08-29-2019 Tri-City schools ready for students Tuesday; Parking issues continue in Coloma; 2019 Ber

GEORGE AND JANET LANE OPEN THE PARCOURSE… (photo above) Surrounded by many of those involved in raising funds for the newly renovated parcourse including on the right Brandi Smith, VP of Philanthropy, and Mark Libs, Fundraising Director, George and Janet Lane, namesake donors, cut the ribbon to officially open the new George and Janet Lane Parcourse at Spectrum Lakeland in Watervliet. The Lanes are longtime Watervliet residents and founders of Lane Automotive in 1964. The Lane family has a long history of philanthropic giving and has generously given to Lakeland Health through the years.

EASY-TO-USE EQUIPMENT… Lakeland’s Head of Physical Therapy Cyndi Forrester (photo on right) demonstrates how easy it is to use of one of the exercise machines along the parcourse, which is arranged into two quarter-mile loops, with eight exercise stations of various levels of difficulty situated along the course. (TCR photos by Teresa Smithers)

Tri-City schools ready for students Tuesday

Staff excited to hit the ground running on opening day

By Jon Bisnett The bell will ring on Tuesday, September 3 as the Tri-City schools open their doors for the 2019-20 school year. Coloma Community Schools plans for 1,300 students Coloma Superintendent Dave Ehlers was busy with staff meetings, so Business Manager Sarah Ashley reported the following for the Coloma District. No new administrators for the Comets this year, but new staff includes one at the high school, one elementary and two at the middle school. Advanced Placement classes are offered in the high school along with an Early Middle College arrangement with Lake Michigan College. Coloma is proud of the CTA (Career Tech) offerings which are touted to be the second largest in the county to provide students training in the skilled trades. Chromebook computers are at a 1 to 1 ratio for all students in grades 1st-12 with kindergarteners receiving tablets for their work. Projecting a 1,300 student enrollment, Ashley echoed the statewide need for bus drivers, but says they have all routes covered for fall. Coloma continues to expand on the mantra of “Inspire to Achieve… Empower for Success.”

Hartford Public Schools new teachers added

Superintendent Andy Hubbard shuffled the administration lineup with Athletic Director Nick Blackmer assuming a dual role as also principal of Hartford’s Alternative Education program. His absence from the classroom adds one new high school teacher, one new middle school teacher, and three new elementary teachers have also joined the team. Redwood Elementary Principal Chris Quist drops the “Interim” from her title and will formally take the reins of the elementary campus. Additionally, the district adds a new Public Relations Communication position to the administrative team. AP classes are expanded to now include English and Physics in addition to prior offerings of Calculus and Literature. Project Lead the Way classes are now extended to the middle school to provide collaborative STEM curriculum for grades 6-12. Capital improvements over the summer include new lockers and carpet at the middle school. Using resources from the leftover bond funds, new LED lighting has been installed in the older section of the Redwood campus. Hubbard touted a new initiative called Daily Five, which will be an unprecedented focus of on-site, ongoing staff training and implementation of literacy teaching skills at the elementary level. Working with Transportation Director Mark Clauser, Hubbard has added a 10-passenger full-size van to the Hartford fleet. The van does not require a CDL operator, thus allowing for smaller teams, such as quiz bowl or robotics, to be driven by their coaches without tying up a regular bus and driver. Like all districts, Hartford still could use an additional driver, but hopes are the new van may ease some stress of scheduling for special events.

Watervliet Public Schools eight new teachers added