Thursdays With North and East Oakview – “You are running a little late.”

February 26, 2015
Arrival Time: 7:40 a.m.
EDE #61 for 2014/15

“You are running a little late.”

I had my coat on, gloves and mittens in place, and was pulling on my stocking cap as I walked down the hall toward my assigned spot for “drop-off” duty.  Students were coming into the building due to the very cold temperatures.  As I greeting one young student, who was still so bundled up that you couldn’t see her face, she looked up at me and said, “You are running a little late this morning.  You weren’t outside when I got out of the car.”

She made the statement and kept on moving toward her classroom.  I headed outside with her words echoing in my mind.  Our students really do notice what we do as adults.  Are we consistent?  Do we show up on time?  Do we model the expected behaviors for our students?  Can we be counted on to remember the things that our students consider to be the “important stuff?”

The bell rang and I walked into the building with.  I was still pondering the questions as I walked down the hall and saw two girls working their “cootie-catchers.”

These hand-held, personal devices answer important questions.  In the eyes of an elementary school child, they are even better than a Magic 8 Ball, or Siri.  They are also a harbinger of
Spring.  They are the first indicator that winter is on the way out.  Next up are baseball/softball mitts, jump ropes, marbles, and of course the final indicator – shorts with flip flops.

Today I learned that our Peer Support program has 28 students who are the models of the expected behaviors for six other students.  Thursday afternoon all 34 kids headed over to the high school pool to share some fun.

I participated in a “circles and stars” math activity that helped 2nd grade students learn about repeated addition and multiplication.  The activity was modeled by the teacher as she included me as her opponent.  I remembered that 2 times 4 equals 8 or you can count by fours twice and get the same answer.  Once the demonstration game was over, kids moved into teams of two to practice on their own.  Great example of gradual release methodology.

I had three book talks.  Thanks to the 4th grade kids I will need to read “Loot,” “SCAT,” and “Lincoln.”  Not sure what these books are about?  Visit North Oakview and have a book talk with a fourth grade student.

Important stuff!
…….. Meanwhile Back at East Oakview

My coat was not yet unbuttoned when a young student made an observation and asked me a question.  “We both have glasses.  Why do you have a beard?”  My replies were accepted – “yes we do and I have a beard because I don’t want to shave everyday.”  Good start to my time at East.

Just outside the art room a collection of self portraits were tastefully displayed.  Our 1st grade kids produced the portraits based upon the work of Gustav Klimit.  Yes they do know this artist and they know that they used tempera paint, oil pastels, marker, crayon, and chalk pastels to create their work.

I continued down the hall to a second grade room.  I wasn’t even all the way through the doorway when the first questions were asked.  “Are you Dr. P?  I didn’t recognize you because your beard is white.  Why do you have a beard? Do you know hornets and dinosaurs lived at the same time 150 million years ago and the dinos are dead but the hornets are alive and they might sting you? Did you ever get stung by a hornet?  I think that hurts but it would hurt more if a dinosaur bit you. Did you know we are having cupcakes because someone has a birthday, but we can’t take a bite before the birthday girl takes the first bite?  What are those things in your ears? Are they hearing aids?  Are they run by tiny batteries?”

Three claps by the teacher restored order and the birthday cupcake distribution began.  Every student waited until the birthday girl took the first bite.  I really enjoyed watching the creative eating techniques displayed by the second grade kids.

What did you learn today?

I learned that my “life-coach” is right – “remember the important stuff.”  I also learned it would be better to be stung by a hornet than bitten by a dinosaur.

Sincerely,

Mike Paskewicz, Superintendent
Northview Public Schools

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World Wide Wednesdays with West Oakview – Boots in the Hall

February 25, 2015
Arrival Time: 7:50 a.m.
Boots In the Hall – EDE #60 for 2014/15

At any given time, in any elementary school in Northview (and perhaps Michigan), a visitor will find winter boots lined up in the hallways.  As a matter of fact, there are hundreds of boots.  You will also find the school “lost and found” filled with boots, mittens, gloves, coats, lunch boxes, various small toys, and hopefully no kindergarten students hiding at the bottom of the piles.

