CommUNITY collaboration - How three hours can impact the Marinette School District action plan

By: 
Kaity Coisman

MARINETTE – Collaboration between community stakeholders and Marinette School District personnel could allow for alterations within the district.

A group of community members, staff members, Marinette School Board members and local businesses gathered to give feedback on issues and trends as well as successes and celebrations. This gathering was an attempt to advance the four district pillars, including educational excellence, inclusive & engaging culture to support teaching & learning, family & community engagement and resources & operations.

Marinette School District Superintendent Corry Lambie mentioned that the event allowed for an opportunity to try and engage with their pillar of family and community engagement while allowing this group to have a voice and help the district in the other three pillars.

The emphasis during the issues and trends portion was, “What issues and trends would you hope for the district to address for our future?” with the intent to revisit common themes for further discussion. One of the comments with the highest number of votes was the ability to prepare students for academic achievement and career readiness post-graduation.

“Focusing attention on academic achievement would be looking at things we are doing well and things we need to do better. We are not where we want to be right now, although we are pointed in the right direction as we look toward the future. Focus on academic achievement and how academic achievement relates to preparing our students and preparing our graduates for whatever their goals are after they leave the Marinette School District,” said Marinette School Board member Terri Florek in the representation of the board members table.

The votes this issue/trend received will ensure a narrowed examination of the topic during the next meeting. Other subjects voted toward further discussion included - before and after-school care, managing classroom behaviors and being consistent with managing behaviors across schools and classrooms in the district.

In the second half of the event, the groups discussed what they felt were some recent successes and celebrations within the district. This portion focused on “Where is the district hitting the mark?” and “What are we doing well but could potentially enhance?”

Included on the list of achievements was the student’s ability to have college opportunities at a young age and graduate with associate degrees, as well as a chance to graduate early. A group also mentioned that they felt the district was building positive relationships with students and families through positive phone calls and positive notes sent home. Assistant Principal Matt Draheim added, “So those are actually a really fun thing we get to do. In my role as the assistant principal, I don’t get to make a ton of those, but when I do, it does feel really good.”

When asked where administration learned the most, Lambie said both sections were eye-opening and highlighted different growth areas. “I think both sessions were a learning experience for us; I don’t think we learned more out of one area than the other. However, I think when issues and trends are brought forward it allows for us to bring them into consideration and put them in our action plan moving forward,” explained Lambie.

In future collaboration sessions with the community, Lambie mentioned there might be a different set of groups to marry common themes and provide different points of view.

The upcoming collaborative event will be on Wednesday, April 24, from 4-7 p.m. at the Marinette Intermediate School. This meeting will entail drawing lines between common themes and possibly putting together an action plan to start rectifying issues and trends in the district.

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