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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Staff Welcomed Back to School With Pancake Breakfast

For the sixth year in a row, the staff at the Escanaba Area Public Schools has been welcomed back to school with a pancake breakfast cooked by the principals, supervisors, directors, athletic director, business manager, and superintendent. Led by Food Service Director, Nancy LaFave, the team had fun saying "hello" to everyone, while demonstrating their culinary/serving skills! Jude VanDamme's famous "E" pancakes were a strong favorite, however Bob Viau's waffles were also popular!

Following the breakfast, staff members were updated by Michele Lemire on some of the State's new policies and requirements. Julie Cass, school nurse, provided an overview about how to prevent, recognize, and treat anaphylaxis. Individual groups then met for building/task specific trainings and meetings. The staff members are committed to providing an enriching educational experience for our students once again this year!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Outstanding Fourth Grade Project at the "U"

Yesterday, I found teachers Karin and Mike Beveridge, along with their grandchildren, planting some flowering shrubs in the flower box in front of the school. The fourth grade had raised some funds to help pay for this project and it is really beautiful. Thank you fourth graders and the Beveridge family for your efforts!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Great Message!

Our food service director, Nancy LaFave, has been extremely active in the Great Lakes Consortium, as well as with being a leader of food service directors in our state. She has been instrumental in getting our summer feeding program off the ground in Escanaba. She saw this video at one of her meetings last week and shared it with me today. The student featured in the video is hilarious, but it is important also to know that the message is a good one.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Day 2 of Meet Up and Eat Up!

I was so excited to see MORE students come for lunch today at the Upper Elementary. We had 33 students eating a healthy lunch!
It is important that our community members know that the Escanaba Upper Elementary cafeteria will be open from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for a FREE lunch, Monday through Friday for children/teens (under 18)  or persons up to age 26 who are enrolled in an educational program for the mentally or physically disabled. No advance notice is needed--just show up! 

Perhaps parents might be working during the day and want their children to have a good lunch. Why not send them to "the U?" Teens are also welcome--we know that they seem to have bottomless pits for stomachs! 

Click here for "Menu 1"

Click here for "Menu 2"

Monday, June 16, 2014

Making Sure Students Get a Healthy Lunch This Summer!

We are really excited that our district is sponsoring the Summer Food Service Program for Children! Otherwise called "Meet Up and Eat Up", this program will allow for all children under 18 years of age and under, or persons up to age 26 who are enrolled in an education program for the mentally or physically disabled to come and eat lunch completely free starting today,  June 16, 2014!

We are providing meals at the Escanaba Upper Elementary Building located at 1500 Ludington Street in Escanaba from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. We had some students come today, and we are hoping that more students will come take advantage of this program!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Why do some children having trouble learning?

"Why is it that Johnny or Jennifer did not demonstrate proficiency on that reading test?"
 The bigger question:  “What is the best way to help children get up to speed?”

Students learn differently. They learn at different rates. They learn in different ways. Our job as a school system is to recognize these facts, and then do everything we can to help children overcome the barriers to their success.

When students do not progress as quickly as others in their grade level, schools cite some of these factors (not a complete list) that may create challenges for children:

Attendance: A student missed too much school and now must be caught up. We ask, “WHY was attendance a problem?” (Examples: Medical reasons, family dynamics; moving from place to place--many reasons that are no fault of the student)  A schools' response: Devise ways to increase a student’s attendance.

Information Processing Issues: Students may need different instructional cues to learn a skill or concept. We ask, “What skills/concepts are lacking? Why? Do we see auditory or visual processing issues? Practice issues?" A schools' response:  Review students’ work/behaviors to figure out different instructional strategies.

Family/Medical Issues: Sometimes things happen in families that make it impossible for children to concentrate on academics. Usually these are temporary instances, yet it may take children/families longer than others to resolve a problem and thus catch a student up. Student motivation, the ability of a parent to be able to support student learning at home, the communication between home, school, other caregivers all become factors schools must take into consideration to most effectively help a child. Each situation is different, requiring educators and other professionals together to address the foundational causes in the most sensitive manner.

Lack of long term, systematic exposure to information: Students learn at different rates, and may need more time to fully understand information so that it can be applied. Scaffolding what has been learned to other concepts deepens learning and helps a person make meaningful connections. Education isn’t a race. Everyone can win as long as opportunities and support are provided.

Guided Practice: Have you ever taken piano lessons? If so, you know that practicing makes the difference between being a two-finger-key-pounder and someone who can play a recognizable song. Just like piano playing, skills such as being able to recite math facts as well as how to fluently read a paragraph increases understanding of “the whole” and improves performance. When schools identify that students lack practice, programs are created to give students more practice, and care is taken to help parents know how to help their children practice.

It is also important to note that if a certain set of skills in a content area (example: reading) are not at a proficient level, it doesn’t mean other content areas (example: math) are in need of help. Teachers know that just retaining a student due to one troublesome area, is not only an ineffective solution to help a student gain proficiency, but  they also know retention may impede a child’s academic progress in other content areas, while removing the child from his/her peer group.

My point is this: No one single solution can sufficiently address student achievement.  All children are unique, and are entitled to a personalized education taught by a school family that cares. We have to remember that we are working with children—children who have friends, families, and teachers who are part of their world.

If you have a desire to help children, take time to find out WHY individual children sometimes find learning a challenge. As the “reasons” are discovered, solutions can be sought—but let these ideas be thoughtful and respectful of the unique needs of our kids.

Michele Lemire

Friday, September 20, 2013

It's Homecoming Week!

The Escanaba High School Chorale singing the school fight song:

The EHS Marching Band leading students to the pep assembly today: