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Stakeholder Input

Staff

TitlePost your answer to the question you selected.Star RatingStar Votes
Frequency of Physical EducationI want our district to emphasize the importance of improving the frequency of PE in all of our buildings. Being active improves physical fitness, as well as mental and emotional well-being. It is vital to the productivity of all children. Research has shown that even single bouts of aerobic exercise can benefit cognitive performance. More recently, brain studies involving physical activity has been linked to improved memory. Physical activity also works as a stress reliever. Regular exercise can increase self-confidence, it can relax you, and it can lower the symptoms associated with mild depression and anxiety. Exercise can also improve your sleep, which is often disrupted by stress, depression and anxiety. Work out a schedule that would allow K-5 to be active everyday. In the MS, start by moving back to having 6th grade PE everyday. Over time, work to return 7-8 to everyday PE. Not long ago, we did have 6-8 PE everyday. Increase the PE opportunities in HS. I want my children and all of our students to have the best opportunity to be successful. This includes being active on a daily basis to improve cognitive ability and reduce the stresses of school. PE addresses total wellness.3.7618
What do we have to offer?Becker schools need to allow teachers to teach in an innovative way without focusing solely on test scores and data. Although I believe teachers do a great job of getting all the necessary standards in, there is no longer time to carry out the projects and fun activities that kids remember throughout their lives. Projects will foster higher levels of thinking. Society needs scientists, analysts, and free thinkers, not multiple choice test takers. More variety will also be welcoming to students and hopefully build better connections with teachers. If Becker Schools want to be unique, they're going to have to step away from traditional models and get creative.... Every other district is already focused on tests scores. What do we have to offer?3.639
We could...We need more enrichment opportunities during the school day for higher achieving students.3.5910
What's importantTime in the day to teach students social skills and problem solving. More time to get to know the kids on a personal level.3.5910
Lower Class SizesClass sizes in the lower grades are way too high. My son has 28 students in his third grade classroom, many with high needs. This is not a good learning environment. Many teachers are trying to survive the day rather than feel as though they are thriving in it.3.5814
What should students know..Our students need to learn how to problem solve to be successful.3.579
Class sizesBecker Schools need smaller class sizes in the primary grades. Students need more individualized support in these early grades. Kindergartens should have no more than 18 students, first grade 21 and second grade 22. I'm disappointed that Becker Schools have not continued their past tradition of smaller class sizes.3.5611
TeachersAllow more prep time for teachers to be able to meet and speak about what we can do for kids that need more help.3.556
Mental health resources neededMinnesota is ranked 48th in the nation for the ratio of school counselors to students. We have so many mental health needs that need to be addressed and don't have the resources to adequately do so. For students in grade K-5 there is a social worker for students on IEP's who need social work service. We have Behavior Interventionists for a small population of struggling students who are not on IEPs. For the majority of the general ed population, there is no person specifically to address the social/emotional needs of our youth. The middle school has one counselor for close to 700 students. The high school has 2 counselors for 900 students. The high school counselors work with college and career readiness, scheduling, online school options, college in the schools, PSEO, tracking academics and graduation requirements, ALC's, chemical health issues, summer school options, all while trying to make sure kids are emotionally healthy. As a district, we are not meeting the mental health needs of our kids.3.5318