As I wandered into one developmental kindergarten classroom, students were using a collection of large cardboard boxes to add excitement to their creative play.  One student curled up in a box, pulled the flaps shut and asked to be sent somewhere warm.  A couple of teachers thought about getting into the box with him.  They suggested a Florida or Hawaii destination.  I am guessing that the elementary schools in those states do not have lines of boots filling hallways.

Due to the cold weather, students were asked to come into the building rather than spend time outside.  Once again the volunteer doorman, Andy, took his post and greeted kids as they entered the building.  I found out this morning that it was his daughter who asked me “have you seen my sister” last week.  This morning she told me not to look for her sister because her sister is in California.  I suspect there are no winter boots in the halls of California elementary schools.

When is the last time you used Flippy Dolphin, Eagle Eye, Chunky Monkey, or balanced a pop tart on the back of your hand.  The first three are reading strategies our kids employ to determine if a word looks right, sounds right, and makes sense in a story.  The pop-tart balancing act was “just plain fun” one student was having as he listened to his teacher demonstrate how to use the strategies. As the students moved to “read-to-self” the teacher had “one-on-one” conferences with students.

I predict the following:

  • In 7 weeks the winter boots will disappear from the elementary hallways and there will be four times more articles of winter clothing in the “lost and found.”
  • No one will actually be placed in a cardboard box and mailed to a warm destination.
  • I will be balancing a pop tart on the back of my hand, just to have a little fun.  After all, I have been “coached” to remember the important stuff.

Sincerely and With Great Respect,

Mike Paskewicz, Superintendent

Northview Public Schools

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A Thank You to Representives Hooker, Afendoulis, VerHeulen, and Yonker and a Math Problem

Representatives Hooker, VerHeulen, Afendoulis, and Yonker,

Thank you for speaking at the Chamber of Commerce breakfast this morning.  I appreciated hearing the questions of the business leaders as they sought understanding about Proposal 1 and the need to fix our Michigan roads.

We are engaging our community in “getting smart” about what Proposal means to the quality of life in Northview.  We speak about the need for compromise and working together.  As KISD superintendents, we are supportive of the ballot proposal and stand ready to assist with the campaign.  In fact, most of us have already begun the informational campaign.
I recall Representative VerHeulen’s comment at the Grassroots meeting last Thursday.  He was remarking how some folks question how the State is aligning and spending revenue regarding roads.  Our state has used the road funds appropriately and wisely.  There are reasons to “invest” in funding road improvements.

As the Representative from Holland said today “she questions” if we in the public schools are spending revenue appropriately.  I greatly appreciated Representative Hooker’s comments about the positive impact our teachers have on students and their families.  There are reasons to “invest” in our schools.

Representative Hooker also noted that we have 55 school districts in deficit and another group of school districts with low fund balances (1%) causing them to borrow money to open school (the lag between the start of school and the first state aid payment).  Even though Northview has a 10% fund balance we are forced to borrow (at a much lower amount than five years ago, but still need help in addressing the gap).

Part of the issue is the adequate funding of and investment in our public schools.  Here is a math problem question that I did not ask today at the breakfast.  However, it is an illustration that does not tell the entire story about the Governor’s proposal for K-12 funding next year:

What is the total when you add $75 + $65?  $140 is the obvious answer.  However, in School Aid Funding the answer is $70 in Northview.  Our Governor’s proposal shows an additional $75 per-pupil addition to the base foundation.  However, there was a reduction of his Best Practice funding ($50 down to $20 per-pupil) and the elimination of Academic Performance revenue ($40 in Northview).  As we understand it, this fund was “rolled into” the foundation base.

This means that Northview will receive $70 less than we received last year.  Byron Center will receive $130 less; Calendonia receives $70 less.  This means the “net-operational” increase in the base foundation for Northview is only $5 per-pupil in unrestricted funds or about $17,128 for the year.  This does not even meet the inflation factor.

We are estimated to receive $65 per-pupil in “at-risk funding” which is restricted.  That means the funds may only be used with students who meet “at-risk” criteria.  The increase is the first since 2002.  We appreciate the move in the right direction.  However, those funds cannot be used to meet operational increases for things like heat, light, fuel, materials, compensation, or building fund balances.

