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District planning meeting scheduled for April 13

PAYNESVILLE -- As Paynesville Area Schools prepares for its Nov. 3 referendum, the district is also hoping to find out what the community wants for its public schools.

Superintendent Todd Burlingame said the district will hold a community meeting at 6:30 p.m. April 13 for discussing the future of the Paynesville School District. The meeting will pertain to strategic planning and visioning of the district, he said.

"Basically we're looking at 'Where do we want to be in five years, 10 years from now' and what do the staff, students and community members value in the education system here," Burlingame said. "So we're trying to get their input and see what they value."

Burlingame said the school district has been distributing meeting-related surveys to students, staff, parents and Paynesville residents in hopes of getting feedback from the community. The survey has also been posted on the school district's Web site, he said.

Burlingame will meet with district staff a few times before the community meeting.

With the help of consultant Bruce Miles, Burlingame said the district hopes to develop a two-page document from the survey and meeting that defines the community's priorities for the district.

"We want to have that available so when we're making decisions about our programs and what direction we're going, we refer back to that often and say 'Hey, this is what the community values,'" Burlingame said.

Paynesville's superintendent is looking forward to the strategic planning meetings because to his knowledge, the district hasn't done anything like it before.

"I think it will be a good exercise and certainly give the people in our community a chance to hear their input," Burlingame said.