety and security of our students, staff and community is the highest priority of the district. Improvements are needed at every school to maintain and enhance current safety and security standards.
1. The choice is in our community’s hands: Local taxpayers are responsible for funding school building renovations and construction. This is done through bond referendums that give voters the choice.
You don’t have to wait until election day to vote. You can vote early by mail or in person between now and Nov. 6:
- To vote early by mail, request an early voting ballot via the City of Brooklyn Park's website.
- To vote early in person, head to Brooklyn Park City Hall’s multipurpose room at 5200 85th Ave. N. between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Note: These voting processes apply to all Osseo Area Schools voters, including those that reside in the cities of Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Corcoran, Dayton, Maple Grove, Plymouth, Rogers and Osseo. Please go to the Secretary of State’s website to find Nov. 7 election day polling place locations.