Bemidji Superintendent Tim Lutz Shares What Parents & Students Will See In New School Year
The school year is approaching fast in Bemidji, and new superintendent Tim Lutz says he’s thrilled and humbled to be serving in such an important role in the district. His focus will be on students and staff and making sure they feel engaged.
“As an instructional leader, I think it’s really important to work on ways that students and staff can be supported and that we can create an environment where students are engaged and where staff and students bring out the best in themselves,” says Lutz.
A few challenges Lutz identified going into the school year include increasing the graduation and the attendance rate. He’ll also be looking at the disproportionate amount of suspensions when it comes to minority students. When kids re-enter the halls this fall, they’ll also some new faces and hopefully some new improvements to safety, thanks to a few grants from the Department of Education.
Lutz says, “28% of our district leadership, including some of the principals, are new so it will be exciting to develop that new team and to create some new direction. We have a lot of hopes that with the new safety grants that we can make some major changes in our school safety in terms of infrastructure and facilities.”
Parents may also be wondering about the new Gene Dillon Elementary School. Lutz says construction is complete and the building is ready for students and staff.
“It’s no longer a construction site where we need to wear helmets and vests and eye glasses, but it is indeed a school, so except for a few minor cosmetic concerns that we’re still working on and some outside work with landscaping, it is a building that we can move into. It is a building that is ready,” says Lutz.
Lutz will also be looking at improving the school culture and making sure students want to be there. He plans to do that by meeting with the students one on one.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to allow students to have a voice and empower them with opportunities to share their thoughts. Meeting with student council, I would also like to be able to convene meetings with other students, perhaps students from minority groups,” says Lutz.
Lastly, the superintendent wants everyone to know that if you have a question, don’t be afraid to ask! Lutz describes himself as a civil servant to the people and says his job is to help.
“I’m just a down-to-earth person, so if anybody has issues or concerns, they are more than welcome to address me anywhere they see me,” says Lutz.
Lutz says another one of his big goals will be closing the achievement gap.