Parents

TitlePost your answer to the question you selected.Star RatingStar Votes
Improve STEM curriculumOur nation's economy and work places are changing every day. Our children need to be prepared for those changes, which should include a greater emphasis on STEM curriculum. The district should devote adequate instructional time and resources to science in grades K-5. A quality science program in the elementary grades is an important foundation that can stimulate students interest in taking more science courses in middle school and high school and, possibly, in pursuing STEM disciplines and careers. The District should ensure that their STEM curricula are focused on the most important topics in each discipline, are rigorous, and are articulated as a sequence of topics and performances. Ideally, STEM curricula should be aligned across disciplines from grades K-12. To improve teaching and learning in the STEM disciplines, the district needs to enhance the capacity of K-12 teachers. STEM teachers should have a deep knowledge of their subject matter and an understanding of how students learning develops in that field.3.719
People are uniqueI just heard on MPR that Minnesota comes in dead last when compared to other states in its investment in public school counselors, social workers and mental health professionals. I believe it is crucial that Becker look at schools that have been very successful in mentoring students in the area of career, mental health, making choices, reducing stress, etc and pattern investment in personnel upon those successful schools.3.698
The Big Picture1. Accountability. They need to learn that they are held responsible for their decisions and actions. 2. Critical thinkers. They need to know how to think for themselves and not take everything they hear of read as the truth. 3. Global thinkers. They need to be aware of life outside the small town of Becker so they don't lose out on opportunities. 4. Communication. They need to be effective communicators including knowledge of body language, etiquette, politeness and eye contact when dealing with people. 5. Goal setting. Learn to set goals and work toward them while knowing what is realist and attainable. 6. Time and money management. They need to know how to manage money and time and knowing when to work and when to play and keep track of income and expenses. The curriculum that is taught is great but to be successful, they need to know how to survive in the big world we live in. If they don't have these skills, they have a greater chance of failing after graduation.3.677
Be productive adultsStudents should receive regular life information. They should graduate high school knowing how to budget funds, maintain and balance a checking account, file taxes, etc. Sometimes we get so caught up in getting them ready for college, we forget the basics of being an adult.3.6213
Critical Thinking and Love of LearningLearning how to think is much more important than learning what to think, especially in this tech age when kids can find information--and misinformation--easily. They need to know how to evaluate and apply that information far more than they need to memorize it. Skills like how to recognize biases (confirmation bias, selective thinking, etc.), logical fallacies, and similar concepts actively practiced on what they are learning will help them make good decisions throughout their lives. I also think it's crucial that kids don't lose the love of learning for its own sake. I don't think this means devising more fun learning activities so much as it means watching out for the many ways we inadvertently make learning a chore or a negative experience for kids. (Not negative experience as in challenging, which is ultimately positive to overcome, but more like ways in which we unintentionally punish mistakes rather than using them as opportunities to learn, just for one example, or when the learning is boring with little reason to be, such as busy work and fact memorization that isn't necessary or that can be accomplished in another way.)3.615
Remaining RelevantIt will be very important for the district to remain relevant by monitoring workplace needs as well as post secondary requirements to prepare students to meet these demands. Relevant skills and knowledge including technology, critical thinking, communication, innovation, problem solving, systematic analysis, global awareness, evaluation techniques all are and will continue to be relevant before and after graduation. I believe these skills and knowledge can be role modeled and taught pre-K to 12th grade. Continue to explore and partner with businesses and post secondary institutions to make sure the opportunities we are providing are building relevant skills. I believe it is important to offer a variety of opportunities including sports, drama, music, robotics, art, etc to allow students to explore their talents and participate on teams working for a common goal. Skills developed in these extracurricular activities transfer directly into modern day workplaces. Keep the focus on developing the potential of each student so their skills and knowledge remain relevant to society.3.566
ExpectationsI expect my children to be academically challenged in a safe learning environment. I expect Becker teachers to communicate to me if he/she feels my children are struggling with something or having any behavior issues. I expect the school district to enforce strict in-school and on-line bulling rules and appropriate punishments. Lastly, I expect that teachers do not engage in any sexist, racist or offensive jokes around kids.3.566
Keep Music and Art. Prioritize STEM CoursesWith reduced funding and tight budgets come cuts of all types. I think Becker should make sure to focus on having a variety of courses for its students in the future, to include music, art and skilled-coursework like metal/wood working, etc. Further, increased focus on STEM courses is only going to become more and more important in the future. I also agree with a number of parents on this site so far that have cited personal finance as an important factor. It concerns me greatly when districts begin to reduce the the types of courses being offered, and while often the administrators have no other choice, if there were ever an alternative to reducing the variety of courses, I would hope that it would be considered. I have noticed during my short time living in the district that the athletics program is incredibly high on the priority list (which is kind of fun for me to see, having grown up in a district with a wimpy athletics program!). While I understand that a strong athletics program can also help to bring in funds, I would expect that athletics would always take a back seat to a child's education. Education comes first, athletics second.3.558
Add value by utilizing potentialBecker Students should first realize that they are a gift and their potential can be shared with this world in a positive way. They should know how to access information in a variety of formats, be inquisitive about the world around them, learn how to research and analyze information and innovate to provide solutions for problems we don't even have yet. Students should learn about coping skills and stress management as well as basic life skills of money and time management. Students should use their creative energies to focus on ways they can add value to this world and know that each one of them, regardless of background or circumstance has positive potential to share. This sharing requires great communication skills- not only verbally but also non-verbally. Students should continue to be provided opportunities to grow, use and enhance their interpersonal and mass communication skills.3.525

