ISD 166 school board reviews results of public feedback and facility & grounds assessment
WTIP file photo

ISD 166 school board reviews results of public feedback and facility & grounds assessment

After a month-long process of gathering input from students, staff, parents, and community members, the ISD 166 school board and administration reviewed the results of the feedback and input during the Nov. 16 school board meeting.

Earlier this year, the school board hired ICS, a project management firm, to conduct a complete facility and grounds assessment for ISD 166 as the school creates a strategic plan for the future. As part of the process, ICS and Superintendent Chris Lindholm hosted two public input meetings in the cafeteria on Nov. 1 and 9.

In addition to collecting public input, ICS conducted a comprehensive facility and grounds assessment of the school property. The evaluation focused on 18 categories based on Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) guidelines, including classroom size and suitability, cafeteria, security, student commons, physical education, parking, and more. The results of the assessment and educational space adequacy report were also presented to the school board during the meeting.

The educational space adequacy report results show that while classroom size and suitability for the elementary school meet MDE adequacy, the high school classrooms do not. The elementary and high schools shared a handful of questionable adequacy guidelines relating to the cafeteria, security, main office/nurse/support services, and music classrooms/practice areas. Both the elementary and high schools ranked high with parking/bus drop off, technology, library/media center, and special education/support services. 

The educational adequacy results, paired with the public input, will aid and direct the school board members in identifying needed improvements as they move forward. 

“There are a fair number of things that came up over and over again,” Lindholm said in an interview with WTIP. “Whether we were talking to students or staff or we were talking to members of the public.”

Some recurring themes for greatest facility needs by the students, staff, parents, and public are the addition of co-curricular facilities such as a track field, commons area for students, upgrades to locker rooms and bathrooms, classroom upgrades, and more. 

The next step for the school board, Lindholm said, is to decide in December if they want to move forward with hiring an architect. The next school board meeting is Dec. 14 at 5 p.m.

Find the complete ICS – Cook County Listening and Educational Space Adequacy Summary here

Girls Basketball

The school has combined the varsity and junior-varsity girls basketball for the 2023/24 season due to fewer interested students. Marly Zimmer, the athletic director, said the junior varsity team will consist of girls in grades 7-12. Levi Libra is the head coach, and Jessica Berg-Collman and Rachael Seim are the volunteer assistants.

School Bus Driver Update

A school bus driver substitute, Charles Christiansen, has transitioned into an official school bus driving position. “We’re excited about that hire,” Lindholm said. A full-time or daily route bus driver position remains open at the school. “We also need more subs if we can ever get them.”

WTIP’s Kalli Hawkins spoke with Superintendent Chris Lindholm following the Nov. 16 school board meeting. The audio from the interview is below.

Mr. McHugh’s Communication Class

Mr. McHugh’s communication class students recently interviewed the head football coach and cross-country ski coaches at ISD 166. The audio from the interviews is below.