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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Referendum Focus of Peshtigo School Board

Issue Date: July 20, 2022

With a relatively short meeting of the Peshtigo School Board on Wednesday, July 13, there was still a lot accomplished with a focus on the upcoming referendum.

Superintendent Patrick Rau reminded the board, and wants to remind the public of the opportunities to be a part of the solution for the future of the Peshtigo School District. The District has limited funds and costly facilities issues to address. A solution for Peshtigo Middle - High School is critical to the students who are educating now, and an effective plan will provide safe, up-to-date educational facilities to prepare students for their futures. We know that a winning solution is out there! All residents: City, Town and Rural are invited to attend a community meeting to learn about and discuss possible solutions.

The community has an opportunity to attend one of three community conversations. In order to provide opportunities for all residents to attend a meeting, there will be three different meetings held on three different dates. An in-person meeting will be held on Thursday, July 21 at 6 p.m. at the Peshtigo Middle-High School. On Monday, July 25 at 6 p.m., there will be an online zoom meeting with an access link at peshtigo.k12.wi.us and a second in-person meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 26 at 9 a.m., also being held at the Peshtigo Middle-High School.

The Board hesitantly approved the resignation of Neal Henrigillis as the Middle High School Social Studies Teacher and Varsity Baseball Coach. Board President Gary Larsen said, "I really would like to vote this down, I really would", but then reluctantly gave his approval of Henrigillis' retirement.

Hirings that were approved, included Ryan DeMarce as JV Assistant Football Coach and Sam Wargula as head Soccer Coach.

Donations received included Peshtigo Apparel in the amount of $397 for the Girls Soccer program; Provident Health Foundation of Marinette/ Menominee in the amount of $10,000 for the Elementary STEAM Program for the purchase of 2 hydroponic flex farms; $4,734 from Waupaca Foundry for the Elementary STEAM Program for the purchase of robotic kits and lastly, the amount of $397.56 from the Eagle Express Spirit Pump. As a side note, Rau added, "In an estimate, there was approximately $25,000 to $30,000 in donations given within the past year to our Elementary STEAM program".

STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics and it is a program that fills an important gap in education that uses access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue and critical thinking. The program combines subjects known to increase critical thinking and problem solving skills through unique hands-on learning opportunities. Using STEAM education results in students who take thoughtful risks, engage in experiential learning, persist in problem-solving, embrace collaboration, and work through the creative process. These are the innovators, educators, leaders and learners of the 21st century! 

Rau announced the new breakfast, lunch and milk prices with the recommendation of a $.10 cent increase across the board for breakfast and lunch. That will put breakfast at the Elementary level at $1.75 and lunch at $3.05. The Middle High School would be $2.00 for breakfast and $3.15 for lunch. Adults will be at $2.75 for breakfast and $4.75 for lunch and milk will increase to $.50 cents.

Summer School just finished classes the week of July 11 and Rau added, "I talked to Brian Williams, Director of Buildings, Grounds and Transportation for the School District and he feels good about the status of all the projects that were completed. We are in compliance but there was a document of findings that was shared with Buildings and Grounds. Over the next year, we have things to change and improve upon. The bathrooms at the Middle/ High School stall widths need to be wheel chair accessible and another big flag are the locker rooms that are not handicap accessible. The Girls locker room spaces are smaller than the boys locker rooms. If the referendum doesn't pass, we will have to come up with some kind of different solutions. Some are relatively easy fixes, but others are not".

Rau advised of upcoming items. Employee handbooks will be ready for the next meeting. With community referendum and community conversations, a special board meeting will be held to get feedback from the board to be held on Wednesday, Aug. 3 at 5 p.m. and Rau would like to see the Goals for the 2022-23 school year completed for a special board meeting to be held on Wednesday, Aug. 17 at 5 p.m. for review and discussion.


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