So here is the math problem again:

In Northview, what do you get when you add $75 + $65 – $70?  You get $5 unrestricted and $65 restricted funds for a total of $70.

In Byron Center, what do you get when you add $75 + $36 – $30 – $100?  You get a -$55 per-pupil in unrestricted funds and you get $36 per-pupil in “at-risk” restricted fund.  This is an overall reduction of -$19 per-pupil.
Our public schools work!  Thank you Representative Hooker for making the public statement today in front of our business leaders. Thank you for saying we are using our funding well to meet the needs of our students.  Thank you for understanding that we must adequately fund our roads and our schools.

Thank you Representative VerHeulen for stating that Proposal 1 is a chance to fix our roads, fund our schools, and help our local municipalities.  I respect that you understand the art of compromise.  We need that from our elected leaders and citizens now more than ever before.

Sincerely,

Mike Paskewicz, Superintendent
Northview Public Schools

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$75 + $65 = $140 Except When It Relates to the School Aid Fund

Every Day Evidence #59 for 2014/15

February 23, 2015

Good Morning Governor Snyder, Senator MacGregor, Representatives, VerHeulen, Lyons, Brinks, Dillion, Yonker, Hooker,

and Afendoulis

When did you last ask those in your legislative district “what they care deeply about?”

Questions for Your Consideration:

  •  Our Governor proposed a $75 per-pupil increase to the School Aid Fund.  Are you aware that the “net-operating revenue” increase for Northview is only $5 after reductions to best practice funds (-$30) and elimination of academic performance funds (-$40)?
  • The proposed “at-risk” funding would bring approximately $65 per-pupil to Northview. Are you aware that the “at-risk funding” can only be used for students meeting specific criteria?
  • If our Governor’s proposal of $75 per-pupil increase on the base foundation is accurate and if Northview receives $65 per-pupil “at-risk” funding, why does $75 + $65 = $70 per-pupil in funding?
  • Are you aware that our Governor’s proposed increase to per-pupil results in six Kent County School districts receiving $25 – $55 per-pupil less in budget year 2016?
  • Are you aware that not one of the 21 KISD school districts will receive a “net-operating revenue” increase of $75 per-pupil in the base foundation grant?
  • Are you aware that Northview, and other districts, are already implementing “best practices” to increase the percentage of students reading at grade level by the end of 3rd grade and that the practices mirror recommendations made by our Governor?

 

Every Day Evidence

Today’s EDE comes from a student that was in Celia Bissett’s classroom at Highlands 5th/6th School.  Andrea is now in 7th grade at Crossroads Middle School.  Reading is the key to success.  Our public schools work!

 

“Hey, it’s Andrea . I am now in 7th grade and exams are coming up. It’s about a role model. So I decided to do the exam on you. I remember what you did for me. Getting me to love books. It helped me a lot. Like my grammar and getting to read better. So when I’m doing this exam I was thinking off doing a flash back of when you helped me. Just like you taught me how to do in a flash back in 5th grade. You helped me so much that year of reading. So this year I’ve read over 60 books and there all over 300 pages. I got in the 40 book club because of you. I didn’t think I would make it in advanced L.A. so I stuck to regular L.A. Back to the topic. I’m doing my exam on you. I really appreciated you as a teacher. You are one of my favorite teachers. I hope you are helping other kids with books too just like you helped me. Thanks for reading this and have a great summer.

P.S. I hope you still are bringing in those cookies where if you broke it into 3 parts you make a wish. That was always fun and I always looked forward for that. Bye!”

 

Fun Fact: 

 

In Northview, there is a collective spirit among parents/guardians, board members, teachers, administration, staff, and community members to “do the right thing” for our students.  This spirit is an important groundwork for the success every child deserves and needs.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

Mike Paskewicz, Superintendent

Northview Public Schools

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Kudos to Governor Snyder and “The rest of the story.”

Northview News March 2015

Dear Families, Community Members, Staff and Students,

Many of you, or at least many of your parents or grandparents, remember the radio broadcaster Paul Harvey. The last part of his noon-time program was a conversation that started with the phrase “….and now the rest of the story.” The lead-in prepared his audience to listen to the entire story and wait for Mr. Harvey to explain the details that were absent from the original story. Most times the stories were very positive and at times they opened the eyes of listeners when they discovered that all the facts are not present in every story that is told.

