By Karsten Anderson, superintendent of Red Wing Public Schools

Over the past two years, the school district has made a concerted effort to enhance engagement with stakeholders, including the general public. We want to share the amazing stories that unfold in our district on a daily basis, and we want to learn more about others' expectations as we strive to continuously improve. In this column, I would like to highlight some of our efforts and outline further changes.

Our focus on social media has made a difference in how we interact with the community. Since the passage of the referendum, we have focused on telling stories inside each school building. For example, in May and June, our social media posts on Facebook and Instagram focused on the fun activities that students experience at the end of the school year. My favorite post, which was reposted on KSTP's Facebook page and viewed by over 13,000 people, showed our kindergarten students congratulating graduating seniors. We intend to continue our Facebook presence, add more student-focused videos on social media sites, and strengthen our use of Instagram to reach younger parents and graduates.

Not everyone learns about the school district through social media, so we are also focusing on more traditional forms of communications. The Republican Eagle publishes monthly columns highlighting school-related topics and issues, a quarterly newsletter is now mailed to each home within the school district, and weekly emails are sent to subscribers. We will continue to refine approaches and messages in these communications so stakeholders continue to be engaged.

Most important, though, we want to increase our direct interaction with community members. During this upcoming year, school district leaders will discuss issues with service group members and others who want to learn more about what is happening with youth in our community. We will continue to involve stakeholders and seriously consider feedback when making important decisions about the future of our district.

If you are interested in learning more about following our Facebook and Instagram pages, signing up for the weekly e-newsletter, or inviting school district leaders to share information with you or a group you represent, please feel free to contact me at 651-385-4502 or klanderson@rwps.org.