Our mission states that we exist to provide meaningful opportunities that challenge each student to reach their potential. Through strong connections with students, families, and the community, we will prepare our students with the 21st Century Skills necessary to compete in a global economy.
Accomplishing our mission can only occur if we are able to provide safe, secure learning environments. Our world has changed since the tragic events in Parkland, Florida on February 14. I recall the days, not so long ago, when school buildings had multiple access points that were open from dawn to dusk. People could come and go with minimal concern for what might happen. Those days are gone. Our current reality involves lockdown drills and debates over how best to address the issue of school safety. Personally, I would like to see school resource officers in all school districts and I call upon our government to step up and provide this added layer of security. Our children are our most valuable resource – we must do all that we can to protect them.
Since Parkland, schools across the country have seen a significant increase in the number of school threats. Thankfully, most of these are misguided attempts to gain attention. However, students and parents need to be very clear on the consequences of such threats regardless of credibility. Schools and law enforcement are taking the stand that enough is enough. School threats in some cases are being deemed terrorist threats carrying with them a prison term of up to 20 years. Michigan criminal law assesses fines up to $20,000 for using the internet or a computer to commit or attempt to commit a crime.
Parents are encouraged to talk with their children about school safety. Ask them if they feel safe at school and if they say no, find out why. Monitor their online activity. Look at their cell phones. And inform them of the consequences for misuse of technology. If something suspicious or concerning is found, please report it to school authorities.
Our schools will continue to provide instruction that prepares our students for successful futures. We will do so while also emphasizing the positive character traits necessary to a peaceful society.
School Facility Master Planning
I am excited to announce that our district recently signed a contract with Honeywell to provide energy conservation based improvements in our schools. This program provided a $2.56M zero interest loan to the district. These funds will be used to upgrade lighting across the district to more efficient LED technology. Also planned is a complete renovation of the HVAC system at the Elementary School that will provide new boilers, classroom unit-ventilators, and air conditioning. This work will commence this Spring with a goal of completion prior to the start of the new school year. These improvements come at no cost to the taxpayers of our district. That said, the Elementary school is now 64 years old and in need of additional improvements. Providing a single, secure point of entry is among those needs. Stay tuned for more information regarding opportunities to learn more about our facility needs and feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.