Coloma School Board shown appreciation
By Annette Christie The Coloma School Board held their annual organizational meeting Monday night, Jan. 13, followed by special activities at their regular meeting for school board appreciation. Principal reports High School Principal Mike Churchill showed a video presentation allowing the students in that school to say thank you to the board. Churchill said, “The secret to success is good leadership and you are our secret to success.” In his update to the board, he said it is pretty quiet just coming off of Christmas break but noted that the tutoring for students after school being provided by the National Honor Society students is about a month in. They hope to increase the number of students that are being helped with their school work. He said that the prom planning is going well and will be held at Hidden Pointe. Junior High Principal Wendy Tremblay introduced the leadership of the Student Council. They talked about some of the activities that they have and are planning followed by providing a plant to each board member. The Junior High is starting Care Cards – tokens given to students when they reflect the “Comets Care” expectations (Come ready to learn, Always be responsible, Respectful, and Exceptionally safe). Those cards can in turn be used to purchase things in the Care store, as well as being used for admittance to celebratory and fun things. On January 29, they will have their official kickoff celebration, with a school-wide picnic in the hallways, raffle prizes, and a game show. Prior to the winter break, the Student Council, which has representation in every home room, sought the votes from the students for dress up days and activities for the students on the last day before break. Intermediate School Principal Karra Hafer said that student of the month celebrations are happening. She invited the board to come to those celebrations. She will be bringing in U of M Baseball star and Houston Astros draft pick Jordan Brewer as a guest speaker on January 22. Brewer was one of her former students at St. Joe and will hold two different sessions with the kids. Elementary Principal John Klein announced that the district once again was awarded a literacy grant that will allow for the hiring of additional staff to come in and work with students specifically with their reading. He described that approximately five to six parents or community members are trained by the Literacy Coach and spend a set number of hours working with the particular students in need of additional reading work. He showed an appreciation video that highlighted the pre-school students. Business activity For the business portion of the meeting, Superintendent David Ehlers noted that the discussions of changing the school calendar to start prior to Labor Day are continuing. The district has asked the staff, to which 83% were in favor of changing the start of school year. Ehlers said parents will be surveyed next. The work is being done in conjunction with Berrien RESA (Intermediate School District). If the district opts to change the school year beginning date, it could go into effect in the fall of 2020. The Comet Connection Newsletter will soon be coming to all student households and school of choice households. Ehlers said it should be out near end of semester. Ehlers also updated the board on the disposition of real property owned by the district. The district owned some land near what used to be Pier School and had an interested buyer. The district is not using the property. As per policy, they listed the property through a realtor. The sale of that property is moving forward. The board approved Ehlers as their representative at the closing.