06-27-2019 Coloma schools wrap up year on high note; Redwood Elementary students send Flat Stanley t

Coloma schools wrap up year on high note

By Annette Christie It was clear that the Coloma School District ended its 2018-2019 school year on a high note as each of the school principals gave their regular reports at the board’s Monday night meeting on June 10. High school principal Mike Churchill informed the board that Senator Kim LaSata presented the Spirit Trophy to the Coloma School District, for the second year in a row. The award is the result of a social media competition between school districts in her region. Churchill gave a shout out to the girls soccer team, girls softball team, and the baseball team that had great success in their seasons, and in some cases post-regular season. Junior high principal Wendy Tremblay said that the end of the year has been very busy. The Junior High Honor Club volunteered and participated in the annual field day event. The awards event was held and the 8th graders recently returned from their trip to Mackinac Island. Karra Hafer, Intermediate School Principal, said the fifth graders are in the process of finishing their kick ball tournament. The fifth graders completed their transition tour of the junior high while the third graders visited the intermediate school for a tour as well. Hafer said that the annual field day event was a huge success. She will have photos on Facebook very soon. She credited the many volunteers for helping to make the event such a success. She is working with the PTO in hopes of getting some more playground equipment for the grounds. Elementary school principal John Klein announced that there are 154 students that came in for the Kids Read Now program where children are provided three free books now and then get six more sent to them over the summer. Klein said every student from kindergarten to third grade has the opportunity to participate. If the students return in the fall after reading all nine books, they receive a prize. The second graders recently went on their year-end field trip to Binder Park Zoo and Klein thanked the PTO for funding the majority of the cost associated with field trips. He stated that he and members of the staff have been volunteering to go and watch their students participating in sporting events outside of school. He said that it has been well received by the students. Board president Heidi Ishmael commended Klein and the staff for doing that. “They need to know they are supported outside the classroom,” Ishmael said. Summer programs The district will once again sponsor a migrant school and the breakfast and lunch program from June 20 to August 1. The meal program is made available through the Meet up and Eat Up state funded program. All students are allowed to partake. The junior high and high school will also be holding summer school programs for students that need it. 2019-2020 The board meeting schedule was approved for the 2019-2020 calendar year. Most of the meetings are held on the second Monday of the month at 7:00 p.m. with the exception of the July meeting which will be on Monday, July 15 due to the holiday. Currently the board meets in the Coloma Intermediate School Media Center; however, Superintendent Dave Ehlers said they are looking at re-modeling an under-utilized classroom in the junior high into a meeting room where they could make their new home. It is expected that the transition from classroom to meeting room could be in January 2020. To accommodate the bus schedules and varying school schedules, Ehlers announced that the Elementary school start and finish times will be adjusted next year. They will move it up five minutes and get the kids off the school buses earlier. School will begin at 8:10 a.m. and end at 3:12 p.m.

Approvals A project that has been on their to-do-list has moved up the list quite a ways and will be completed this summer. With receipt of the Michigan State Police Safety Grant paying for some other items that were to be paid for from the sinking fund, Superintendent Dave Ehlers recommended a repair, replace, and paint project for all lockers in the high school at an estimated cost not to exceed $35,000. The board approved the project with American Office Services, Inc. The board did have to approve a resolution to reduce staff at the junior high and high school due to declining students in the areas of instruction. Mr. Timothy Rebb, a junior high social studies teacher, and Dr. Dale Quattrin, an engineering and drafting teacher, will be laid off effective August 1, 2019. Quattrin was also the Robotics coach. The future of the Robotics Team in its current form is unknown; however, Ehlers said he is working on finding a solution.

Doug LeClear resigns from board seat With sadness, the board accepted the resignation of board member Doug LeClear, effective immediately. LeClear has been a school board member for a total of 10 years. Ishmael presented LeClear with some “Comet Pride” items and expressed appreciation for all his work on the board. “You bleed green and gold and everyone appreciates it. Thank you for your years of services,” Ishmael said. After the meeting, LeClear said that he has a lot of things going on in life right now and he didn’t feel he could adequately give the school board the time that the job needed.

Redwood Elementary students send Flat Stanley throughout the USA

By Paul Garrod Tina King’s classroom at Redwood Elementary School in Hartford recently read about the adventures of Flat Stanley, a book written by Jeff Brown. In the book, Stanley has an unfortunate accident: A bulletin board falls on him during his sleep. Stanley’s family hears the noise and comes rushing in to find him flat as can be. Although Stanley is not injured, he finds now that he is a Flat Stanley. Flat Stanley finds that being flat can be helpful in many ways. In the book, his most heroic moment is helping the local museum catch two thieves. Stanley poses inside a picture and is able to alert the police when the thieves arrive. After a while, he doesn’t want to be flat any more so his brother has an idea – a bicycle pump. It works and Stanley is not flat anymore. King, a Van Buren Intermediate School District (VBISD) – Hartford teacher, said she first learned about Stanley when she was student teaching in a second grade classroom at Chime Elementary in Kalamazoo. “I feel that the project teaches my students many things. We talk about the post office, writing letters and how to address them, mailing letters and why we put postage on them, sending the letter, receiving a response, and sending thank you letters to those who participated in the project. Because Stanley can travel through the mail he can visit many people.” For the classroom project, King listed the places where Stanley traveled: Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office – Lieutenant Michelle Greenlee, Sgt. Beers, Sgt. Coleman, K9 Ajax and members of the day shift; Van Buren County Sheriff Daniel Abbott; Larry Leffew, teacher/principal, Campbell County Tennessee; Paul Garrod, The Courier-Leader, Paw Paw; Senator Aric Nesbitt, Lansing; Congressman Fred Upton, Lansing, Michigan and Washington, D.C.; Terri DeBoer and Matt Kirkwood News 8, Grand Rapids; Judge Kathleen Brickley, Paw Paw; Judge Arthur Clarke III, South Haven; Judge Michael McKay, Paw Paw; Susan DeLeo, teacher, Van Buren Intermediate School District; The Austin Family, Ft. Meyers, FL, on a spring break adventure; Gil Guzman, El Paso, TX, Hartford Public Schools; Jeff Mills, superintendent, Van Buren Intermediate School District; Chief of Police Jeffrey Hadley, Chatham County, GA; Chief of Police Karianne Thomas, Kalamazoo Public Safety; Hartford Police Department; Hartford Fire Department; Watervliet Police Department.