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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Information about the Non-Homestead Millage Renewal

On Tuesday, August 2, 2016, the Escanaba Area Public School District is asking voters to approve a renewal of the current 18 mills non-homestead operating millage.

This proposal will not impact taxes on residential property --only second homes, commercial/industrial properties are affected. This is not an increase, but a renewal of the District’s current levy.

The Non-Homestead Millage makes up approximately $3.8 million of the Escanaba Area Public Schools’ 22 million dollar annual budget. Renewal of the non-homestead millage will allow the district to maintain its current programs offered by the district. If this funding is lost, the district cannot replace it with any other funding source.

Even though primary households are not affected by this millage, state law requires a district-wide election to approve the millage.

In Summary:
  • This is a renewal of the current non-homestead millage, approved by the voters in 1997
  • This renewal is for a period of 15 years
  • This is a tax assessed against businesses and second homes, NOT a tax on homeowners
  • All residents in the Escanaba Area Public School district vote on the renewal
  •  The money is used for district operations
  • This money cannot be replaced by other funding sources

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Superintendent's Update-Budget 2016-17

The Board of Education held a committee meeting on Tuesday, May 10th, during which I presented an outline of possible reductions to attain a “balanced budget” for the 2016-17 school year. The meeting was intended to be informational, but also designed to give the Board a chance to ask questions and to have discussions with each other. In addition, we received feedback from citizens during “Citizens and Delegations,” and further have received more feedback since the meeting-- that is a good thing! Upon hearing this information, our team has been able to do additional research and make adjustments to the original plan.  

On Monday, May 16th I am planning to present updated information for the Board to consider. There will be no action on the budget that evening, so that the Board has time to fully digest all of the information. We will schedule a special board meeting after the 16th so the Board can take action at a later date, once they have had additional thinking time.

Finally, I have been able to work with our administrative team to come up with a plan that will KEEP Freshman Sports. Further, this plan will additionally minimize the co-curricular reductions I originally presented. We will continue to make tweaks prior to bringing a final recommendation.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

It is not only Winter Sports Season, but also it is Robotics and Solo Ensemble Season!

During the winter, basketballs can be heard bouncing, buzzers blasting, crowds cheering, gymnasts tumbling, hockey players slapping pucks...but at the same time... might hear the soaring sounds of a violin, the hazy blue sound of a clarinet, and the chorus of voices lifted into 4 part harmony to prepare for solo ensemble and winter concerts. might sense the excitement of our Robomos engineering their robot and strategizing how to win their competitions.

I am very pleased with the offerings we provide at the Escanaba Area Public Schools. Our students are so fortunate!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Watch the December 21st Concert!

As promised, here is the link to the entire choir/chorale from December 21st! Beautiful music, but in addition, John Beck does a fabulous job providing the background for some of these songs.

You can access the entire concert by clicking on the link below:

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Sounds of the Season

During the holiday season, it seems like each day has an opportunity for our community members to come into our schools a view performances by our students. We are so fortunate to have a stellar fine arts department that showcases the talents of our student body.

For the last two days, our orchestra set up in the high school hallways just as students were entering the building. Mr. VanDamme and Mrs. Griebel noted how peaceful and serene it was, and shared how much the other students loved it.

Last night, the choirs and chorale performed in the high school auditorium. Each seat was filled, and extra chairs were added in the back, but despite this effort, we had to stream the show "live" into the multi-purpose room. I appreciate the students who willingly gave up their seats in the auditorium in order to make more room for parents and family members. We will look into how we present our concerts next year. They are extremely popular, and actually have become a tradition in our community. We also will share a link for parents/family/community members to access in order to see the show "on demand." For now, here is a short YouTube video from last evening. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Taking Care of Our Kids

I am SO thankful for our community and our team of volunteers at the Escanaba Area Public Schools this evening. Many of us may have never had the experience of truly being hungry. Yet, here in December 2015, we know of students and families that may be struggling over the holidays.

Our social workers carefully and quietly identified 140 students who would benefit from extra food over the holiday break. The Community Foundation of Delta County rose to the challenge and donated funds for both the Christmas/New Year's holiday break and Spring Break scheduled for April in 2016 so that we could feed our children during those periods of time. Nancy LaFave, Escanaba Food Service Director, and her wonderful "lunch bags" (that's what we affectionately call them) along with several other volunteers packed boxes today for these students and delivered the food to their buildings. Our principals and social workers coordinated pick ups with the families. My heart swells with pride about our Escanaba family, as well as for our generous community. Thank you to everyone who made this possible! Super Job!!! These kinds of projects make me increasingly proud to be an Eskymo!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

December 14th Board Meeting Highlights

A new part of the Escanaba Area Public Schools' Board of Education agenda is the Curriculum Showcase. Our teachers are  transforming traditional instruction into motivating, relevant material for our students to engage and activate their learning. Matt Oney, science teacher from Escanaba High School shared how and why he teaches his students the way he does. I found it incredibly motivating and exciting. It is the kind of instruction I would want for my own child or grandchild. He is a wonderful representative of the kinds of things ALL of our teachers are doing in the area of science! Great Job!

In addition, the Board of Education presented a Certificate of Appreciation to the "Spotlights" organization last evening. This group of dedicated individuals work all year to raise funds to supplement the fine arts budget. They assist individual students, as well as the choir, band, orchestra, and performing arts where ever they identify a need. Jane Lynch represented the group last evening, and was able to share specific details prior to accepting the Board's certificate and thanks.