Shall East China School District, St. Clair County, Michigan, borrow the sum of not to exceed Two Million Eight Hundred Ten Thousand Dollars ($2,810,000) and issue its general obligation unlimited tax bonds therefore, in one or more series, for the purpose of purchasing school buses?
<<Click here>> to watch a 4 minute video explaining the proposal.
<<Click here>> for a printable informational flyer.Question? Contact: Steven Skalka, Superintendent
On Tuesday, October 7th our High School Marching Bands competed in the MSBOA District XVI Marching Band Festival at Memorial Stadium in Port Huron. At the Festival, Marching Bands are adjudicated by three judges one in each of the following captions: Music, Marching and General Effect Showmanship. A group may enter any classification the director chooses. A final rating is determined by a predominance of ratings. Each band has a 15 minute block of time to enter the field, perform their show and exit the field.
The Mariner's theme was Walt Disney's The Sounds of Fantasia. The Saints' theme was Monte Python and the Holy Grail. Both Schools Earned Division I ratings.
The healthychildren.org website published an article outlining what parents need to know about Enteroviruses. Here are a few snipets of the article. The whole article can be read on their website: http://healthychildren.org.
Currently, there are no cases of Enterovirus D68 in St. Clair County.
Enterovirus D68 is not new. It was first isolated in 1962 but has been rarely reported since then. Enteroviruses of various types cause about 10 to15 million infections each year in the US, usually in the late summer or early fall. This year's outbreak includes a new type that has been associated with many cases throughout the US causing unusually severe respiratory disease in some children.
How are enteroviruses spread?
Enteroviruses are spread by close contact with an infected person. You can also become infected by touching objects or surfaces that have the virus on them and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes.
How are enteroviruses treated?
The vast majority of children with enteroviruses such as EV-D68 have mild symptoms and do not need any medical care beyond what is done for the common cold. A number of children with asthma and even some without a prior history of wheezing have had unusually severe cases of EV-D68 resulting in hospitalization; some requiring treatment in the intensive care unit.
Children with high fever and those with cold symptoms lasting longer than 7-10 days should talk with their pediatrician. Those with difficulty breathing should seek emergency care.
Important information for children with asthma:
This virus seems to be particularly hard on children's lungs. Therefore, it is especially important for children previously diagnosed with asthma to follow their asthma action plans and communicate with their primary care provider to know what to do if they get into a yellow or red zone.
To reduce the risk of infection with enteroviruses:
Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after changing diapers.
Avoid touching, eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick.
Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.
Stay home when feeling sick, and consult with your health care provider.
Skylert is East China School District’s automated phone message delivery system. Skylert is used to notify parents about important, time sensitive information including: school closings, unexcused absences, lunch account balances and even missing homework assignments. Parents have control over both the content (which notifications) and the format (how those are shared) of the notifications.
You can change your Skylert preferences by logging into Skyward Family Access and click on the Skylert menu item.
After you have clicked on the Skylert menu item you can adjust your notification preferences.
When finished make sure you click on the “Save” button located in the upper right.
The same Skylert preferences are used for all of your children. You only need to set your preferences once.
If you need to change your contact information, contact your child’s school.
Skylert does support Text Messaging. Before signing up, please keep in mind that standard texting rates apply.
The Palms Elementary 4th graders went to Goodells Park and attended "Project Red" (Rural Education Day) and learned about a variety of hands on agricultural topics. The students learned about Michigan produced foods like sugar, molasses, honey, and much more. They also learned about different farm animals, how farmers maintain these animals, what the uses of the animals are, and how the animals provide us with food and other resources. This was a great afternoon for the students as they got to ask questions, have hands-on experiences, and learn about how farming and agriculture are important in our every day lives.
In response to the Board of Education's action at their September 8, 2014 meeting to close an elementary school for the 2015/16 school year, Dr. Skalka presented initial information related to how enrollment, classroom space, facility considerations, and other factors may impact a final decision. The information was presented to the Board as both a written narrative report and PowerPoint presentation. This information, along with the Channel 6 video of the meeting are available below:
At last night's Board meeting, Board of Education members acted decisively and responsibly to address the structural deficit problem that exists in the District. Specifically, the Board voted 5-2 to approve the following motion - "For 2015/16, the Board of Education votes to direct the administration to close an elementary school."
The administration is now charged with developing options for the Board to consider. Beginning at the September 22 meeting and over the next several months, various scenarios and supporting information will be presented and refined for the Board to discuss, reflect upon, leading to eventually a decision that gives us appropriate time to implement.
