The entrance to Wrangell’s District office.
(Sage Smiley / KSTK)

Wrangell’s school district is in the process of updating its strategic plan. The new plan will help set the direction and goals for the borough’s public schools over the next five years. Earlier this month, the district held a series of roundtable discussions – called a “charette” – to solicit input from community members, and there are more opportunities for feedback. 

Listen to the audio version of this story here.

What should kids learn or experience before they graduate high school? 

What should be the top priority of the local school district? 

With a declining budget, how should the district save money while still prioritizing education? 

Where have you seen glimpses of new ideas or strategies that could be implemented in Wrangell’s school district? 

What potential change to Wrangell’s education system would you be willing to be a part of?

These are the types of questions Wrangell’s school district wants the community to answer. The answers will help the school board and district officials craft a plan to steer the schools through the next five years. 

There’s no right answer, either. After an evening of roundtable discussions, district officials left with eight pages of bullet point notes with ideas from a dozen or so community members. But they still want more. 

So far, collaboration and flexibility have been repeated messages as the district crafts a new strategic plan. 

That includes collaboration with the community, whether that’s enlisting new volunteers, partnering with the local Tribal or municipal governments, or looking for partnerships with businesses in town. 

Collaboration could also mean regional or statewide partnerships like the pre-existing tech education-focused T3 Alliance, or educational opportunities at higher education institutions in the state. Or, what if Wrangell’s schools collaborated with other school districts for educational opportunities? 

Community members have also repeatedly spoken up in favor of flexibility. Adaptations that the COVID-19 pandemic forced on the schools seem to be top of mind. 

Wrangell’s school-age population has trickled down in recent years, after a huge drop during the early pandemic. Could consolidating schools – or consolidating some parts of schools like the libraries – help shift resources to educational opportunities like more art classes, or classes in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) realm?

But parents and community members also say they support more tailored learning options, and want an education for Wrangell kids that will help them navigate relationships and life outside of school. In discussions, people brought up concerns and excitement about technology and how it can be used in education. They want kids to learn to be critical thinkers. 

It’ll take a lot of work to take the hopes and dreams of Wrangell students, parents, teachers and community members and meld them into a working document to inform the school district’s vision for the coming half-decade. They’ll need all the feedback they can get. 

Wrangell Public School District is still looking for feedback as it works to update its strategic plan for the schools. 

Read a summary of community ideas about the future of Wrangell’s schools so far here.

Find a link to the district’s Strategic Plan survey here

Wrangell Public School District also welcomes input by email, phone or in-person. Call the district office at 907-874-2347. 

Get in touch with KSTK at or (907) 874-2345.