GFW Public Schools



Superintendent Jeff Horton – GFW Public Schools 

(507) 834-6501

March 30, 2021

The community-based committee met during the month of March to discuss the future plans for the district.

The third and final meeting of the GFW Strategic Planning Committee took place virtually via Zoom video conference on Wednesday, March 24. The strategic planning process is wrapping up and was very collaborative. It included a large Strategic Planning Committee made up of community members, board members, staff, and students as well as input from continuous improvement teams at each school building, community wide surveys, nine listening sessions across the district, and equity diagnostic surveys. 

Minnesota School Boards Association Director of Strategic Planning and Board Leadership Gail Gilman led the process and assisted the committee in finalizing their work, which will now move to the administration and school board to develop an action plan to meet the goals and objectives identified by the committee. 

The first task of the meeting was to go over district belief statements that were written by the committee and voted on throughout the process. Members discussed belief statements and provided input and direction on the best areas for the statements to focus on. The district will adopt several belief statements that will define who GFW Public Schools is as a district and will become the values that the school board and administration use in decision making. 

The committee also discussed options for new mission and vision statements for GFW Public Schools. A mission statement defines the present state and purpose of the school district and answers the questions “what result and for whom?” and “why do we exist?” while reflecting the beliefs of the district. A vision statement is meant to provide guidance and inspiration as to what the school district is focused on achieving in the next three to five or more years while answering the question “what do we want to become in the future?” The group discussed options and their suggestions will now move to the school board for consideration. 

“The work done during this process is absolutely invaluable to our district,” said Superintendent Jeff Horton. “It was so exciting watching our high school students be so involved with providing input on the direction of our district while collaborating with board members, parents, business owners, and teachers at every step. I am confident that this plan will greatly strengthen our district as we look towards the next three to five years.”

The committee also discussed goals and objectives for the district that would be part of the strategic plan. A team of staff and administration drafted goals in several areas along with a series of objectives that serve those goals.

Focus areas for goals and objectives were:

  • Student Achievement
  • Finance
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion 
  • Community and Family Engagement
  • Positive School Climate

“GFW Public Schools would like to once again thank the members of the Strategic Planning Committee for their time over the past month and their work to identify priorities for our district,” said School board Chair Mike Kuehn. “The process has been very inclusive and many voices contributed to the formation of the plan. A strategic plan is a great first step in setting GFW up for a strong future.”

Next steps in the process include a draft plan with review from administration, board action to approve beliefs, mission, vision, goals, and objectives that were identified by the committee, and development of a timeline and action plans. 

More information on GFW Strategic Planning can be viewed at