A team of citizens and staff completed an extensive study of major issues facing the district and presented its report to the School Board on Feb. 23, 2009.
The Discovery Team's report is available online: click here to download. It outlines key findings and alternatives for action related to the charge the board gave the team.
"Investigate the issues that are most critical to the success of the district in the areas of demographics, educational programs, and money and buildings. Report findings and alternatives for action to the School Board by the end of February 2009."
The team's work was divided into three phases: changing demographics, educational programs, and money and buildings. At the conclusion of each phase, the team reported progress to the School Board. During its six-months of study and deliberation, the 21-member team steeped itself in information about its key topics through a number of presentations and study of other work before stating findings and developing alternatives for action.
During the demographic phase, the team heard from the state's leading experts, State Demographer Dr. Tom Gillaspy and Professor Myron Orfield of the Institute on Race and Poverty, University of Minnesota. It also studied the work of John Carpenter of Excensus, a firm that has done extensive work specifically on Anoka-Hennepin enrollments. The team developed five demographic findings that served as a backdrop for the remaining phases. Click here for demographic findings.
The district's three associate superintendents, Bruce Borchers, Michelle Langenfeld, and Mary Wolverton, presented a comprehensive overview of the district's educational programs. In addition, Diana Menster-Sullivan outlined Community Education programs for the team. After a great deal of discussion and debate, the team arrived at six broad educational program findings focusing on how demographics impact educational programs. Click here for educational program findings.
David Buck, director of business services, provide an overview of district finances for the team and Chuck Holden, director of administrative services, presented information on district facilities. In addition, Jerry Soma of Anoka County and Jamie Halpern and Rex Holzner of Hennepin County discussed county facilities and their needs.
Representatives of a number of cities within the district also attended and participated in discussion. Click here for findings on money and buildings.
After completing its findings, the team developed a number of broad alternatives for action, each addressing one or more findings. It then selected eight primary alternatives for action.