Special to the EagleHerald
Representative John Nygren, Jeff Allman, and CEO of Fincantieri Marinette Marine Jan Allman discuss the Peshtigo CONNECT discussions.
Special to the EagleHerald

Representative John Nygren, Jeff Allman, and CEO of Fincantieri Marinette Marine Jan Allman discuss the Peshtigo CONNECT discussions.

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PESHTIGO — For three days more than 100 people from the community of Peshtigo and industry leaders of Marinette County met at CONNECT to find common ground, acknowledge differences and create a vision for the graduating class of 2033.

On the evening of Nov. 14, attendees began the evening by creating a historical timeline from 1960 to the present day. Global, local and educational events were shared to help tell the story of the Peshtigo community and its schools. Next, groups of people identified the issues and trends the community and school face today. Topics included the use of technology causing a social disconnect among students and adults, children experiencing less family time, attracting a skilled workforce to the region, drug and alcohol use and the school having the resources available to meet student needs.

The evening concluded with the groups having a chance to identify what they are glad, sad and mad about regarding the school district. Mads and sads revolved around learning space, referendum efforts, a disconnect between the district and community, traffic issues around the school, along with a lack of family and community involvement. On the positive side the glads included: Advanced college credit courses, the opportunity to get the community involved, safe schools, a reputation for an excellent education experience and effective teachers who care.

On Nov. 15, the focus shifted to the future. The first task was to create a list of attributes that every Peshtigo graduate will have. The lists included skills related to written, oral, and interpersonal communication, problem-solving, social and emotional intelligence, daily life, a post-graduation plan and being a good citizen. The group consensus was that these skills go above and beyond a standardized test.

The rest of the discussions focused on creating a vision for Peshtigo Schools in 2033. Groups brainstormed ideas and came to a collective agreement of that vision before their presentations. Audience members were asked during the presentations to listen and take notes on common themes from each presentation. These notes then became a list of priorities for the district.

The top three priorities included partnering with neighboring school districts for specialized course work and teachers, incorporating life skills into the curriculum and courses and space needs the include: the expansion of flexible learning spaces, develop programming for agriculture, create performance areas for the arts, find space for mental health services on-site, community access and technical education expansion. Additionally, other high priorities include the development of community-based learning, systems of supports for students and families, and the design of personalized learning pathways.

Moving forward the Peshtigo School Board has scheduled a special board meeting on Dec. 4 at 6 p.m. in the PELC Choir Room to begin developing a plan of how to make the community’s vision a reality. The community is welcome to attend.

Editor’s note: Pictures taken at the discussion can be seen on our website, ehextra.com.