Great schools are core to strong communities. Upgrading our schools will improve our community and our local economy for everyone. Most importantly, upgraded facilities will give our teachers and students the tools they need to teach and learn the 21st Century skills needed to succeed in today’s economy. We need your input to help shape a new vision for our schools.

Over the coming weeks and months we will share information about our schools and possibilities for our future. Throughout the process, we will ask for input via surveys and in-person opportunities to engage like focus groups and community meetings.

Below is an overview of our timeline. Please note, this timeline has been revised since it was originally published to reflect the current timeline for the process.


May-June 2019: Introduction

Throughout this process, we will update this site with information about the current state of our schools, examples from other school districts, and research about what students need to thrive in the 21st Century. We asked for initial input via two online surveys and initial stakeholder meetings.

First Survey: The summary results from are first survey are below. Download expanded summary results by clicking here.

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Priority Areas: Based on feedback from the survey and initial stakeholder meetings, the district’s architecture firm, DLR Group, and district leaders developed several priority areas for facilities planning work. These priority areas were further refined in our second community survey in July. The priorities are summarized below.

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July - August 2019: Big Ideas

Second Survey: During July, we solicited feedback through a second online survey “Priorities.” Below are summary results from that survey.

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Focus Groups: Nearly 100 people joined the St. Joseph School District on August 7 to provide feedback about the future of the district’s facilities. Community members, students, and district employees attended focus group sessions at emPowerU in St. Joseph as part of the SJSD’s Master Facilities Planning process. Participants reviewed six initial concepts, presented by DLR Group. The maps depicted a variety of possibilities for the potential make-up of district facilities. The initial concepts were based on the recently completed condition assessments of SJSD facilities and projected capacity needs.

View concepts here. These concepts are archived for discussion purposes only. No decisions have been made based on these concepts. They are initial ideas to generate feedback and inform further planning.

Below is a video of SJSD Superintendent Dr. Doug Van Zyl discussing how feedback from the focus groups will inform the process moving forward. You can find more information about focus group discussions, including the information presented by DLR Group, by clicking here.

September-October 2019: Big Ideas (Continued)

During September and October, district staff and partners have engaged in hours of discussion and analysis to develop refined concepts. These concepts will be ready to share with the broader community during the third week of October. There will be an opportunity to review and provide feedback on these concepts via in-person meetings and an online portal that will be distributed widely throughout the St. Joseph community. Our work will primarily focus on the high school level, where we are poised to make the most immediate and impactful changes.

Below are details for the two scheduled community-wide events:

Dates: October 23 & 24
Time: 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. (New conversations at the top of each hour)
Location: emPowerU, 518 S 6th Street, Saint Joseph, MO

Additionally, administrators are currently visiting school buildings to gather input from building-level teachers and staff, as well as visiting with community groups to provide an update on the process and gather stakeholder input.

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November 2019: Recommendations

The district and DLR Group will use input from discussions and engagement in September and October to further refine the concepts and develop recommendations for the school board. The school board will consider the recommendations for DLR, including a potential vote on a final plan to be implemented by the school district.


Engage and Learn!

We encourage you to follow the process on our website and through social media and email updates. You can access our Master Facilities Plan website here: On this website, we have provided information from the process, including all facilities assessments, capacity projections, and presentations that have been given by DLR Group to district leaders and stakeholders. This information provides a critical foundation for understanding where we are and our possibilities for the future. We encourage you to dig into this information as we get ready for September and October engagement opportunities.