LUKSHAITIS: October and going strong at PRAS

By Matt Lukshaitis

Pine River Area Schools Superintendent

As we hit the end of the fifth week of the new school year, people ask me, "So, how’s it going this year at Pine River?" Some of the folks who ask are parents, some are teachers and some are students. Occasionally, this question is asked by other educators, coaches or visitors here from the Wexford-Missaukee Intermediate School District or other districts.

When Pine River staff, teachers, parents, coaches or students ask me, I say, "We are having an awesome year! Overlooking our football field and track, we have a new concession stand, courtesy of the Buck Pride Group — basically a $160,000 donation from a dedicated group of coaches, community members, teachers, administrators and one phenomenal individual (who contributed half the funding, thank you so much Mr. Rob Feeley). We have new technology — six grades out of nine have one-to-one Chromebooks in the 4-12 building — new interim assessment programs to help students and teachers understand where we have gaps in the curriculum and where we have student growth, and we are implementing new K-5 and 6-12 school improvement plans!"

Our School Improvement Committee spent a year studying our academic strengths and weaknesses and we have developed a solid plan for addressing our areas of concern. As a result, this summer we conducted extra days of teacher training for Chromebook use and project-based learning.

How are things going this year? Well, things are going great due to a dedicated teaching and support staff, parents and administrators who care, and students overflowing with pride!

When folks outside the community ask me, I look at them at say, "It’s a great time to be a Buck!"