Students

TitlePost your answer to the question you selected.Star RatingStar Votes
I Have An IdeaTo start, the bathrooms do not have doors. Um, why?? Also, paper towels are super awesome. Another great idea would be to offer students off campus or outside lunches. By giving students a break from the fluorescent lighting and recirculated air and allowing them to be outside (like recess in the younger schools), students would be more willing to focus at the end of the day,3.692
Food is badMake school food better its juts meh3.692
Add ClassesBecker High School is great, but I believe it should offer a few more classes than it does, such as French and German. The only Foreign Language classes offered are Spanish, and I believe BHS should be more well-rounded in the Foreign Language category. Also, I believe Music Theory should be offered. I've heard of Music Theory being offered in many other schools, why not in BHS? For people planning to go into a career in music after graduation, the only classes offered to prepare you for that are Band and Choir. Whereas if you're going into a STEM career after high school, there is an overwhelming amount of classes available for you to prepare for that. Therefore, BHS should offer more oppurtunities and classes for people who are passionate about Music, and Foreign Languages.3.541
BathroomsFix the bathrooms. There are seriously like only 10 working girls bathrooms stalls with doors in the whole school.3.541
iPadsI feel the schools are doing well with the technology, but we don't need like new iPads every year. And kids younger than 5th grade shouldn't have their own iPads.3.541
I don't knowTeaching how to use what your teaching us in real life problems3.541
Could do betterThey could do better by... not having so many lunch choices that have chicken Having a money management/taxes class Bringing in more programs that students really enjoy Upgrading classrooms, bathrooms, etc.3.541
fooddon't make so much chicken3.541
sandwichesI think my expectation is that we are a great school with great kids and we should keep it that way3.541

Community

TitlePost your answer to the question you selected.Star RatingStar Votes
Expanding well-being and care for children and their familiesAnother tragedy in our community has meant our schools have had to bear the burden yet again not only in educating our youth but also providing crisis and mental health care. Out of necessary concerns for a separation between church and state, the professionals in our community with the greatest expertise in providing trusted and relational care precisely in these tragic situations were minimized in their potentially vital roles in our schools. It is thoroughly possible, I believe, in the event of such tragedies, to create a model of holistic care for our children and their families through the schools that takes into account their physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. A model like this could utilize the best of what our community has to offer in the trusted relationships that our ministerial community already has in cooperation with mental health professionals, who may not share the same level of relationship with our kids and their families. Most importantly, a model like this could also insure that spiritual care is provided in a certifiably professional, non-sectarian way, that is respectful especially for those who choose none when it comes to religious affiliation.3.51
AnswersBecker students should know how to do household finances and budgeting. Even though many of us don't use checkbooks anymore, students need to understand how to balance how much money they are making and spending to prepare them for the real world. I think digital citizenship should be taught in younger grades instead of high school. Becker does a great job at communicating...phone calls,emails, texts and social media are used. If someone says they do not receive info they are mistaken. Less time on college readiness in middle school. The argument is to start preparing students, yet, I believe kids then believe they are either a vo-tech student and just focus on that. Maybe swap that out for digital citizenship.31
Preparing for AdulthoodI believe that our children should be prepared for entering adulthood upon graduation. I believe that current trends (i.e. technology) are important, but they should also be able to find information via other avenues than online (books, contacting a specific person, etc). I believe that they should be knowledgeable in financial matters as well from checking accounts, credit cards, saving for retirement, etc.2.51
ExcellenceMy expectations are that my children taught the obvious basic fundamentals of education, but also how to find the information they need to solve a problem. I expect my children to use technology, as our society is moving more and more in that direction, but I do not want complete reliance upon it. I expect that my children will be respected and respect others. I expect the school to be a safe place for my children to be, both physically and emotionally. I expect Becker to continue to be a great district and be a front-runner in our children's education.00

