Merrill Area Public Schools ready for first day Tuesday

Back to School at Merrill School District
Published: Sep. 5, 2023 at 11:54 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 5, 2023 at 3:27 PM CDT
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MERRILL, Wis. (WSAW) - Reading, writing, and literacy doesn’t just happen during a typical school day. The Merrill Area Public School District is taking a unified approach as a new school year begins Tuesday.

It’s called Literacy Together, and MAPS has spent the summer identifying areas in need of improvement and coming up with solutions for the new school year. According to the Department of Public Instruction’s District Report Card, MAPS got an achievement score of 54. For both math and English, about a third of students are at proficient or advanced levels of achievement, and the other two-thirds are at basic or below. The solution is an approach to literacy not only in the classroom but at home as well. Over the summer, the administrative team met to develop one key focus, to ensure that students are able to effectively read and write.

“That’s our formal goal is to have all of our students succeed in their growth expectations for the year, and to really monitor those and check in on those data points and do the interventions and supports as needed,” said Shannon Murray, Superintendent at Merrill Area Public Schools.

Murray says families will be provided resources, ideas, and strategies that they can use at home on the first day of school. The team will be tracking their progress throughout the year and are hoping for success.

If your kids are returning to Merrill High School today, an interactive program is also returning this year with a new teacher and new opportunities. It allows juniors and seniors the opportunity to learn career skills in a field of their choice. It includes hands-on experience in the fields of agriculture, construction, communications, and health sciences, among many others. This is Steve Hintze’s first year as an assistant in the program. He says the goal of the program is to make students more employable in the future.

“They gain those occupational skills, they gain responsibility. That’s one of the jobs as the coordinators, we make them responsible to get all the paperwork that’s needed back to us. So, we can download it to the state, we make sure that they’re doing their jobs at the place of employment,” said Steve Hintze, Youth Apprenticeship Assistant at Merrill High School.

Hintze says that although sign-up happened at career day, interested juniors and seniors can still sign up for the program until all the spots are filled.