PITTSBURG — St. Mary’s Colgan High and Junior High Schools are working to create community through a school-wide program called the Community System.   

The schools are joining high schools within the Catholic Diocese of Wichita by using the community system. According to Youth Evangelization Coordinator Allison McCormick, the program helps foster community within the school and beyond.

“We are working on better cohesiveness at school,” McCormick said. “The students take pride in what class they are in, but we want to expand it through the whole school.”

St. Mary’s Colgan also welcomes McCormick — who graduated in 2010 — back to the school as a coordinator.

“I was away for a bit and I just knew I needed to come back here,” McCormick said. “It’s been great to see the changes that have happened here.

“I’m glad to be back in this environment and be back in the place that gave me so much while I was here.”

In addition to in-school communities, the goal of the community system is to connect the students with people outside of school through services such as volunteering at The Lord’s Diner and picking up trash.

The schools also aim to resolve issues such as bullying, anxiety and loneliness, McCormick said. It can also improve “soft skills” such as communication and leadership, she said.

To help foster more community between the students, freshman through senior year students have been grouped into three “communities” and those communities were placed into smaller groups, called houses. Seventh and eighth grade students will be grouped similarly.

Next week, the students will select the which saints their group will represent.

The “houses” will meet daily to work on community projects. They will also work together during spirit week, pep rallies and youth ministry events.

— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at spotter@morningsun.net or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.