The Board meeting schedule is available on the District website at: http://www.ecsd.us/index.php/ecsd/board-of-education/meeting-schedules.html
As this discussion moves forward, our work goes on. Just this morning, I joined Brenda Tenniswood and the elementary principals at Palms Elementary School for a discussion and classroom observation aimed at building common understanding of effective math instruction. The work being done in the classroom by the teacher and students was outstanding, the conversation afterward rich with ideas, and overall another example of the great work being done throughout classrooms in the District.
With this in mind, I am asking for your help and support to not engage in speculation and to stay positive. Our parents and students look to us to be examples of reassurance that day to day we will not lose sight of our purpose to be influential adults providing excellent academic, arts, and athletic experiences.
Thank you for all you do on behalf of your school communities, the District, and one another,
The District contracts with NEOLA, a company that monitors State and Federal legislation to develop policy language based on new or changes to existing legislation. NEOLA provides districts with a link to the Districts' policies hosted on their servers.
As part of their effort to be more transparent in the operation of the school district, the East China Board of Education has taken the step to make District policies public and easily accessible. To access District policies, click on the following link:
You will be taken directly to the Board Policy Table of Contents from which you can access Board policies from each of the ten policy series.
Currently, Administrative Guidelines are not accessible as they must now be reviewed and revised to align with the updated policies.
Ok, bus drivers have run through their routes, custodians have made our schools beautiful, secretaries have been busy doing the magical, mysterious things they do, teachers have gotten their classrooms ready, administrators have met with their staff, we are ready! Send your student off with a good breakfast and a positive word of encouragement and let's make this the best year ever!
CHARTWELLS IS NOW HIRING FOOD SERVICE WORKERS
We're looking for enthusiastic individuals who enjoy a fast paced environment. Must be a self starter and able to work independently with minimal supervision, possess good customer service skills, a desire to be successful, be punctual, hard working and embrace change. The job of Food Service Worker requires the worker to order food, heat food, serve breakfast, lunch or snacks to the students, clean the food preparation area and serving area, receive deliveries, and keep accurate client records for the National School Lunch Program.
Please apply at the food service office
1585 Meisner Road, East China, MI 48054
A new school year is right around the corner, but unfortunately an old challenge still looms - closing the budget shortfall. Below is a link to a presentation I made to the Board of Education at their regular meeting in July and the video of that presentation.
The presentation provides an overview of the deficit from January of last year to now, an explanation of some of the challenges regarding closing or repurposing a building, changing elementary school, boundaries, and issues to address moving forward.
Though we provide the presentation as a separate link in addition to the video of the meeting, we ask that you watch the video as it provides explanation of the presentation slides as well as questions asked by Board members and the related responses.
The East China School District is accepting applications for their 2014-15 preschool programs held at the Administrative Offices in East China. Eligible children must be of age by October 1, 2014. Tuition for the LIttle Explorers' Preschool Program is as follows:
We are currently accepting applications at the ECSD Administrative Offices, 1585 Meisner Road, between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. The application forms may be picked up at the Administrative Offices or downloaded here. To enroll, be sure to bring your child's birth certificate, immunization record, and the one-time non-refundable $25 registration fee with you. For additional information, call Christine Klecha at 810.676.1010.
We also have openings in our Great Start Readiness Preschool (GSRP) for children who will be four years old by October 1, 2014. The GSRP is a grant supported program and families must meet established criteria. Applications are available in the Department of Instruction. When registering, please bring proof of income. For additional information, please call Christine Klecha at 810.676.1010.
Danny Williamson, recent graduate of SCHS, competed in the SkillsUSA Nationals, held in Kansas City, Missouri on June 25-27, 2014. He represented Michigan in Precision Machining Technology. Danny was awarded the 1st place, gold medal at this competition.
Danny attended St. Clair TEC for the past 2 years under the supervision of his metal machining instructor, Mr. Duane Emig. This competition followed wins at the local, regional and state levels. At nationals, he competed against one student from each state in this category. Danny dedicated many after school and summer hours to prepare himself for this competition. Congratulations Danny, for your hard work and dedication to your craft certainly paid off.
The Riverview East High School students are giving Marine City some color. The Students are painting banners to hang from posts throughtout town as a way to improve the community through art. Crystal Garcia from the Times Herald wrote. To read Crystal's <<article click here>>.
