MARINETTE — A $30.9 million referendum plan going to voters on Nov. 3 is about more than buildings, according to Marinette School District officials. It is also about a long lasting impact on student instruction and achievement.
The plan calls for consolidating district operations from six schools to four by closing two schools and building additions on two elementary buildings, Merryman and Park. All of the district’s pre-kindergarten through 4th grade students will then be housed in the two expanded elementary schools. Merryman will serve children in early childhood through 1st grade while Park will serve students in 2nd through 4th grade. The change means that for the first time across the district all students in the same grade level will be housed in the same building.
“This allows teachers to collaborate and create learning experiences aligned to learning levels,” explained Quality Assurance Director of Teaching and Learning Wendy Dzurick. “For students, this means they will begin and end their Marinette School District career with the same group of students.”
Since students will move through grade levels together, this arrangement will allow them to build bonds with all of their classmates, which will enhance all students’ social and emotional development. Students will also share common experiences at each grade level, such as field trips and other activities.
Teachers can work together more easily on personalized academic programming with all grade level teachers and support staff in the same place. Another advantage is the possibility of offering wrap around before and after school care.
The referendum proposal also includes updating aging infrastructure at Merryman and Park as well as at Marinette Middle and High Schools. The plan would add new features such as flexible learning spaces that can be adapted for large or small group instruction depending on student and teacher needs.
“All of these changes will assist our district in meeting our goal of building communities of learners in safe, healthy spaces that offer personalized learning opportunities as well as collaborative spaces to develop lifelong skills to become career and college ready,” said Superintendent Corry Lambie.
The district will be hosting the following virtual meetings in the upcoming weeks, with more information to be shared on the district website:
■ Sept. 9, 5 to 6:30 p.m., meeting for current and/or future elementary families
■ Sept. 10, 6 to 7 p.m., community public information meeting
■ Oct. 6, 6 to 7 p.m., community public information meeting
■ Oct. 10, 9 to 10 a.m., community public information meeting
■ Oct. 27, 6 to 7 p.m., community public information meeting
If the date, time, or format for any of the meetings change, the district will make the updates on its website.