Northfield Public Schools officially released data this week from our recent ThoughtExchange process focused on master facilities planning. I invite you to view the results web site that constitutes the ‘Discover’ stage of the three-step ThoughtExchange process.

Five hundred eighty four (584) stakeholders contributed to the process. We learned more about how stakeholders feel about current concepts regarding facilities planning. We are using this information to help inform the creation of the District’s long-term Master Facilities Plan.

A long-term Master Facilities Plan is a document intended to outline the facilities priorities of the District. The Master Facilities Plan will include  the District’s ten year Long Term Facilities Maintenance plan, a building life-cycle plan, and focus on educational adequacy of our schools. While our ThoughtExchange process focused on different approaches, it was not intended to spawn an immediate bond referendum. We will be reviewing the data, the need, and the timing to address the life-cycle needs of our facilities.

We will be finalizing this work in the coming months. This is the culmination of a more than two year process that began with a demographic study, included more than dozen community meetings, and a finished with a robust ThoughtExchange online community engagement process. The community’s input has been invaluable!

While highly effective teachers clearly have the most impact on student achievement within the school environment, the ability to best use flexible instructional space supports their ability to be effective. We want a plan that supports our teachers and students in their learning journey.

Many thanks to all individuals who participated in our face-to-face meetings in 2014 and 2015 and those who provided their input through the recent ThoughtExchange process. We believe this thorough process will provide a quality plan to guide the District’s facilities decisions for many years to come.