COLOMA CLASS OF 1945… meet with the Class of 1944 in August at The Friendly Tavern in Coloma. Pictured are (from the left) front row: Don Johnson and Dawayne Biastock; Back row: Rosamond Becht Umphrey, Frances Swarsky Bisnett and Helen Baes Brooks.
COLOMA CLASS OF 1944… meet with the Class of 1945 in August at The Friendly Tavern in Coloma. Pictured are (from the left) front row: Virgil Umphery and Fred Munchow; Back row: Verlo Williams and Alma Arent.
Preliminary count day good for Coloma Schools, Board told; Business Manager quits, annual audit report deadline extended by State
By Annette Christie
Superintendent Peter Bush told the Coloma School Board some good news at their Monday, October 10 meeting. The preliminary count of students for the district looks good. Bush told the board that they had budgeted for a drop in 40 students; however, preliminary numbers look more like only eight students down. Bush noted that they do have more School of Choice students this year compared to last year. Bush said the official count should be in about 30 days. As the district prepares for their audit, an unexpected resignation has put a little snag in those preparations. Bush said that Catherine Fisher, the Business Manager, resigned as of September 25. The reason for the resignation was not given. The district has developed a relationship with a retired Finance Director from another district to help them prepare. Rob Burgess is now the Interim Business Manager while the district posts to fill the position permanently. Bush said that they have been in touch with the State of Michigan as far as the audit deadline and the state has agreed to work with the district on extending that if necessary. High School Principal David Ehlers presented some enrollment numbers for the enrichment programs at that grade level. Ehlers said that there are 40 students taking 44 courses online through Michigan Virtual University. Some of the examples of online courses include Sports and Entertainment Marketing, Music Appreciation, Astronomy, Computer Programming, and even the Mathematics of Baseball. There are six students taking nine different classes as dual enrollment with the college. For the Middle College or 5-year Senior program, there are two students taking six classes (this is the program where students can take classes at Lake Michigan College while attending high school, continue for five years instead of four and end up with an Associate’s Degree at the same time that they receive their high school diploma). In the advanced placement classes, there are 57 students enrolled, with 16 of them taking multiple AP classes. Ehlers said they were pleased with the numbers of students involved in the enrichment programs. Bush presented the reports of the district-wide testing mechanism M-Step (Michigan Student Test of Educational Purposes) scores from the spring 2016 testing. This is the second year of taking the M-Step and would present comparable data to the year before. Prior to this, the State of Michigan used the MEAP. Prior to the M-Step, Coloma students were for the most part performing slightly below the state average. Bush told the board there is still areas for improvement, however in some of the grade levels and subjects, students in the Coloma School District were above the state average and the county average. The test is given to third-eighth grade, and 11th grade. In other business, Bush had planned to present the new Coloma School District website to the School Board. While the link had been put up the website designer said it could take 48 hours to go live. He now plans to present it at next month’s meeting but did tell the board he would make them aware of when it went live.