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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Citizens Committee Addresses Peshtigo School Board Meeting

Issue Date: March 15, 2017

The Peshtigo School Board make quick work of their Wednesday, March 8 meeting, breezing through their agenda in just under 25 minutes. In the process, however, they heard some pretty exciting reports.

The first was an update from the Middle/High School Citizens Building Committee. Co-chair Clarence Coble reported that the group held a meeting the prior week and that he was pleased with the the information and responses received from all of their inquiries.  The group is planning an in depth tour of the Middle/High School facilities in April while school is in session.  The next meeting of the group is scheduled for March 14.  He anticipates meetings henceforth to be about twice a month.

The other Co-Chair Jim Koronkiewicz agreed that the group has been receiving excellent communications from staff, teachers and administration, as well as outside firms that are engaged in building assessment, design and construction.  He noted especially that they are seeking information from others in addition to Hoffman Construction, which had been the firm used in the past couple referendums by the district.

Information the group received from the district included enrollment numbers and projection, as well as numbers related to extra-curricular numbers.

The group has been in contact with several assessments, design and construction firms. The information they have provided will be reviewed at upcoming meetings in the hope of bringing a recommendation to the School Board in the not too distant future.  All that they have gathered will be provided to the Board, as well as past information. Yet, Koronkiewicz realizes that many of the firms may want to do their own analysis of their facilities.

Also hinted at were possible tours of facilities at other school districts, but that the group would focus on other districts that are of comparable size and tax base.  The group did conduct a tour recently of the addition/remodel at the Marinette NWTC campus.

The other exciting report that was brought before the Board was given by Administrator Kim Eparvier. He announced that a two people from the Elementary Learning Center are scheduled to deliver a presentation at the upcoming Statewide Data Summit scheduled to be held in Green Bay. The two staff members will be showcasing what they have found to be best practices in the district when it comes to Response to Intervention (RTI) processes.  RTI is a program and series of processes intended to intervene in the educational experience of struggling elementary students to give them immediate and directed help. The goal is to prevent them from needing special eduction later on in school.  Presenting on behalf of the district is PELC Principal Kelly Collins and Teacher Kari Fendrick.

Eparvier also updated the Board on the Inspire Software progress.  The software is intended to allow communication between students and local businesses/industry. It is hoped that such communication will assist students finding out more information about and perhaps gearing their high school education toward a career.  Eparvier announced that the Wisconsin Workforce Development Corp will be picking up the costs for all participating districts in our area.  The software and the program will be facilitated by Cooperative Education Service Agency (CESA) 8.

Other items Eparvier reported included an upcoming seminar being sponsored by Great Lakes Custom Tool bringing together many businesses and school districts in Marinette and Oconto Counties.  He added that the district has also begun the process of working on staff openings for 2017-2018 school year, especially the High School English Department.

In other matters, the Board accepted donations in the amount of $300 from St. Mary's parish for the Seeking Educational Equality and Diversity (SEED) program; and a donation of $285.29 from the Peshtigo Basketball Association for a new protective mat for the Elementary Gym.

It was also reported that the Youth Options program for next school year includes eight students in enrolled in Calculus, 15 in an Intro to Education Class, and 14 enrolled in the a CNA (Nursing Assistant) class. These are classes that district does not offer in house, but does pay the cost for students to be enrolled in wherever they are offered.

Board Chairman Gary Larson read a letter from Region 3 of the Wisconsin Association of School Boards (WASB) stating they they have an opening on their board because of a resignation.  He explained the nomination process and asked if any of the Peshtigo School Board member were interested.  Normally the reading of such a letter is just a formality, but Board Member Julie Muenster spoke up and stated that she was interested in the position. Region 3 of the WASB covers  most of northeast Wisconsin.


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