03-23-2017 Coloma School Board approves Mexico trip; Coloma Baseball Meet and Greet event this Satur


Coloma School Board approves Mexico trip

By Annette Christie

The Coloma School Board approved a school supported trip for Spanish teacher Matt Ford at their Monday, March 13 meeting.  Ford hopes to get between 25 to 35 of his Spanish students in attendance on a trip similar to one that he has taken at a previous school. The High School level teacher told the board he is interested in taking students to Mexico next spring break.  In his initial inquiry to students, he had 35 show interest.  At a recent informational meeting held, 13 students/parents attended, but some were unable to attend.

While the school will not be financially responsible, Ford wanted the school board’s support so that the students on the trip will be expected to follow school rules while on the trip.  He is choosing to go on spring break 2018 vs. the summer because it is harder to enforce school trip rules if they are seniors who have graduated.  Ford will be working with Interact Travel, a company out of Green Bay. This is the same company that he worked with previously while employed at another school district. Ford said that he currently has two chaperones scheduled in addition to the guide that will be provided by the travel company.  Ford plans on a 12:1 ratio for chaperones and will not go over that number.

Principal David Ehlers told the board that 20 parents attended the recent Freshman orientation at high school.

Principal Peter Olsen announced that the 7th and 8th grade band members recently went to festival and did an outstanding job. They had a good following that came to support them at the competition.

Principal Darla England said that March is Reading Month at the Intermediate School.  They have been bringing in some guest readers twice a week and have included   Chiropractor Dr. David Moss, state senators, state representatives, the superintendent and board members. Every Friday during the month they have a new book drawing, where each student who does the required reading can have their name put in the drawing for a new book. They are also in the process of organizing a school wide book swap. The 5th graders just took a class trip to the planetarium and very soon the 4th graders will be going to the underground railroad in Dowagiac.

Elementary School Principal Krista Behnke said that on March 27 and 28 the school will hold its annual Kindergarten round-up. On May 11 and 12 the screening for Kindergarten will take place. They are also celebrating March as reading month with a superhero theme. Behnke said lots of visitors have been coming in to read to the elementary students including student athletes.

Superintendent Peter Bush reported to the board that the unofficial count that was previously discussed was a little off.  At last month’s meeting it was reported that this year’s count was right about where they were last year at this time. As it turns out there were a couple of errors in the count and they are actually down 16 students after all.  Bush said they are still well below what they had budgeted for.

Roger Arndt said there has not been much in the way of maintenance needs but he did go over those few.   There was recent roof repairs completed at the high school in the amount of $1,700.  There is a boiler issue at the Coloma Elementary with the equipment that was installed in the sixties.  The circulating pump in the boiler is on a metal frame base that is rusting. Arndt received approval for the cost to replace the pump, frame, and needed hardware to make it new in the amount of $7,208.50.  The amount will be paid out of bond proceeds.

Arndt also presented a landscape management proposal for the football field.  The district has been having issues with color and overall condition of the grass. The company that installed it has assessed it and found that it is in need of proper aeration and fertilizing.  The board approved up to $7,320 for the service.

Coloma Baseball Meet and Greet event this Saturday

This Saturday, March 25 at the Coloma High School gymnasium the high school varsity and JV baseball teams are hosting a meet and greet team event. The event runs from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and includes a large silent auction to benefit Coloma Baseball and free instructional clinic for youth players.

The group encourages local youth players and their families to attend with T-ball-aged children and older. Contact Coach VanPeteghem at 468-2400 for more information.

COLOMA HS BAND STUDENTS… earn ratings at State Solo & Ensemble Festival. On Saturday, March 18, State Solo & Ensemble for our region was held at Po