02-07-2019 Coloma Winterfest; Bellinger 50th Anniversary

50th Wedding Anniversary for John & Linda Bellinger

John and Linda Bellinger of Benton Harbor celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on January 26, 2019 at Coach’s Bar and Grill in Stevensville hosted by their children.

John Bellinger and the former Linda McCauley were married January 25, 1969 at Twelve Corners Community Church. Their children are Karen Reinhardt of St. Joseph and Kurt Bellinger. They have five grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. John served in the U.S. Air Force and later went on to be a civil engineer for Merritt Engineering. Linda worked as a legal secretary at Gary Hosbein Law Office.

They are members of Twelve Corners Community Church.

Sweetheart Banquet to benefit Pat Rosier heart transplant Hartford Federated Church (HFC) will be hosting a Sweetheart Banquet Saturday, Feb. 16 at 6:00 p.m. The goal of the evening is to enjoy a meal, a Bible based game, and message as they support a woman in the community with a serious medical need. Pat Rosier is a resident of Hartford and in need of a heart transplant. HFC is providing the catered meal and 100% of the $10 ticket price will be donated to Rosier’s transplant fund. Tickets are available through the church office, call 269-621-4521 or email hfcbible@gmail.com Donations can be sent directly to this cause at National Foundation for Transplants – Michigan Transplant Fund in honor of Patricia Rosier, 5350 Poplar Ave. Ste. 850, Memphis, TN 38119.

Elvis will be at Coloma FOP St. Jude Fund-raiser, Feb. 16 On Saturday, Feb. 16 Coloma FOP Lodge 147 is hosting a St. Jude Fund-raiser “A Night With Elvis” starring Tim Dudley. Tickets are $10 and include an all you can eat spaghetti dinner served from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. The fund-raiser is 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. with showtimes of 6 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. This event is open to the public. There will be raffle prizes and a 50/50 drawing. The lodge is located at 3470 Angling Rd. in Coloma. Call Herb Fickett at 269-208-3380 for more information.

Hartford School Board updated on Middle School programs

By Jon Bisnett The February Work Study meeting of the Hartford School Board held on Monday the 4th yielded the bulk of an otherwise light agenda to an extensive look at innovative educational programs at work within the Middle School. Board policy Vice President Mike Banic presented material for the board’s review in regard to recommended policy updates dealing with communications both internal and with the general public. The task of modern school communication is best described as a constantly moving target of maintaining a delicate balance of meeting state mandates, student and personnel confidentiality as well as clear transparency in an arena of unprecedented modern electronic media with the ability to respond quickly, efficiently and correctly when communicating to the general public, parents and staff. Banic described the matter as one that will most likely need ongoing annual review as the playing field moves too quickly to expect any policy related to communications to remain unaltered for very long. Board retreat With an upcoming retreat scheduled in March, the board expressed a desire to perhaps bring in a facilitator from the Michigan Association of School Boards to provide a presentation on their administrative review process and/or effective district communications. Middle School update Middle School Principal Ken Mohney took center stage with an extensive look into the inner workings of several innovative and successful educational programs and techniques implemented by the educational team under his charge. Mohney described the main initiatives in support of HMS School Improvement goals as: Improving reading literacy and comprehension, increasing math proficiency and supporting positive school climate. Multi-tiered systems of support Hartford Middle School takes part of an area wide learning cohort facilitated by VBISD. In this guided process, schools examine curriculum, unit lesson plans and behavior systems in order to identify and implement instructional strategies that address the needs of all students. ALEKS – Math proficiency HMS is implementing the ALEKS digital education program from McGraw-Hill Education. Assessment and Learning through Knowledge Spaces (ALEKS) uses artificial intelligence software to adapt to specific learner needs and, along with teacher guidance, provides a personalized learning experience in which the program challenges the student at a skill-appropriate level and then increases the difficulty as concepts become a foundation for the student to move on to a higher level. Twenty to thirty students per grade level are involved in this opportunity for high-tech individualized instruction. Reading comprehension Combining forces of the HMS Instructional Coach, ELA Department and ESL support staff, the team received training and have now implemented reading and comprehension strategies in the classroom that are used in all subject areas. Additionally, daily school-wide reading time is scheduled in order for students to enjoy reading while accomplishing their accelerated reader goals. Extended Learning Opportunity HMS offers the ELO after-school program for students to receive individual academic support in all subject areas. Several students take advantage of this opportunity in order to increase their academic status. Mohney describes the program as “fluid” noting anywhere from 10 to 30 students may participate at any given time based on their individual needs, be it merely study for an upcoming test or more in-depth help with homework or general concepts of a given subject. Science Curriculum Along with Next Generation Science Standards, the newly implemented Project Lead the Way (PLTW) at the 6th grade level, the 2019-20 school year will see 7th and 8th grade included in the PLTW project based, hands-on resource allowing students to apply their skills and knowledge in real-world applications that support Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) initiatives. Peer 2 Peer HMS Special Education is piloting the Peer 2 Peer program as part of the Southwest Michigan Autism Resource Team (SMART) which matches higher functioning students, serving as role-models, with students that typically struggle with basic day to day functions like organization and planning. Peer2Peer students meet regularly with a building coach to receive specific training in how to improve and apply their role-model skills. District staff instructional rounds Teachers visit other classrooms throughout the district to observe and learn from other teachers in a strictly non-evaluation environment. This model of sharing and learning is used extensively in the medical profession and is becoming more prevalent and important in educational settings. Eventually, we would like to see instructional rounds expand so that educators are learning from each other through instructional rounds in other school districts. Positive behavior HMS uses positive behavior incentives to reward students for displaying good character and for making good decisions in school. Evidence through decreased office referrals and discipline log entries is showing that this approach is effective in reducing negative consequences for inappropriate behavior. BE N.I.C.E. Initiated by the MS National Junior Honor Society and Health/Physical Education Department with funding from the Hartford Foundation, BE NICE is a school-wide character and mental health education program that improves school climate by encouraging students to show respect toward one another by accepting their differences and offering help to students who may be struggling in school or at home. Student activities The Middle School offers a number of after school activities for students beyond athletics which offer an opportunity to enhance and apply their skills in a real-world competitive environment such as Science Olympiad, Robotics Team, Quiz Bowl, Art Club, National Junior Honor Society, Student Council, Mathaletes and Outdoor Adventures. Board members tour Middle School At the conclusion of the presentation the board toured the Middle School campus as Principal Mohney and Superintendent Andy Hubbard pointed out facility upgrades including replacement of lockers, a new divider curtain for the gymnasium, replacement of hallway carpet, new stand-up desks for the Social Studies classroom and a replacement high-efficiency water heater. Having no further business President Ben Chambers adjourned the meeting. The board meets next for the February Business Session on Monday, Feb. 18 at Central Office.

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