SARTELL -- The next few weeks are going to be busy in the Sartell-St. Stephen school district.

Faculty and staff will welcome students back to the classroom on September 7th. Superintendent Jeff Ridlehoover says the energy inside each building is incredible.

We are looking at doing some things different from a professional learning standpoint, and taking that momentum into the new school year. It's just been great to talk with teachers again about learning.

Ridlehoover says aside from masking, the classroom setting should look similar to previous year with in-person learning five days a week.

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The following week the new Educational Equity and Student Experience Committee will meet for the first time.

Ridlehoover says there has been a strong interest in joining this committee. He says the goal is to focus on the academic success and social-emotional support for all students.

There is going to be some low hanging fruit which we will find as a group, and address those things in short order. However, I do think there will also be some things that will take some time to evolve.

The committee will include 100 people made up of 50% 6-12 grade students, 25% staff, and 25% residents. Applications are still being accepted through September 3rd.

Ridlehoover adds the outcomes from this group will also play a role in shaping the district's new strategic plan.

The strategic work will be happening throughout the school year. We have to build a foundation first and a lot of the foundational work is built around the themes that we're going to see on this Educational Equity and Student Experience Committee.

Ridlehoover says he wants all voices heard even if you are not on the committee.

Meetings are planned for the second Monday of each month from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The first meeting is on September 13th.


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