SARTELL -- There are some changes happening for residents who want to address the Sartell-St. Stephen school board.

Instead of signing up right before the meeting to speak during the open forum, residents will be asked sign-up online the Friday before any regular meeting.

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Superintendent Jeff Ridlehoover says with the board currently not addressing the comments or questions asked during that time, they feel this new procedure will provide better engage with the community.

The plan would be to have myself or a member of the board reach out to all those folks who signed up and have a dialog with them to help answer their questions. We encourage any of them to still address the board even with our conversation.

Ridlehoover says he has spoken with several other school districts that have gone to this model and have found it a positive experience.

The open forum section takes place at the start of each meeting and is limited to 30 minutes with up to 10 speakers given no more than three minutes to share their thoughts.

Prior to the school board meeting Monday, another listening session will be taking place in Sartell High School. The listening sessions are in conjunction with the district's new Educational Equity and Student Experience Committee.

Ridlehoover says it's important the community is aware and involved in what's being discussed and taking place within the committee.

That's why the listening sessions are important, and while we do confine it to certain topics, we want people to come and ask questions so they have a better understanding in what's going on.

Monday's meeting will begin at 4:15 p.m. at the Learning Staircase in the high school. This month's topics will focus on harassment/bullying and social media.

Last week, the Sartell-St. Stephen school district sent a message out to families about concerns over TikTok challenges and "fight clubs".


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