The East China School District Board of Education held their regular monthly meeting May 19, 2014. Highlights of the meeting included:
St. Clair County Area School Boards Scholarship presentations to David Adragna (MCHS) and his influential educator Bert Van Dyke and Nathan Longuski (SCHS) and his influential educator Karen Cedar, 2013 2014 East China School District retirees, May 14 2014 Reproductive Health Committee Annual Report, and May 14 2014 Information regarding District transportation services.
St. Clair High School students, Danny Williamson and Codie Wilson, are this year's recipients of the American Legion Charles J. Fulton Post #382, DeWayne T. Williams Scholarship. Danny will use his scholarship to further his education in the Honors Program at Ferris State University where he will study Welding Engineering. Codie will pursue his automotive career at the University of Northwestern Ohio. Thank you to their grandfathers that served for our country and made them eligible for this scholarship.
MEEMIC Insurance recently offered the teachers of East China School District the opportunity to be in the running to receive $300.00 toward a makeover for their classroom. Almost 40 teachers applied and three were chosen randomly. The lucky winners are Patti Adams, 3rd grade teacher at Palms Elementary; Jessica Simons, Special Education teacher at Marine City Middle School and Jason Diller, math teacher at St. Clair High School. Thank you to everyone who applied and a special thank you to MEEMIC Insurance for thinking of East China and giving us this awesome opportunity.
ECSD students David Adragna and Nathan Longuski each were named this years St. Clair County Association of School Boards scholarship winners. David will be attending Oakland University while Nathan will attend St. Clair County Community College then transfer to Michigan State University. Congratulations to David and his teacher mentor, Bert VanDyke and Nathan and his teacher mentor, Karen Cedar. They will be recognized at the May 19th ECSD Board of Education meeting.
Marine City High School is the home of the K-12 Boutique offering new and gently used clothes, shoes, toiletries, etc to all East China School District students in grades K-12. Items are priced from $1.00 - $5.00 and the store is typically open Tuesday and Thursday from 10:30 – 3:30. This is an all volunteer run program, so hours may change and after hours arrangements can be made. Donations of clean items are accepted during store hours and we are looking for volunteers to help keep the boutique open. For more information about this great program, please call Jeanne Frank at 810.650.9332.
Calling All "Almost" Kindergartners and their Families!
Spring Kindergarten Round-Up is being held on Thursday, May 1st from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. for families who were unable to attend the March round-up sessions. Round-up will be located at the East China Administrative Office building on 1585 Meisner Road. Park in the lot and enter the doors by the parked school bus. You can pick up an enrollment packet at any elementary school or pre-school in the district as well as at the administrative building. Please bring your child and join us for this important event.
The 5th grade students at Palms Elementary used the concepts they learned about force and motion to design and build a balloon powered car. The goal was for the car to travel 5 meters. Awards were given out for the car that traveled the furthest distance, the car that went the fastest, and the best looking design. The students performed hours of work studying force and motion and to create their car. This hands-on learning was very exciting for the teachers, students, and parents involved.
Brenda Tenniswood, Assistant Superintendent ECSD, announced at last night’s board meeting that we are the recipient of a $35,000 grant from Project Lead The Way (PLTW), the nation’s leading science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) program, made possible by a generous donation from General Motors and a matching $35,000 grant from Cargill Salt, who is a corporate partner with PLTW. Funds from the grants will support the implementation of the PLTW Engineering curriculum, including the purchase of materials and equipment that will be used in the hands-on, activity-, project-, and problem-based courses that are a distinguishing characteristic of PLTW’s curriculum.
“Implementing PLTW courses at the District’s high schools will allow those students who have begun their STEM education at the middle school to continue to pursue their interests in these critically important career fields.” Said Steve Skalka, Superintendent East China School District.
Beginning with the 2014-15 school year, ECSD will offer PLTW’s Engineering program at the District's high schools, a program in which students engage in open-ended problem solving, learn and apply the engineering design process, and build strong teamwork, communication, critical-thinking, and problem-solving skills. Throughout the Engineering courses, students use the same industry-leading technology and software as the world’s top companies. In many cases, students have the opportunity to earn college credit, further setting them up for postsecondary and career success.
The Times Herald reporter/photographer Jeffrey Smith published some of the pictures he took of the East China School District Business Competition held March 21, 2014 at the district administrative offices. The images can be viewed <<here>>.
"I had a great time at this event. It was very nerve racking, but I loved the experience I was able to get from this. I have never presented anything in front of people I did not know, so this was very helpful. I may not be going in to business, but with college being right around the corner I will have to present many projects in front of people I do not know. This helped me with knowing the wrongs and rights when presenting. I will forever hold this amazing experience with me and I was so grateful i was chose to go." - Mallory K.