What we are doing well

TitlePost your answer to the question you selected.Select the description that best applies to you. I am.....Star RatingStar Votes
question 4I think over all the safety and security are a priority at the high school. I believe that putting in the security system and checking in at the door is a good thing, and all the doors locked during school unfortunately is a good thing in this day and age. I have never felt that my child was not safe at school or there was a concern about guns or weapons. I believe law enforcement make their presence know. I believe they are trying to address the mental health concerns, but its only the beginning stages. I feel that the food options are making a change for the good. No pop in the vending machines a huge step YEA!Parent2.975
Well Rounded StudentsI believe Becker Schools offers a great amount of variety in activities and offerings to allow students to obtain a well rounded education. Our technology is current- and lets face it- kids will need to be proficient in computers no matter what industry they enter. Our extracurricular activities allow for participation of youth who do not prefer sports and there are a variety of activities offered throughout the year to help kids explore their talents and gifts. Becker Schools (at least from my experience with the Middle School) is not afraid to try new teaching methods to improve learning and retention of material. I appreciate the opportunities even though we don't always participate.Parent3.525
Why we love the Becker School DistrictWe have found the district to be very welcoming to new families. My children love going to school and enjoy their teachers. I feel my kids are academically challenged. I love how the school encourages reading and a large variety of after school activities. I also love the very active STEM programs available in addition to Girl Scouts and after school sports.Parent3.274
New to the SchoolOur child is only in the 1st grade, but what I have seen so far is good. The teachers have been so caring and personable. They have done an excellent job. I hope to be as happy as my son goes through his schooling here.Parent3.474
Thank YouI believe Becker Schools promote a culture of community and togetherness. Our children moved to Becker Schools and within a year had principals and teachers that cared for them. I love that Becker Schools and Becker the community are one. You do a great job of loving on the ones you serve.Parent3.474
Great Job!I feel that the Becker Schools pride themselves on excellence and truly care about our children's success. We have kept up with the times and evolved technologically to improve the learning experience for our children and prepare them for the future.Student3.474
Teaching for SuccessIt's been awhile since we've had a child in the primary school, but I wanted to say how much I am seeing in the improvement of teaching students entrusted into their care for 7 hours. Mrs. Wiechmann is amazing, and if all the teachers are this great, Becker Primary school will be considered to be the highest ranking primary school I'm Minnesota (or anywhere, for that matter!). I'm also seeing great teachers in the other schools... Tanja Hansen in the Middle School cares about her students and loves her job.. and the librarian in the High School is so very intelligent and resourceful and available for the students! We are blessed to be in Becker Schools. Thank you!Parent3.374
TechnologyAs a family that was new to the district 5 years ago, I have always been impressed with the technology that has bee available for student use. Students have been educated on how to use it and expectation of its use has not changed in our time here. I have had the pleasure of watching it grow into the younger levels so that both my high school and intermediate school students have technology at their finger tips to aid in their education.Parent3.065
What Becker is doing wellMy oldest child started kindergarten in Becker many years ago, and I have always appreciated the forward thinking in the district - from buildings with extra classrooms for anticipated growth to the use of iPads and embracing technology. I am also truly grateful for the dedication and help from staff in each school in the Becker School District - many have went above and beyond when my girls (or myself) have needed or asked for their time and assistance.Parent3.316
School Readiness, Early Childhood EducationOur experience in Becker only goes as far as School Readiness to date. Our oldest will be entering Kindergarten next year and I am so happy with the progress she has made in the School Readiness program. By all measures the program has exceeded my expectations for what I thought our child would get out of it! I believe in the importance of a strong early childhood program and just what it does for our kids. Thank you, Becker, for making early childhood education such a priority within the district! Next year marks the beginning of a new phase of our lives -- I can't wait to see what the next several years brings forth for our children and to see them grow!Parent3.155
Importance of teachersKids need teachers who believe in them, encourage them, challenge them, make time for them and adequately explain the subject matter. I can tell a big difference in my kids' ability to learn depending on who they get for teachers. My kids do much better when their teachers are positive and patient as opposed to those who yell and don't explain the curriculum concisely. Thank you teachers who are positive, patient and encouraging! We appreciate you and all you to do give our kids a great education!Parent3.476
