The grassroots Owatonna Forward group listed several education goals last month as destiny-drivers for the community. Superintendent Jeff Elstad said in a recent Owatonna School District newsletter email that the school board, "will begin to discuss how we can, in partnership with our community, achieve these community-based dreams," at the January 8 work session.

Elstad reported that Owatonna Forward list three education initiatives among their goals, based on surveys and discussions with residents.

  • Create a 21st century high school facility that prepares students for college or career.
  • All graduating students have an individual career plan by the 2024 class.
  • Lead preschool through grade 12 educational opportunities and rank in the top ten-percent of state school districts by 2027.

Owatonna Forward is made up of business owners, civic leaders and residents. Elstad said, "We are honored and delighted that our community, through Owatonna Forward, has identified education-related destiny drivers that will benefit our students and our community."

In the newsletter, Elstad also reported on a technology survey that was sent to the parents of district students. "A technology committee has been reviewing the survey answers and will bring their recommendations to the school board in early 2018 for discussion," he said. "Our goal is to develop a classroom technology plan that will build on our strengths and ensure we are using technology to support learning in ways that work best for both students and teachers."