Tappe: Staples-Motley looks to future capital improvements

Staples-Motley Schools Superintendent Shane Tappe

No doubt, the start of the 2020-21 school year was unlike anything we have seen at Staples-Motley Schools. COVID-19 has dramatically changed daily classroom routines, but we are embracing the normalcy of having students back in our classrooms.

I am grateful for the patience and resilience of our students, staff and families as we navigate the challenges of this ongoing pandemic. I also want to express my sincere thanks to all of our residents for your support.

Keeping our students healthy - mentally and physically - is always our top priority. We focus on providing the support they need to be safe and continue down their path toward preparing for success. We also know that healthy schools help create healthy communities. We’re thrilled that additional fall sports are returning in October and hope they provide another opportunity for us to safely gather as a community.

Since the spring, the district’s primary focus has been managing the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuring our students receive the education and services they need. It is amazing how quickly we changed how we teach our students, and how well they adapted to the emergency. The Continuous Improvement Plan, which began last year, looks a little different but we are still seeing positive results from this plan.

Despite our focus on the pandemic, we have not lost sight of the district’s facilities improvement plan to address the long-term challenges of our school buildings. Now that we’ve had a successful return to school, I thought it would be a good time to provide an update.


Our facilities planning committee continues to review a variety of ways we can improve our facilities -- from focusing on critical maintenance projects to exploring the benefits of new buildings. Our current facilities are aging, and as we consider the investments needed to infrastructure and the building exteriors, we are also discussing changes that are needed in areas such as supporting a modern curriculum and providing proper security.

The committee has looked at nine different options for how to accomplish our goals, and also has reached out to the other organizations we work with to learn more about how to meet community-wide goals. Within a short time, we hope to have a small number of preferred options to take to residents for feedback.

As part of this process, the committee is also considering when might be the best time to present voters with a bond levy proposal to finance a new investment plan. With historically low interest and a highly competitive construction economy, we are in a good position to better manage the costs of high-value projects.

Over the coming months, the district will continue updating our communities about the future of our facilities. In the meantime, if you have questions or comments, please get in touch at

Shane Tappe

Superintendent, Staples-Motley Schools

Opinion by Michael Johnson
Michael Johnson is the news editor for Agweek. He lives in rural Deer Creek, Minn., where he is starting to homestead with his two children and wife.
You can reach Michael at or 218-640-2312.
What To Read Next
Get Local