Saturday, they held another in an attempt to better understand those needs and open a dialogue between the community and the school.
“The purpose of this event was to bring together members of our community to gain an understanding on what they want from their public school system,” said Chippewa Falls Area School District Superintendent Heidi Eliopoulos.
The district recognized a need for the community to be more involved in where the district was going. Eliopoulos said the Community Conversation was held in an attempt to gain input from various stakeholders in Chippewa Falls.
“We see our school district as a microcosm of the greater community, so there is representation from all stakeholder groups in our community,” she said. “We want to be very mindful of the wants and needs of our community as we plan for the future our schools.”
Participants say it is important people put aside their differences and do what is best for the district.
“I think one of the things that is fantastic about this group and what’s exciting about having student’s participate is they are seeing people with different opinions being able to get together and communicate effectively and work together to define what needs to get done,” said local businessman Scott Dorn.
Several students were in attendance and spoke about issues that are important to them.
“I see many issues, but I’d say the biggest one is absolutely bullying,” said freshman Dawson Goodson. It’s not so much the physical level, it’s more the verbally abusive, it really just carries on 24 hours with the cyber bullying and technology we have.”
Eliopoulos said this conversation helps the district tackle a wide-variety of issues from mental health, LGBTQ acceptance, drug use and more.
“Public school should be that great equalizer,” Eliopoulos said. “We want to fill whatever needs students have so they can reach their fullest potential and go after every opportunity to them to ensure bright futures for them as individuals.”
Eliopoulos said the district’s current strategic plan expires on June 30, 2020, so it was time for a new one. She said mental health issues are something the district has focused on as a priority going forward.