Making Learning FunThank you Becker Public Schools for making learning fun! Specifically to my son's teacher and educational staff; thank you to the moon and back! I love listening to my son retell his day with excitement and enthusiasm. I love seeing what he is doing in school via the teacher's website as well. I am enjoying the school to home connection I have right now and hope it continues in the future. I am very blessed and thankful to have internet at home, digital skills, the equipment and a teacher who takes the time to seek out and encourage this connection. Absolutely phenomenal staff!Parent3.193
Bountiful engaged professionalsSince my children were in the ECFE program and through each grade level I have seen so many people helping in the classrooms. From the classroom teachers, to the paraprofessionals, to the student volunteers and the parent volunteers there has always been an abundance of support to each student and there learning. Further they have had a positive attitude, professional demeanor and love for their job.Parents3.345
What We Do WellBecker Schools are doing a great job of leveraging technology for learning. Each student has access to a device that allows them to reach beyond the walls of our school to learn and grow academically. The access that students have to a wireless network is excellent in our schools.Employee3.144
Improving readingWe are using test data and teacher input to identify struggling readers and prescribing appropriate interventions to attempt to close the gap. Adopting a core reading program K-5 was a critical element in assuring reading success, coupled with providing training to any teacher that comes into the district or changes teaching assignments within the district.Employee3.626
ConnectionsAs an employee in the high school and as a parent of kids that have been in every building, I think our staff does an incredible job of connecting with kids. I see teachers go out of their way to make connections with our students. Because of these connections, kids feel valued and enjoy school.Employee3.647
Welcoming/connectionsWe moved here just last year (2014-15 school year) and everyone has been fantastic to our family. My kids have felt welcomed by staff and have transitioned well into the new school. They have made great connections with their teachers. My youngest son, who is extremely social, seems to know just about every teacher in the primary school and always talks about them and they always take the time to talk to him even though he has never been in their class. So many students have great connections with staff members and I think that is an important part of school. Students should feel welcomed and know that they can talk to the adults in the building when they run into a problem or concern that they can't solve on their own.Employee3.447
Support for Reading!As someone who worked in another district for years before coming to Becker, I love that our community and schools (and library budgets) really value reading for pleasure and literacy in general. I also love that (at least in the MS where I work) the language arts teachers allow kids time to read for pleasure and explore new books and share read alouds. It's great that our schools can do programs like I Love to Read month activities, DEAR days, read-a-thons, and One Book, One School and that we have great participation from our kids. As a media specialist, one thing I REALLY value is having a book budget that allows me to get the books the kids really want to read and keep up with the newest releases/series books as soon as they print. This is not the norm in all other places and I love that all four of our schools have a satisfactory book budget every year to keep kids excited about reading....by and large the kids still prefer the real old fashioned books so we have quite a great collection for our readers. We are very lucky here in that respect.Employee3.587
TechnologyTechnology help is readily availableEmployee3.224
dataCollecting data. Teachers work hard to teach concepts the state mandates.Employee2.974
We Do a Lot of Things WellI think Becker is a fabulous school district. The teaching staff that all of my children have ever come into contact with have been incredible. I am proud to live in this school district.Employee3.474
Committed & SupportiveWe have a large number of highly committed staff members knowledgeable citizens that understand the need for investment in our education system even though the state and federal governments have neglected education for years and unjustly used it as a pawn for personal political gains. We generally have a staff that understands that well-rounded individuals are important and our staff that generally encourages students to be committed to whatever ventures their involved in. Staff much of the community recognizes that individuals need to experience both successes failures during this short portion of life in order to more fully develop as thoughtfulinformed menwomen that are prepared to make positive impacts in our changing global community. We have many that are genuinely interested in experiencing life with students families helping them process the goods bads of our world, and there is generally support even though there certainly have been some hurt feelings competition between individuals programs over the years. We provide many opportunities for students to participate-though there is a tipping point that has been crossed in some areas as we spread too thin.Employee3.387
InputWe are caring about our kids. We have high expectations for them, but are caring at the same time.Employee3.46