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Incredible Community Partnerships

posted Mar 21, 2018, 7:06 AM by Brenda Williams
The Pequot Lakes Schools strategic plan adopted in June 2014 calls for strong partnerships with our local community to support the great work of our staff and the magic of student learning. Many wonderful partnerships already existed when the plan was adopted, including but not limited to upgrading the school district facilities to support growing enrollment, a strong Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) that raises thousands of dollars each year to support students, local business support for the district’s Project Lead The Way program, and the Watch D.O.G.S. program providing an adult male volunteer every day at Eagle View Elementary. In addition, the Patriot Activities Club (PAC) has provided tens of thousands of dollars to support student activities, local businesses privately fund fan buses for state and section tournament games, the city and school district partner to employ a school resources officer, district leadership meets with local clergy each quarter to maintain positive relationships, and PLHS students volunteer annually providing a Day of Caring to local community members. With so many great partnerships already in place, the call to increase and improve community engagement with the school district looked to be a daunting task back in 2014.

Without question, strategic partnerships with our local communities are stronger and even more meaningful nearly four years later. Along with the continuation of everything mentioned above, PLHS hosted the third annual Career Fair in February with over 90 community volunteers onsite to help interview students and will host the first Summer Job Fair on March 22nd in partnership with the Pequot Lakes Chamber and the regional Bridges program. Pequot Tool provides incredible local support for the recently launched - and successful - Robotics program, the Executive Chef at Breezy Point Resort volunteers routinely as a teacher/mentor for ProStart - our new culinary arts program, and several PLHS students have participated in successful internship experiences in local businesses already this year. It can be hard to believe, but the list continues… The Central Lakes Rotary Club is in the second year of providing 12 - 15 mentors for high school students as part of the STRIVE program, the Patriot Foundation is currently being relaunched in partnership with the Initiative Foundation to support scholarships and local innovation grants, Youth Frontiers retreats are funded locally each year for four grade levels, and the Greater Pequot Lakes Community Foundation is currently being launched to support community efforts with the school district represented on the advisory board. Finally, the Pequot Lakes Chamber, the City of Pequot Lakes, and the school district are partnering strategically to jointly employ a part-time Communications Director.

Listing just some of our community partnerships has this article approaching the word count maximum, illustrating just how much we all love being Patriots! And oh, I forgot to mention Kinship Partners, and ”externships” for teachers this summer, and reading volunteers, and Grad Blast volunteers, funding for portable bleachers, GLAPA, HS/MS tutors, Junior Achievement presenters, and the list goes on…

-- Chris Lindholm, Superintendent of Schools