Archive for Thursday, September 13, 2007

East-side residents express concern about lack of planning

September 13, 2007

De Soto USD 232 needs a new plan.

That was the idea voiced several times at a school bond issue information meeting Sept. 5 at Mill Valley High School.

Although the turnout was about the same size as the previous meeting at De Soto High School, audience members had more hard-hitting questions regarding the district's lack of a long-term plan.

Superintendent Sharon Zoellner said the district as it is today was a result from the planning that was done in the past, and the district hoped to begin the strategic planning process this year.

"We have this year and the next year to get patron input on what the desire is on the size of schools," she said. "When you are governed by the board that changes every two years sometimes that can change the vision."

Chad Steen of Shawnee said it was hard to support a bond issue when the future was unclear.

"At times, we feel that we lack that vision to see how things are going to be mapped out," he said.

Another community member asked Zoellner what would happen if the bond didn't pass.

"The board has not had many discussions about what will happen if this bond doesn't pass," she said.

Zoellner said that probably would not be discussed by the board until the election was over next week.

Board President Janine Gracy responded that she would encourage patrons to contact school board members to ask questions or tell them what they thought. She also encouraged patrons to get involved with the strategic planning process later this year regardless of the bond referendum's outcome.

"I have thought about what if the bond does not pass," she said. "It scares me. I don't want to think about it."

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