THEY’VE MOVED… Coloma Watervliet Area Chamber of Commerce helped celebrate the official ribbon cutting of the new location of B&B Grocery at 337 E. St. Joseph St. in Watervliet. With ample and convenient parking at this new location, there is even more reason to shop and save in your hometown. The Chamber wishes owners Beth and Ben Wagner all the best as this family business makes the transition and continues to offer a wonderful selection of food and other items at bargain prices. Follow them on Facebook or call for more information at 463-5293. Pictured are (from the left): Linda Jackson, Debbie Cowgill, Tyler Dotson, Beth Wagner, Karla Smothers, Ben Wagner, Debbie Wilson and Rochelle Ulleg.
Hartford & Coloma schools among 72 to
receive academic improvement grants
By Jon Bisnett Seventy-two school districts statewide are receiving the proceeds of some $4.5 million in grants to increase academic achievement through high-quality educator instruction and administrator leadership, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) announced Monday, December 3. Under the Teacher and Leader Instruction Support Competitive Grant Program, $4,482,842 in federal Title II, Part A funding is being dispersed to 72 districts across Michigan. “I’m very pleased that this funding will help improve the skills of our state’s teachers and administrators and support our plan to make Michigan a Top 10 education state in 10 years,” Interim State Superintendent Sheila Alles said. According to MDE’s Office of Educator Excellence, the 72 grant-receiving districts were chosen in three rounds from a pool of 182 applicants. The grant review protocol was based on an application rubric resulting in scores of 0-63, with the first round was exclusively prioritized for academically-struggling districts. Title II, Part A allows grant recipients to use the federal funds creatively to address challenges to teacher quality, whether they concern teacher preparation and qualifications of new teachers; recruitment and hiring; professional development; teacher retention; or the need for more capable principals and assistant principals to serve as effective school leaders. In return, the districts are expected to see improvements in student academic achievement. “High-quality professional development” meets the criteria contained in the definition of professional development in Title IX, Section 9101(34) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Professional development includes activities that: Improve and increase teachers’ knowledge of academic subjects and enable teachers to become highly qualified; are an integral part of broad, schoolwide and district educational improvement plans; give teachers and principals the knowledge and skills to help students meet challenging state academic standards; improve classroom management skills; are sustained, intensive, and classroom-focused and are not one-day or short-term workshops; advance teacher understanding of effective instruction strategies that are based on scientifically-based research; and are developed with extensive participation of teachers, principal, parents, and administrators. Recipients in Round 1 are: David Ellis Academy West, Detroit Henry Ford Academy, School for Creative Studies –Detroit, Detroit Leadership Academy, Kalamazoo Public Schools, Detroit Public Schools Community District, Mildred C. Wells Preparatory Academy – Benton Harbor, Eastpointe Community Schools, Muskegon Heights Public School Academy System, Ecorse Public Schools, Saginaw Preparatory Academy, Grand Rapids Public Schools, William C. Abney Academy – Grand Rapids. Recipients in Round 2 are: Caniff Liberty Academy – Hamtramck, Hartford Public Schools, Coloma Community Schools, Johannesburg-Lewiston Public Schools, Dryden Community Schools, Manton Consolidated Schools, Eau Claire Public Schools, Mayville Community School District, Essexville-Hampton Public Schools, North Branch Area Schools, Freeland Community School District, Petoskey Public Schools, George Crockett Academy Detroit, Schoolcraft Community Schools, Gibraltar School District, Summit Academy North, Romulus. Hartford and Coloma plans for use Hartford Public Schools plans to use their funds to bring in an elite Professional Development Team from Michigan State University targeting all new teachers and those whose recent evaluations showed room for improvement. MSU will provide a multi-phase service including breakout training sessions and follow-up classroom monitoring of improvement techniques in action, according to Superintendent Andy Hubbard. Coloma Schools’ Director of State & Federal Programs, Peter Olsen, reports the district plans to implement their funds with a program known as Excellence in Education. With a focus on staff in grades 6-12, the program seeks to empower teachers with a method of “distributed leadership” with the intention to help lift the daily burden from building principals through implementation of teacher focus teams. Ongoing instructional sessions and classroom observation are included in the comprehensive package.
Two interview for Interim Superintendent position at Watervliet Public Schools