One of the most vital areas of a school board’s role, and a public school district, is to first and foremost continually focus on the positive growth and education of all students while supporting staff throughout. But arguably second is to consistently engage with the community given our service role to all involved in that process. This year, while filled with unforeseen obstacles and extremely difficult decisions, is no exception, and the future of our school district is an important discussion point.

As a board, we continue to work on cultivating a deeper connection within our community. From virtual coffee chats and surveys, to community forums and public comment opportunities, our school board values the various community viewpoints and conversations about our district. It’s also important to know that our principals, district leadership team and entire school board continually work to be accessible on various topics as consistent conversations are vital to forward progress.

As recently announced by the district, our standing partner, Baker Tilly, will initiate a phone survey to 400 residents May 5 -12. Those randomly selected have an opportunity to share direct feedback on multiple areas including district performance, programs and initiatives, as well as the district’s future. Survey results will be presented at the June 28 board meeting.

The community at large will also have an important opportunity to participate in a forum on May 10 from 6:30–8 p.m. at Shakopee High School to discuss the future of our district. I have the pleasure of supporting efforts with Superintendent Mike Redmond, Director of Finance Bill Menozzi and School Board Treasurer Joe Aldrich. Your feedback is very valuable to the school district and the presentation will be structured in a way that will directly incorporate community feedback. We strongly encourage community members to attend and provide feedback. A productive discussion is only possible with direct community engagement. Questions for the forum can be submitted via email to until 1 p.m. on May 10. Those attending the forum in person will be able write their questions on site at the event. Questions submitted will be addressed either during the forum or via a follow up from the superintendent’s office.

When we are all engaged and truly listen to understand, we learn from each other and can grow together. The more engaged our community is, the more informed we all can be to make important decisions related to the future Shakopee Public Schools. We look forward to seeing you on May 10.

Kristi Peterson is the chair of the Shakopee School Board. Peterson also serves on the finance, community engagement, and citizens’ communications advisory committees. Peterson was elected to the school board in November 2018.