"I really enjoyed the business thing that we went to Friday. It was a great experience, and it was extremely interesting because it was unlike anything that I have been involved with in my past. I really loved that I got to use my public speaking abilities in a competition. Business and marketing weren't the only skills that could be used in the competition, and that was awesome!" - Cameron K.
We have reached and passed the one hundredth day of school. Students completed collections of 100 things to share, they also participated in many fun centers revolving around the number 100...including bouncing a ball or hula hooping 100 times, making a fruit loop necklace made from 100 fruit loops, 100 shaped eye glasses, and a snack of 100 things to eat, plus many more fun activities.
Lucas Francis, 6th grade, wins the overall Grand Prize with his Non-Fiction entry, titled Positive or Negative…You Choose.
Colby Walker, 6th grade, wins an Honorable Mention with his Fiction entry, titled Muted.
The St. Clair County Community Mental Health Middle School Writing Contest is in its 7th year. The Writing Contest helps promote May is Mental Health Month.
This year's theme, "A Positive Environment Leads to Recovery" was selected to help educate the public about mental illnesses, developmental disabilities, and/or substance use disorders.
Our 8th grade STEM students recently engaged in a friendly competition designed to put their problem solving and programming abilities to the test. Joint teams, consisting of students from MCMS and SCMS, programmed their VEX robots to tackle student created challenges. Whether navigating through a maze, balancing on a dowel, or placing Ping-Pong balls in a container, our STEM students and robots performed flawlessly! Congratulations to our STEM students on a great day of learning.
The VEX Robotics platform is used to enrich and enhance the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) course. Autodesk's VEX Robotics Curriculum is designed to help students master the fundamentals of robotics and the engineering design process while learning to use industry-leading Autodesk® Inventor® design software and the leading classroom robotics solution, VEX Classroom & Competition Robotics Kits.
Each Wednesday morning after announcements, Ms. Jan Cornish, P.E. teacher, leads the students and staff in a short workout called “Workout Wednesday.” Ms. Cornish does a fabulous job of leading and motivating everyone with fun music, positive reinforcement, and good tips on how to stay healthy. In addition, the students are given a task that requires them to do some kind of active energetic activity while the workout music is playing over the P.A. system. These activities include hula hooping, running in place, crab walking, bear crawling, sit-ups, push-ups, jumping jacks, etc… For many years now, “Workout Wednesday” has become an exciting part of the positive culture at Palms Elementary.
Mornings can be really crazy…the alarm doesn’t go off…the kids don’t want to get up…there’s no time to eat breakfast before the bus comes…or they’re just not ready to eat. Or maybe your teenager grabs a can of soda and a candy bar on the way to school. If this sounds like your house, we have good news for you.
Breakfast is served at school! School breakfast will give your child a healthy start to the day. A nutritious breakfast helps students be more alert so they can learn more in class. Breakfast has vitamins and nutrients for a strong and healthy body.
Breakfast at school is affordable, too. If you qualify for free and reduced price meals, you also qualify for the breakfast program, with no additional paperwork. You can’t find a healthy breakfast at such a low cost anywhere else.
Spanish teacher, Ms. Nowakowski, has been working on a project about diversity. The students produced short films about diversity. Congratulations to Mrs. Bardecki's and Mrs. Cousino's 5th grade class for producing the video choosen to be submitted to the Meijer Great Choices Student Film Festival on February 10th.
Mrs. Kemp's second graders participate in a daily mathematical routine to reinforce number sense. Students practice counting skills, saying 2 digit numbers, and link money values with numeric values. Number sense is an intuitive understanding of numbers, their magnitude, relationships, and how they are affected by operations. Click on the "Read more..." below and check out pictures of the daily mathematical routine.
More information about Math Expressions can be found <<here>>.
Annemarie McLeod's 7th grade STEM students received some hands-on experience thanks to BioPro in Port Huron. The students learned how surgeons use guide tools to make precise cuts. They were able to mimic cutting bone and inserting pins. BioPro in Port Huron is dedicated to the design, manufacture, and distribution of assorted orthopedic implants and surgical devices. The students would like to thank Dave M. for the experience.
The need for more science, technology, engineering, and math professionals has never been more apparent—but how do we inspire students to dedicate their careers to these subjects? Interacting with professionals who are passionate about STEM is one of the best ways to spark lifelong enthusiasm in students by first showing them real-life connections between STEM and their possible career paths.
Click on the "Read more..." below and check out the pictures.
