Community meetings set for ISD 181’s strategic plan

Meetings March 2, 3, 7 and April 11 will be open to everyone.

Brainerd School Board members sit behind table
Brainerd School Board members discuss matters during their meeting Monday, Feb. 13, 2023, at Forestview Middle School. Board member John Ward attended the meeting virtually.
Theresa Bourke / Brainerd Dispatch

BAXTER — Dates are set for community members to give input on the new strategic plan at Brainerd Public Schools.

Meetings with various community groups will take place March 2, 3, 7 and April 11. The input gathered at the meetings will be used to form a new strategic plan for the district. School Board members hired PartnerED earlier this year to take on the project, which will result in a document to address community values, district operations, board/superintendent relationships and operational expectations for the district. Having a strategic plan also serves state legal requirements.

School Board members approved a slate of community meetings Monday, Feb. 13. The listening sessions — open to all members of the public — will take place from 4-5 p.m. and from 6-7 p.m. Thursday, March 2; Friday, March 3; Tuesday, March 7; and Tuesday, April 11. They will all be in the big conference room at Brainerd High School and can be attended virtually or in person.

Student and staff groups will be appointed to meet during the day March 2 and 3, and a group of business and community leaders will meet over the lunch hour March 3.

A communitywide survey will come out between March 7-14 to gather further input.


On March 8, Superintendent Heidi Hahn said a call will go out for people to sign up to be a part of the community stakeholder group.

“The community stakeholders are going to be that group of 50-60 individuals that really start to dive into all the data and start developing the plan,” Hahn said.

In other business Monday, the School Board:

Approved new hires: Ashlee Flowers, educational assistant at Forestview Middle School; Nathan Mikkelson, districtwide custodian; Sydney Adkins, districtwide substitute teacher; Samantha Babinski, districtwide substitute teacher; Jeffry Lewis, long-term substitute at Lincoln Education Center; Jordyn Marsh, long-term substitute emotional and behavioral disorders educational assistant at Forestview; Sheryl Stearns, districtwide substitute teacher; James Wimmer, long-term substitute special education teacher at Forestview; Nicholas Benskin, districtwide stage technician; Hailey Borg, event worker at Brainerd High School; Tom Fairbanks, assistant varsity baseball coach at BHS; Bryce Flanagan, lead ninth grade baseball coach at BHS; John McDonald, drivers education instructor at BHS; Matthew Means, assistant ninth grade baseball coach at BHS; Jill Ostendorf, event worker at BHS.

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Approved the first reading of updates to the district’s harassment and violence policy, with the major change being usage of the phrase “protected class” instead of listing out groups like race, class, gender, religious affiliation, etc.

Approved the first reading of updates to the district’s drug free workplace and school policy, with the major change being expansive language to include cannabis products as prohibited substances.

THERESA BOURKE may be reached at or 218-855-5860. Follow her on Twitter at .

Theresa Bourke started working at the Dispatch in July 2018, covering Brainerd city government and area education, including Brainerd Public Schools and Central Lakes College.
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