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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Booster Groups Unite! No Activity Fees for the 2016-17 School Year!

Thanks to the support of the Eskymo Fan Club, the Eskymo Band Boosters, and the Spotlights Organization, the Escanaba Area Public Schools will NOT have to implement an activity fee for the 2016-17 school year! 

These organizations have collectively stepped up as a large, collaborative TEAM! Furthermore, the Fan Club committed enough funding to ensure athletic transportation will be supported. As a budget-balancing move, the district had planned to implement an activity fee for district-funded athletics, jazz band, and the high school musical. Athletic transportation would have been co-funded, with the district picking up some of the cost, and the teams fund-raising for the rest. Thanks to the efforts of these wonderful organizations--the activity fees and partial self-funding of athletic transportation will not have to happen. 

How can community members and alumni help this effort? Join one or all of these fine student-centered organizations! These groups are keeping the Eskymo Pride alive by their solution-based decisions and generosity to benefit all of our students. Thank you Fan Club, Band Booster, and Spotlights members--you not only get an "A" for effort, but also our community's gratitude!
 Eskymo Football and the Eskymo Marching Band!

Scene from "Mary Poppins"--the musical of Fall 2015...

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

What's For Lunch? Yum!

Summer lunch for me when I was in school consisted of peanut butter sandwiches, Kool-aid, and 2 Oreos cookies, eaten on the run, then "out the door" to play again! (Not the most healthy fare!) Lucky for Escanaba students, we have a very TASTY opportunity for kids who are age 18 or younger. Webster Elementary and the Escanaba Upper Elementary Schools are hosting the Meet Up! Eat Up! Program once again from 11:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon, Mondays-Fridays this summer. Kids can eat for FREE, and have nutritionally sound yet delicious lunches that really rival the peanut butter (on Wonder Bread) and Koolaid of days-gone-by! I hope our area children take advantage of this program.

It also occurs to me that if parents are working, yet have a short lunch break, they could actually meet up with their children at one of these schools and have lunch TOGETHER! (Adults may purchase a lunch for $4.00.) Happy eating!

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!