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Patriots Perspective: Update on year at PLHS

What a year at Pequot Lakes High School (PLHS)! We’ve had a great year and I thought I would take this opportunity to provide an update on this year and what is being planned for next year.

A number of schools are down to the final two to three weeks of school remaining; however, every school is already preparing for next fall.

One of the major initiatives that PLHS implemented this year was Ramp Up to Readiness. This program is offered through the University of Minnesota’s College Readiness Consortium.

Ramp Up to Readiness is a research-based advisory program that provides curriculum and programming for students in grades 6-12 centered on post-secondary readiness. All PLHS students and staff participated in the 26-week, 30-minute advisory sessions; and five monthly 60-minute workshops.

In these sessions, students developed individualized post-secondary plans based on current post-secondary programming and labor market trends. Our goal at PLHS is that every student understands the importance of having specific skills as part of a post-secondary training plan to compete in our global economy.

Ramp Up is part of our Pequot Lakes Public Schools plan to address the requirements of the World’s Greatest Workforce initiative through the Minnesota Department of Education.

Beginning in the fall of 2014, PLHS and the middle level will follow a similar seven-period day schedule. The significance of this change is that students will have greater access to elective courses.

Some of the new elective courses offered for students will be in the area of STEM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Math). These elective offerings were selected in response to labor trend needs for technically skilled employees.

Course titles include robotics, IT (information technology), biotechnology and medical careers. These new courses in combination with the robust Project Lead the Way courses currently being offered will provide exceptional opportunities for all students at PLHS.

I want to be sure to thank staff for taking on additional instructional opportunities for students at PLHS.

In addition, I want to acknowledge the investment Superintendent Chris Lindholm and the school board have made by adding one full-time staff member to allow this programming to happen.

This is a very exciting opportunity for our students and staff at PLHS.

On Wednesday, May 7, PLHS staff and students volunteered more than 2,000 hours of community service as part of the PLHS Day of Caring. This year the Day of Caring consisted of 67 projects across our entire region.

This event is an annual event and we look forward to adding projects for 2015. The Day of Caring also assists students in meeting their 10-hour volunteer graduation requirement.

As we approach graduation, I want to invite you to a number of upcoming events. On Wednesday, May 21, our entire staff and student body will participate in the Relay for Life.

That same evening, the Senior Awards night is scheduled for 6 p.m. for all seniors and their families. This event is semi-formal and we welcome any community members to attend.

The Hall of Fame induction will follow at 7 p.m. in the auditorium.

The following week, Baccalaureate is scheduled for May 28 at 7 p.m.; everyone is welcome to attend. This is a community, non-denominational event held in the high school auditorium.

Finally, graduation is scheduled for May 30 at 7:30 p.m. in the new athletic center, and again everyone is welcome to attend.