From the classroom to the grandstands to the greater Pelican area, Pelican school aims at ignition

“Ignite” is the word.

And Pelican Rapids High School students are spreading the word.

The Students and faculty have selected a special word that serves as an inspiration and guiding idea for the past couple school years.

This year, the intent is to “ignite” the student body.

“Catch fire or cause to catch fire” is the dictionary definition of ignite. At the Pelican high school, “ignite” is intended to drive students to perform well–be it acdemically, athletically, artistically or in daily personal relations.

Two years ago, the word was “rising,” which appropriately capitalized on the high school renovation and expansion–and the “rising” of a new gym and new fine arts auditorium.

The Pelican Rapids school board learned about the word for the year at the Nov. 20 meeting, from high school principal Brian Korf.

The Pelican Rapids Library was the location of an input-gathering meeting Nov. 16 with citizens and school officials, as the school focuses on “building the profile of a 2036 graduate.”
Students “mix it up” over lunch

Students are also being “ignited” to escape boundaries and interact with their classmates, unlike never before.

The effort is as simple as having lunch with somebody with whom you don’t ordinarily socialize. As Principal Korf explained to the school board, students are being encouraged to “step outside their comfort zone” through an organized, structured format.

Students are given a number, which is a table assignment. Students then have an opportunity to sit with students they don’t ordinarily have lunch with. The program is also an appropriate expansion on the multi-cultural awareness that has long been an emphasis in the Pelican schools.

As one of the most ethnically diverse rural school districts in the state, the image of multicultural students mingling together with no barriers has been an on-going objective.

Students urged to applaud one another

Students are also encouraged to “ignite” one another by showing support for one another as “Bleacher Creatures.” This isn’t only aimed at physically filling the bleachers for sports events; but also band, choir and academic endeavors. The general objective is to “cheer on” your fellow students as supporters or spectators-whether on the wrestling mat, the basketball court, performance stage or at the podium for a math or Knowledge Bowl competition.

Meanwhile, the school board and new Superintendent Randi Anderson are performing some “ignition” work in the greater Pelican Rapids area.

A marketing committee has formed; a brochure developed to promote the various academic programs and advancements; and Pelican school district residents are encouraged to participate in an online survey to help the school gather input (See accompanying story). Post cards were sent to district residents this week, with the message: “Working together to promote Pelican Rapids as an amazing place to live, work and learn.”

Two coffee sessions have been hosted by Superintendent Anderson, as an outreach to the community–as the school builds the profile of a 2036 graduate.

School officials deliver the word–on the road

School officials have been “on the road” as well, bringing the school motto “We learn, not for school, but for life!” to outlying areas. Superintendent Anderson and board members have paid quick, informal visits to township board meetings throughout the district.

“It’s been great to have a quick five to 15 minute conversation with the town boards,” said Anderson at the Nov. 20 school board meeting. “It’s a quick conversation; and we’re planting seeds to join us in our vision of building a profile of the Class of 2036 graduate.”

By the end of January, Pelican school officials will have visited every town hall in the district. Upcoming visits include:
Dec. 14 – Star lake
Jan. 8 – Norwegian Grove Town Hall – 7:00 pm
Jan. 9 – Elizabeth Township

Anderson has emphasized the goal of offering a “World Class” education. The Pelican Rapids Public School Mission Statement is a great guide, as the school, community and district-wide “ignition” process:

The mission of the Pelican Rapids School District, in partnership with home and community, is to provide a safe learning environment that promotes educational excellence for all students challenging them to become:
Lifelong Learners
Independent Thinkers
Respectful Individuals
Responsible Citizens