09-01-2016 Coloma Schools roll out Five Year Strategic Plan; Inspire to Achieve – Empower for Succes

By Annette Christie

 The Administration of the Coloma School District rolled out the results of a strategic plan process that began in September 2015 at a special meeting held Monday, August 22.  In an effort led by facilitator Dr. Tim Westerberg, the core team of 27 members worked to develop the plan that will guide the district for the next five years. The core team members included the Superintendent, members of the School Board, school level leadership, teachers, support staff, students, parents, and members of the community.  The team looked to determine the strengths of the district, identify the challenges it faces, recognize the opportunities that exist and develop a direction for achieving the goals and visions for the success of the students entrusted to the Coloma School District. The rollout of the plan took place at a special board meeting.  The board unanimously approved the plan as presented. The mission of the district is: We will inspire all students to achieve at high levels and empower them for future success.  Summarized, the mission tagline moving forward is “Inspire to Achieve – Empower for Success.” The vision of the district is: Coloma Community Schools is committed to providing a distinctive, contemporary education within a compassionate, structured environment which draws on our unique heritage.  We are determined to cooperate with families to produce independent, responsible, and confident citizens.  Summarized, the vision tagline moving forward is “Building a Culture for Excellence.” The team identified the core values or collective commitments. We believe: a high quality, nurturing, and collaborative staff inspire student success; school and community involvement develops students’ full potential and builds compassion, character, empathy, and Comet Pride.; a well-maintained, safe and secure environment is essential to student success; high expectations for all and celebrating goal-oriented growth and success inspires student achievement; a quality education addresses the academic, cultural, artistic, physical, social, and emotional needs of each student; and students and staff thrive in a culture of trust and respect that values individual differences. The team established four main goals for the district and outlined the actions needed to achieve those goals:  Student Achievement, Communications /Community Involvement, Campus Life, and School Finance & Facilities.

Student Achievement

 To increase student achievement and reduce gaps through precise, individualized learning, aligned with target outcomes and to increase choice offerings, access to post-secondary courses/credit and workforce readiness opportunities.  Teachers will collaboratively develop and deliver a guaranteed and viable curriculum, at each grade level and in each content area.  The district will achieve this by establishing Professional Learning Communities at each grade level and provide teachers the time to identify the standards and targets in which all students can reach proficiency.  All teachers will be teaching the same things and all students will be assessed the same way across all grade levels.  The district will be adding two late start days a month this year to help allow the teachers more professional development time to help accomplish this goal.  District staff will establish partnerships with parents through consistent communication focused on their child’s current level of performance and recommendations for future growth. The district will provide a 21st century learning environment through the integration of technology and critical skills in every classroom.  Students in grades 6-8 have Chromebooks available to them in the classroom and high school students this year will be assigned a Chromebook as well. The district will increase opportunities for students to earn college credit while in high school and will encourage parents and students alike to take advantage of these opportunities.  At the same time, the district will expand its workforce readiness offerings and opportunities and to develop partnerships with local businesses for information, internships, and employment opportunities.

Communication/Community Involvement

 Improve communications to create higher levels of awareness, trust, and Comet Pride.  Improve community involvement to create higher levels of awareness, trust, and Comet Pride. The district plans to improve and expand the various ways that communication is delivered and received by the families in its district.  A new district Facebook page was launched last week and has already received 200 likes.  The school’s web site is currently being re-configured to be more user friendly, and more mobile friendly.  They are hoping to have it up and running on the first day of school.  Principals will be using Twitter to communicate.

Campus Life

  Create a campus community where students and families are welcomed, involved and invested and provide a safe, secure, and inclusive environment with high expectations for all.   The district plans to promote student participation in the school environment beyond the classroom. Besides participating in extra-curricular activities, they also plan to encourage attendance and support for students, by students at those activities.  Comet Pride will be promoted heavily in all grade levels.  They plan to develop district-wide involvement in important school events like homecoming and graduation to increase participation and promote school spirit.  “Comet Pride” products and apparel will be affordable and accessible.

School Finances & Facilities

  Align expenditures with the mission, vision and core values established in this strategic plan while developing a plan for capital and facility improvements and maintenance that support the financial health and sustainability of the district long-term, while reflecting Comet Pride.  The district looks to provide budget proposals and initiatives that support district goals.  To prepare for the future care of the facilities and property, a system will be implemented to track preventative maintenance, routine maintenance, and minor repairs.   In addition, the district will establish a plan to update and maintain transportation vehicles and maintenance equipment.  Superintendent Bush told those in attendance, “We are driving around in buses that are 20 years old that have a value of about $5,000 and yet when they break it costs us about $6,000 to fix them.”  Through a new lease to buy option, the district is able to afford to purchase a few buses over the next few years to update that aged fleet.   In the final objective of the plan, the district will maintain an adequate general fund balance to conduct business while striving to achieve a state-recommended reserve of 15% in the general fund balance.

Police and Fire Reports

By Annette Christie

Citizens reminded to keep vehicles locked

  While the reminder this time comes from the Lincoln Charter Township Police Department, the message is one that Tri-City readers have received before, “Keep your vehicles locked, even if in your own driveway.”   Since August 2, that police department has been called to investigate 38 larcenies.  All of the reports, with the exception of one, involved unlocked vehicles.  Thieves seemed to be most interested in just whatever loose change or cash could be found in the vehicles, but in addition to locking vehicles, residents are reminded to remove valuable items from sight if left in a vehicle.

47 Recruits become Michigan State Police Troopers

  On August 26, Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, Director of the Michigan State Police administered the Oath of Office to 47 new Michigan State Police Troopers at the graduation ceremony of the 129th Trooper Recruit School in Lansing.    The 129th Trooper Recruit School began on March 27 when 60 prospective troopers reported to the MSP Training Academy in Lansing.  During their 22-week training, they received instruction in firearms, water safety, defensive tactics, patrol techniques, report writing, ethics, first aid, criminal law, crime scene processing and precision driving.   In order to be selected to attend the academy, all applicants, had to pass a stringent selection process that included a physical fitness test, background investigation, and hiring interview.   The 129th Trooper School is one of four scheduled this year.  Including these graduates, there are approximately 1,000 Troopers assigned statewide


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