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Superintendent column: District holds referendum information forums

In the coming weeks there will be a wealth of information available to the public related to two School District of River Falls facility referendum questions on the April 3 ballot. Next week an informational brochure will be mailed to all residents which outlines the details of the two referendum questions.

In brief, referendum question No. 1: $45.86 million to include improvements to all district facilities. Due to the retirement of some district debt payments, the tax impact will be minimized at $41 per every $100,000 home value.

Referendum question No. 2: $2.1 million for additional parking, multi-use artificial turf and lights behind the high school. If passed, this tax impact would be $9 per $100,000 home value.

Several public forums are scheduled for February and March to explain the need and to outline the current referendum details. The community is welcome and encouraged to attend our forums. Those public forum dates are as follows:

• 7 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 21, at District Office

• 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 27, at District Office

• 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 6, at high school library

• 6 p.m. Thursday, March 15, at Montessori Elementary

• 7 a.m. Wednesday, March 21, at District Office

• Noon Wednesday, March 21, at District Office

• 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 27, at Meyer Middle School

The School District of River Falls is recognized as an education leader in west-central Wisconsin due to the achievements of our amazing students. Of course these achievements would not be possible without our caring and professional staff working in harmony with the support of our parents and larger community.

Our district knows that with strong support from our community there are expectations for the district to uphold excellence in the classroom, excellence in school programs, and excellence in our resources to support our students. We offer incredible experiences and learning opportunities for our students both in, and outside the classroom yet, some of our facility resources are not meeting today's standards.

In summary, within the current context of this balanced love affair between community support for its schools and the district's tradition of excellence, we find ourselves at a tipping point. Facility needs are amplifying due to steady enrollment growth, educational advancements, and "father time." Simply put, our aging facilities are in need of significant repair and improvement that cannot be made with our limited annual budgets.

If our community is to invest in our facilities we know that open, honest and transparent communication is essential. These are your schools and if you are to make an informed decision April 3, the district needs to provide ample ways for you to study the facts, and we will.

Please look for our referendum brochure to be mailed to your home address next week; attend a forum; check out our website (www.rfsd.k12.wi.us); or just give me a call at 425-1800.

Change happens at the speed of trust.

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