A Community Conversation was held June 5, 6 & 7, 2014.  The purpose of this event was to actively engage our community to develop a clear, shared strategic vision that will address the evolving needs of our students for a changing tomorrow.  This was a gathering of over 70 community members, parents, students, teachers, business leaders, government officials, senior citizens, alumni and others.


During this three-day event, we honored the PAST, examined the  PRESENT and explored possibilities for the FUTURE of our school district.  Below are results and information that was presented from this event.


Day One-Honoring the Past

The first evening started with the PHS Jazz band performing and a video of  "When I Grow Up" was presented.  Historical items and pictures were on display.  Time was spent by individuals and then groups identifying the Issues and Trends that impact our District's future.


The first activity focused on the past by asking participants to create a historical timeline from 1970 to date by answering the following questions:


Global:  What was going on in the world?

Education:  What was going on with me?

Community:  Significant events in our community.

Pop Culture:  What was going on?


From this timeline, participants were asked to brainstorm trends and issues impacting our school district and identify the top three for each group.


Issues and Trends (Top 3 of each group are highlighted)



Day Two-Focus on the Present and Imagining the Future


On day two, the PHS Choir performed to get things started.  Participants were divided into stakeholder groups (i.e. parents, students, business people, school board, teachers and administrators ) and asked to share their perspectives of what they see as Glads, Sads, and Mads  of our school district. 


Glads/Sads and Mads (Top 3 of each group are highlighted)


Identifying these Glads, Sads and Mads led to a discussion on the future and the identification of the Attributes and Skills our community desires in our students in 10 to 15 years.


 Attributes and Skills  (Top 3 of each group are highlighted)


The evening ended with the groups beginning work on presentations showing what the Portage Community School District would look like if structures were in place for each student to possess these skills and attributes in the year 2025.


Day Three-Creating and Planning for the Future


On day three, we got started with a video that was created by the 2012 Portage High School students to welcome new students.

Click here to see PHS Video   


Time was spent preparing presentations of the Portage Community School District in the year 2025.  


Click here for Presentations (1.5 hours) 


As the presentations were given, the other participants were asked to identify common themes and action items.  These common themes were shared onto paper and each stakeholder was given the opportunity to vote for the themes they felt were the most important.  


Voting Results


 The event ended with thank you messages from Mayor Bill Tierney, Board President Matt Foster, District Administrator, Charles Poches and a Thank You Video from the Portage Community School District students.



Going Forward...


The information gathered from the Community Conversation Event will be presented to the school board at the July 14, 2014 school board meeting.  The school board will establish a special meeting to develop strategies to address the community's common themes.  The result of this meeting will be shared publicly.  Please continue to visit this site for updates.  Thank you to all of the participants for the time invested and your valuable input.

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