02-09-2017 Hartford School Board briefed on Third Grade Reading bill; HHS Winterfest Royalty; Night

EDDIE’S DRIVE-IN… celebrated the official grand opening of their new dining area with a ribbon cutting surrounded by family, employees, municipal leaders, chamber members and loyal customers. Pictured during the Coloma Watervliet Area Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting are: (from the left) Zachary Gatchell, Hannah LaSota (former employee), Chana Kniebes, Yvette Holloway, Charles Hol-loway, Karla Smothers, Albert Patzer, Christine Otte and Sarah Spitzke. Stop in and see the roomy addition and updated facilities. We wish Charlie and Yvette Holloway much success with this beautiful upgrade to their popular restaurant. Eddie’s is located at 5036 Paw Paw Lake Road in Coloma; they have delicious food for dine in or carry out and also do catering, you can reach them at 468-2345.

Hartford School Board briefed on Third Grade Reading bill

By Jon Bisnett

The Hartford School Board February workshop began with a pizza party in appreciation of the middle school who served as hosts for the evening. A major part of that meeting was dedicated to a presentation from Jennifer Stubbs, Reading Interventionist for the middle school, who detailed H.B. 4822; Michigan’s recently passed Third Grade Reading law.

Middle school update

Behavioral Specialist Amanda Roundhouse brought the board up to speed on several programs recently presented in the middle school in the area of anti-bullying, suicide prevention and the State of Michigan’s OK To Say.

Armed with the sobering statistic that suicide is the number 3 cause of death among teens, Roundhouse is mentoring a 7th grade interactive video series that is presented to all students during their social studies class.

The theme “Acknowledge, Care & Tell” provides real-world scenarios to stimulate discussion among students as how to best deal with potentially destructive behaviors, be it their own or that of a classmate.

M.S. students had the privilege of a visit from the “Relentless Tour” with former Michigan State basketball player Anthony Ianni, the first known person with Autism Spectrum Disorder to play Division I college basketball. Ianni, veteran of two Big Ten championships, a Big Ten tournament title and a Final Four appearance, draws upon his own struggle with autism and confrontations with bullies to offer solid advice for kids who face bullying in their own lives.

Last but not least, OK To Say is a program that allows anyone confidential reporting of tips on criminal activities or potential harm directed at Michigan students, school employees, or schools.

Weighted GPA

High school counselor Sandra Trapp presented the case for a switch to “weighted” grade point average scoring for the high school. The concept would in essence assign a 5.0 point value to Advanced Placement and Dual Enrollment College courses to more accurately reflect the difficulty level of the curriculum and reflect same in the GPA of the student transcripts used in the college admission process. As a voluntary method, not in use by all Michigan high schools, Trapp made calls to many college and universities here in Michigan and determined that 16 of those queried stated that they would use the higher “weighted” GPA score, not for admission, but would be reported for the purpose of scholarships. The board will take the matter under advisement for a later vote.

Washington D.C. trip

M.S. staffer Jenn Stubbs reports she has 30 of her 35-student target for the 8th-grade trip to our nation’s capital scheduled for Tuesday, May 30 through Saturday, June 3. The tour will include visits to the national memorials plus Mount Vernon, the Smithsonian, Ford Theater and a special honor for the group to take part in the placing of a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery.

Early literacy – Third Grade Reading law

Stubbs shared the bullet points of an unfunded mandate out of Lansing; H.B. 4822, the Third Grade Reading bill.