Ovid-Elsie Area Schools
Board of Education
Wednesday, October 30, 2013 – 7 P.M.
Ovid-Elsie High School Community Room
Archives for October 2013
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Three years after Michigan education experts voluntarily adopted Common Core State Standards to better prepare our students our success after high school, the standards are now being implemented in schools across the state.
Early returns are promising. An overwhelming number of teachers trained in the standards believe they will help improve students’ knowledge and critical-thinking skills at every grade level. This would be a significant achievement for Michigan, where students of all races, ethnic backgrounds and income levels have been losing ground to their peers in other states for a decade.
No wonder Michigan was one of 45 states to voluntarily adopt Common Core. No wonder the standards have drawn broad, bipartisan support from governors across the nation, business organizations, and virtually every statewide education association in Michigan. Setting clear, consistent standards in math, reading and writing is something all Michiganders can get behind, regardless of politics. Being able to get honest, comparable information on how Michigan students stack up with students in other states is something every parent wants – whether their child attends school in Traverse City or Portage, Rockville or Huntington Woods.
It’s critical that Michigan lawmakers restore funding for standards that will allow our students to compete in a 21st-Century global economy for good, family supporting jobs. Please urge your state representative and senator to support such a measure.
A group seeking to block these high standards contends Common Core is a federally mandated takeover of local school curriculum in Michigan. One opponent even told a state education panel it was “another ploy by the UN to remove the Constitution and history books and to go to One World Order.”
Common Core, of course, is neither of these things.
Under Common Core, schools will continue to decide how to best instruct students in their classrooms. Local districts will remain in charge of curriculum. They will decide which textbooks and lesson plans are used. That won’t change.
Common Core is a nonpartisan effort by governors (mostly Republican) and leading educators to raise the bar based on the best state standards in America. Students will cover fewer topics, but explore them more deeply. They will develop real world, critical-thinking skills in math, reading and writing, with less emphasis on rote memorization. Each new skill will build on the skills that were learned earlier.
Which states will benefit most? States like Michigan, which until recently set artificially low academic standards, giving parents the false impression that their students were doing just fine. Today, less than 1-in-5 Michigan high school graduates are deemed college- or career-ready in all subjects. Low-income and minority students are left even farther behind. That must change.
Common Core is supported by a broad coalition of Michigan business, education and community groups who believe that high standards, greater accountability and ensuring that our students can compete in a 21st-Century global economy are values worth fighting for.
Within this extraordinary alliance are organizations that frankly don’t always agree on education policy – but they are sold on Common Core. That includes such divergent voices as charter school academies and Michigan’s major teachers’ unions; school boards and principals, business leaders, current and former governors; PTA Michigan and the families of active-duty military personnel.
Rigor. Accountability. High expectations. Achievement.
These are values that should transcend politics. These are American values. And they are Michigan values, too.
Halloween is fast approaching so we would like to take a minute to remind you and your family about a few Halloween guidelines at the Ovid-Elsie Elementary Schools. Everyone wants to have a safe and happy Halloween for themselves, their guests, and their children. Using safety tips and common sense can help you make the most of your Halloween season and make it as enjoyable for our kids as it was for you!
Students should arrive at school at the regular start time and bring costumes with them. Do not come to school already dressed. The teachers will instruct the students when it is time to get ready for their classroom parties. We encourage parent participation in the events going on throughout the school day. If you know in advance that you would like to participate please fill out the required background check forms prior to the 31st. Parents who wish to dress up when coming into the school should be considerate of the costume guidelines as well, and please, check in at the office!
Costumes should be of good taste and in no way promote inappropriate or violent themes. Costumes that include masks, weapons, or blood will not be permitted. If you have questions about a costume please check with the office. If a child has a mask, they will be asked to simply wear the mask on the top of their head. Vision and safety are our primary concerns with masks.
E.E. Knight’s parade will begin at 12:45 p.m. and Leonard’s will start at 1:45. The parade routes will be the same as in previous years. The Elsie and Ovid Police and Fire Departments will help to secure our route as the High School Band leads the way. Come out early and get yourself a good viewing spot! Upon our return, E.E. Knight will have their classroom parties and Leonard will get ready for dismissal. If Leonard parents would like to take their child(ren) early, we ask that you please sign them out with the classroom teacher so that they are accounted for. (Children who are signed out will not be marked tardy or absent.)
Teaching your kids basic everyday safety such as not getting into cars or talking to strangers, looking both ways before crossing streets and crossing when the lights tell you to, will help make them safer when they are out Trick or Treating. Make Halloween a fun, safe, and happy time for your kids and they’ll carry the tradition that you taught them to their own families some day!
Like you, we were extremely troubled with the recent release of The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ (CBPP) Study documenting Michigan’s 9% reduction in K-12 spending since 2008. It comes as no surprise that our state has seen an increasing number of deficit districts from every corner of the state and schools are now being forced to shut down because of insurmountable debt.
One critical part of correcting this underfunding is contained in Senate Joint Resolution (SJR) AA, introduced by Senator Bruce Caswell (R-Hillsdale). SJR AA would constitutionally protect the School Aid Fund for K-12 schools only. For the current year alone, at least $400 million was siphoned from the School Aid Fund to pay for non-K-12 purposes, and we all know that money is desperately needed for our local classrooms. While we applaud Senator Caswell for leading on this issue, we need your help in building critical support for it in the Senate.
Please go to millionmichiganvoices.com, and click on ACTION ALERT now to demand your Senator stand up for school funding by supporting SJR AA.