Message from the Superintendent
A Letter from the Superintendent to the Trojan Nation
I can’t believe we are already into October with the leaves beginning to change, more comfortable temperatures to enjoy, and a lot happening in the school district to report.
First, my thanks to all of you who spoke to your student about personal safety, given the attempted abduction that was reported last week. Safety of our students is a priority for us and we appreciate all you do as parents to help in that regard. Speaking of safety, this is Safety Week which includes various drills and activities designed to teach our students procedures to keep them safe at school.
Connected to this safety theme is our desire to keep our students safe from substance abuse. As such we recently had drug dogs visit our high school campus and fortunately, they had zero hits. While this is not a foolproof way to keep drugs off our campus, it does provide a deterrent. Because younger people in society are abusing illegal substances with more and more frequency, we are considering using the drug dogs in our middle school as well.
The degree to which young people in Muskegon County, and across the nation, abuse illegal substances is such that the Muskegon County Prosecutor, DJ Hilson, is providing a program called “Shattering the Myths: Drug Use in Muskegon County.” This program can be seen by going to the following link: tinyurl.com/yad7k4xp
While substance abuse and student safety are rather somber issues, there are many positive things happening in our school district as we continue into the 2017/18 school year. Of greatest note are our elementary scores on the M-STEP test from last spring which has us ranked #1 in 3rd and 4th-grade math and #2 in 5th-grade math within Muskegon County! This is a tremendous achievement and a great testament to the work put in by our teachers and principals under the guidance of our excellent Curriculum Director, Allison Camp, and of course our students.
As we make significant progress with our academic scores, it is fun to see other areas of growth within our academic program including the new STEM classes offered at all of our elementary schools, and the new 5th-grade band program held every morning at Shettler Elementary. Good stuff!
An area we are giving special focus in the coming weeks is lower elementary reading. Earlier this year Governor Snyder signed what is referred to as the “3rd Grade Reading Law.” This law requires the retention of 3rd-grade students not reading at a proficient level on the state test. Our elementary schools are going to do testing well in advance of 3rd grade to ensure all of our students are ready for that state test, and if not, we will be giving them the support they will need to be proficient readers. Note that this law impacts current 1st-grade students and all the students that follow.
So as you can see, there is a lot going on in our school district, and I didn’t even mention the bond project with the continued design work going well. So make it a great October and never hesitate to give me a call if you have any questions, concerns, ideas, or thoughts to make our school district the beacon for academic excellence on the lakeshore!
Fruitport Community Schools