We have reached and passed the one hundredth day of school. Students completed collections of 100 things to share, they also participated in many fun centers revolving around the number 100...including bouncing a ball or hula hooping 100 times, making a fruit loop necklace made from 100 fruit loops, 100 shaped eye glasses, and a snack of 100 things to eat, plus many more fun activities.
The East China School District is considering implementing a Year Round School Program at selected grade levels in selected buildings. Before doing so, we need to know whether or not such a school calendar would be something you are interested in for your elementary school student. After reading through the information presented here, including a draft Year Round School calendar available here, if you are interested in your student(s) participating in a Year Round School Program, or learning more about Year Round School Programs, please complete a survey available here by March 5th.
We are asking for information from those families interested in Year Round Schools so that 1) we may understand the amount of interest and 2) provide them with additional information. No family is going to be forced into a Year Round School Program that does not want to participate. If you are not interested, or such a school calendar does not fit your family at this time, that is perfectly understandable.
Year Round School Programs contain the same number of school days as a traditional school year calendar, but the days are spread out over twelve, not ten months, so as to prevent long gaps in students’ learning and the “slippage” that occurs during those long gaps. The National Summer Learning Association provided the following information:
Additional information regarding the educational advantages of Year Round School programs is available below.
Because the same number of school days is spread out over twelve months, breaks occur either at different times than a traditional schedule or provide additional days around holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. Many families and staff participating in a Year Round School program have found that these non-traditional break times allow for “off-peak” vacation opportunities, though this would not be the case for families with students on both a Year Round elementary calendar and a traditional secondary calendar.
Again, if you are interested in participating in a Year Round School program or learning more about them, please complete the survey available here by Wednesday, March 5th so that we can make sure that you are invited to all future meetings or receive additional information on Year Round School programs.
NBC News – Summer Learning Loss (video clip)
Time Magazine – The Case Against Summer Vacation
Johns Hopkins University – Lasting Consequences of the Summer Learning Gap
Each Wednesday morning after announcements, Ms. Jan Cornish, P.E. teacher, leads the students and staff in a short workout called “Workout Wednesday.” Ms. Cornish does a fabulous job of leading and motivating everyone with fun music, positive reinforcement, and good tips on how to stay healthy. In addition, the students are given a task that requires them to do some kind of active energetic activity while the workout music is playing over the P.A. system. These activities include hula hooping, running in place, crab walking, bear crawling, sit-ups, push-ups, jumping jacks, etc… For many years now, “Workout Wednesday” has become an exciting part of the positive culture at Palms Elementary.
Lucas Francis, 6th grade, wins the overall Grand Prize with his Non-Fiction entry, titled Positive or Negative…You Choose.
Colby Walker, 6th grade, wins an Honorable Mention with his Fiction entry, titled Muted.
The St. Clair County Community Mental Health Middle School Writing Contest is in its 7th year. The Writing Contest helps promote May is Mental Health Month.
This year's theme, "A Positive Environment Leads to Recovery" was selected to help educate the public about mental illnesses, developmental disabilities, and/or substance use disorders.
Our 8th grade STEM students recently engaged in a friendly competition designed to put their problem solving and programming abilities to the test. Joint teams, consisting of students from MCMS and SCMS, programmed their VEX robots to tackle student created challenges. Whether navigating through a maze, balancing on a dowel, or placing Ping-Pong balls in a container, our STEM students and robots performed flawlessly! Congratulations to our STEM students on a great day of learning.
The VEX Robotics platform is used to enrich and enhance the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) course. Autodesk's VEX Robotics Curriculum is designed to help students master the fundamentals of robotics and the engineering design process while learning to use industry-leading Autodesk® Inventor® design software and the leading classroom robotics solution, VEX Classroom & Competition Robotics Kits.
Due to the number of days lost because of inclement weather and adverse road conditions, the East China School District has extended the school year by one day. Friday, June 13, 2014. Previously, this day was a non-student teacher records day, but now will be a school day for all students. High school and middle school exam schedules will be modified to accommodate this change. In the event of another snow/extreme weather condition day is called, Monday, April 21, 2014, will also be added as a student day. This is currently a non-school day. Should additional days of grace be afforded schools, the District will return to its original schedule.
Last month, I asked the community to enter into a deal with me – I’ll make sure that as information is gathered and presented related to the budget shortfall and programming changes, that information will be posted here for everyone to see. In return, I asked if you have questions or opinions about any of the information or hear things that don’t sound right, you contact me.
So, with that in mind, I have to say a great big thank you to those of you who have taken the time to listen to the presentation, reflect on the information, and then compose very thoughtful responses. Well over fifty staff, parents, and community members have either contacted me directly or expressed their ideas and concerns at last night’s Board of Education meeting. Any input that I receive that is not also copied to Board members I have anonymously shared with them so that they too have an understanding of ideas and concerns express.
That brings us to last night’s Board of Education meeting. The purpose of last night’s meeting was two-fold – 1) to update the Board and community on any changes to the information presented in January based on new developments such as Governor Snyder’s proposed budget, and 2) to provide the Board and me an opportunity to hear from community members so as help guide us as plans to address the shortfall are refined. Here I must apologize for something though out of my control, is not consistent with the transparency I work to achieve. This morning, we were notified by CTV staff that the audio of last night’s Board of Education meeting did not tape. Without the audio, the video is useless. It’s difficult to share just how upset I am right now – not at anyone because “stuff” happens, but this is just not the right time for something like this to occur. Again, I apologize.
One of the many good suggestions presented last night was for community members to become more politically active by contacting their representatives regarding school funding.
Below are links to the presentation slides, and State Senator Phil Pavlov’s and State Representatives Dan Lauwers and Andrea LaFontaine’s websites.
Senator Phil Pavlov 517-373-7708 http://senatorphilpavlov.com/
Representative Dan Lauwers 517-373-1790 https://danlauwers.com/
Representative Andrea LaFontain 517-373-8931 http://votelafontaine.com/
As we continue to work through these difficult times, please continue to share your thoughts, ideas, and concerns with Board Members and me – thank you.
Mornings can be really crazy…the alarm doesn’t go off…the kids don’t want to get up…there’s no time to eat breakfast before the bus comes…or they’re just not ready to eat. Or maybe your teenager grabs a can of soda and a candy bar on the way to school. If this sounds like your house, we have good news for you.
Breakfast is served at school! School breakfast will give your child a healthy start to the day. A nutritious breakfast helps students be more alert so they can learn more in class. Breakfast has vitamins and nutrients for a strong and healthy body.
Breakfast at school is affordable, too. If you qualify for free and reduced price meals, you also qualify for the breakfast program, with no additional paperwork. You can’t find a healthy breakfast at such a low cost anywhere else.