With a couple scenarios being proposed and two public input meetings under its belt, the Wayzata School District is plugging along on its school attendance boundary changes.
With more than 100 people attending both public meeting nights, Oct. 29 and Oct. 30, at Wayzata Central Middle School, the input from community members and parents will help an internal district team and the School Board determine what changes to elementary school boundaries could be approved before the end of 2012.
About eight people sat at each round table set up in the school's cafeteria to look at the proposed two scenarios given by the internal team and discussed by the School Board . Community members were asked to determine questions, concerns and what they may like about each scenario. Those suggestions were put on large paper tacked up around the room and written on a regular piece of paper to become part of the public input gathered and compiled by the district.
One group of all mothers of various-aged children in the district first talked together about their own personal biases about each scenario. They then jotted down their biggest concerns and questions with what the district was proposing so far in the process.
Several parents at the first meeting on Oct. 29 had been around in 2006 when boundary changes were made and one mother felt this time around the district had improved how it engaged the community.
Walking around the groups gathered at each table it seemed the majority had the most issues with scenario 4 versus scenario 3, but still had concerns with certain aspects of each. (You can see maps of both these scenarios with this article.)
All written comments from the meetings have become public record. Consultant Dennis Cheesebrow with Teamworks International, who is helping with the boundary process, talked to the crowd gathered at the end of the meeting about the thoughts gathered on paper. During the breakout session, Cheesebrow and other district staff as well as some board members went around the room to listen to what people were saying and see what was written down.
At the end of the evening Cheesebrow then gave an overview of the common themes and ideas or concerns that seemed to be most popular and if or how those could be addressed.
You can watch the attached video from the Oct. 29 meeting with this article. The video shows Cheesebrow's overview from the public’s ideas, concerns and questions from that night only.
If you want to give input whether you were at the first public meetings or not, the district is encouraging everyone to use its online feedback form. You can also find all information compiled and being compiled in the process on the district's website.
Cheesebrow said the hope is to take the input from these first two public meetings, make tweaks to the proposed scenarios and come back with those improvements to show people at the Monday, Nov. 5 meeting. That meeting is 7 to 9 p.m. at Wayzata Central Middle School.