Palms Elementary is now running a new academic program called “Reading Rocks!” This after school intervention, which is run by Ms. Patti Adams and Ms. Robin Lyszczyk, is geared towards helping students with reading strategies that include word accuracy, decoding, short vowels, long vowels, word chunks, sight words, vocabulary, language skills, comprehension, and critical thinking. All students get one-on-one instruction from their lead teacher, as well as support from other teacher volunteers within this program. In addition, many lessons are supported by using online tools, iPads, smart boards, and many other resources to engage the students. There has been a positive response from the students who participate in the program as this proves to be another exciting example of how Palms Elementary, and the East China School District, are committed to the continual improvements and successes of all of our students.
All 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students recently participated in the National Geographic Bee in their Social Studies classes. The top two students from each class competed against each other in the SCMS Media Center. Oral questions from the National Geographic Society booklet were asked to each student. After many questions on a variety of topics such as U.S. Geography, U.S. Cities, U.S. History to information on the 7 continents, only the following 8 students remained for the final round:
Sarah Sepke (6th), Luke Jolly (7th), Billy Schunk (6th), Jimmy DeVolder (6th), Devon Peters (8th), Dylan Rock (7th), Cody Rusnell (8th), & Brennen Buckley (8th)
Only Cody Rusnell and Jimmy DeVolder remained for the Championship round which consisted of the following 3 questions:
1. The city of Portland is the eastern terminus for an oil pipeline that connects with Montreal, Canada. Portland is located on Casco Bay in which New England State?
2. The Potomac River rises in the Allegheny Plateau and empties into what large bay?
3. The Taklimakan (TAH-kluh-muh-KAHN) Desert, home to the Uyghur (WEE-ghur) people, is located north of the Kunlun Mountains in which Asian country?
(answers: Maine, Chesapeake Bay, China)
8th grader Cody Rusnell won the competition after answering 2 of 3 questions correctly. Cody will now take a written exam to try and qualify for the State competition on April 4th. Good luck Cody!
If you want to brush up on your Geography skills questions can found at: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/geobee/
Also, you can download the GeoBee Challenge App on your mobile device!!
Mrs. Gunderson's 1st graders read the story "The Mitten" by Jan Brett. The class cut out their own mittens, punched holes, and sewed them together. Using the mittens the class then practiced retelling the folktale just like the storytellers of old!
Retelling requires students to activate their knowledge of how stories work and apply it to the new reading. As part of retelling, students engage in ordering and summarizing information and in making inferences. The teacher can use retelling as a way to assess how well students comprehend a story, then use this information to help students develop a deeper understanding of what they have read.
Click on the "Read more..." below and check out the pictures.
St. Clair High School's Students and Staff raised $900 dollars in this year's March of Dimes "Blue Jeans for Babies" fundraiser. St. Clair High School has been honored, for the 15TH Year in a Row, as the #1 Fundraising School in the State of Michigan during the 2013 "Blue Jeans for Babies" campaign. WAY TO GO SAINTS!
A big shout out to the St. Clair Tim Hortons for their generous support in our fundraising efforts!
Mrs. Linda Rowse and Mrs. Kelly Woodhouse are running an after school academic math program, at Palms Elementary, for students called Magnificent Math. Students are getting great one-on-one instruction and support in number sense, math talk, operations, and algebraic thinking. Students are also working with computers programs and many iPad apps during this program. There has been a very positive response, and many students are asking on how they can join the program in the future.
The safety of all children and staff members is the first concern of East China School District when making decisions about closing school or dismissing early. In light of current weather reports and the possibility of severe weather, ECSD is asking families to partner with the district if a decision is made to close school or dismiss early.
The following guidelines are followed by the district in making decisions related to the closing of school:
Marine City High School captured the Division 4 State Championship by defeating Grand Rapids South Christian 49-35 at Ford Field.
A Mariner fan posted this summary of the game; "Outstanding game!! The Mariners 1st TD; diving over the goal line was great. The 1st interception was well played. Excellent passing to go with the ground game. The 7 for 7 on extra points was awesome. That girl could have hit 30 yard kicks all night. 20 yarders is what she was kicking. Plus, the Sailors were an excellent team. The Mariners had a tiger by the tail and won. This was not a patsy of a team they beat. The better team really did win this game though. Congratulations!!"
The celebrations didn't stop at Ford Field. The Team, Band, Cheerleaders, and fans were treated to an improptu fireworks display on their way in to town. <<click here>> to watch the video posted by Christopher F.