Recently, our Governor shared his 2016 Budget proposal. As you might expect, we paid close attention to the recommendations and how they would affect the Northview Public Schools and K-12 Public Education in the State of Michigan. We applaud the Governor for placing additional revenue in the pre-school initiative. This is an “upstream” intervention that will benefit thousands of students as they will be better prepared for the rigors of kindergarten.

We also thank Governor Snyder for his recommendations regarding the 3rd Grade Reading initiative. We are encouraged that the best practices for literacy acquisition he mentioned mirror the interventions we have been using in Northview for the past five years. We are pleased that the interventions are related to empirical data. He recognized that retention is not a valid nor reliable intervention. We have shared with his advisors that Northview stands ready to assist his work group to develop the next steps in the process. This is also an “up-stream” set of interventions.

“Up-stream” interventions are less costly and provide long-term benefits. An analogy would be the cost of building a bridge across the Mississippi near the narrow part of the river rather than at its widest part. It is more cost effective to provide academic and social interventions when students are in early elementary rather than when they reach middle school.

We are hopeful that the additional funds set aside for students who have “at-risk” factors in their lives that impact the time it takes for them to be academically successful will benefit students in Northview. However, it is too early to tell if this “designated revenue” will reach our students.

The budget proposal recommends that money be put towards paying down the legacy costs of the Michigan Public School Employee’s Retirement System. We understand that this is an attempt to stabilize the retirement system.   Remember also that public school employees are paying more into the system as well. The Superintendents in Kent County worked with former Senator Jansen on bills that helped address this issue.

“……and now for the rest of the story!”

The Governor’s budget proposal for K-12 public education calls for an additional $75 per-pupil in the base foundation grant school districts receive each year. This is unrestricted money that a district may use to implement their programs and practices. However, the “net-operational revenue” increase for Northview is not $75 per-pupil.

The Governor’s budget proposal for K-12 reduces the “Best Practice” funds from $50 to $20 per-pupil and it eliminates the “Academic Performance” fund. Overall this means that Northview loses $70 per-pupil from last year. When subtracted from the projected $75 per-pupil increase the Governor proposed, our “net-operational revenue” increase for the 2015/16 school year is $5 per-pupil. See the Foundation Allowance Changes Table below.

Foundation Allowance Changes from 2014/15 to 2015/16

2014/15 Governor’s Proposal 2015/16
Base Foundation Allowance            $7,076      $7,251 (combined total of Foundation

Increase and equity payment

from 2014/15)

Foundation Increase            $   50      $     75
Equity Payment            $   125
    

Sub-total

 

$7,251

 

$7,326

Best Practice Revenue            $     50      $       20 (reduced by -$30)
Academic Performance            $     40      $         0 (eliminated)
  

Sub-total

 

$7,341

 

$7,346

MPSERS 147a            $     69    $       69
  

Total

 

$7,410

 

$7,415

 
Students – 3430    $25,416,300 $25,433,450
 

Revenue

 

$17,150

Amount per-pupil $         5

 

This is a .07% “net-operational revenue” increase for next year in Northview. Two other Kent Intermediate School District (KISD) districts are receiving a $5 per-pupil increase. Six of the 20 school districts in the KISD will receive $25 less per-pupil next year than they receive this school year. No KISD district receives the full $75 per-pupil increase. The maximum “net-operational revenue” increase any district will receive is $45 per-pupil.

If a true increase of $75 per-pupil (x 3,430 students) were to be in place, Northview would receive approximately $257,250 in “net-operational revenue” next year. The current analysis of the budget proposal provides Northview with $17,150 or $5 per-pupil.

The Budget Process continues for the next several months and our Legislators hope to have it finalized by early June. I am encouraging you to contact your elected official and ask them the following questions:

  1. Our Governor proposed a $75 per-pupil increase to the School Aid Fund.  Are you aware that the “net-operating revenue” increase for Northview is only $5 after reductions to best practice funds (-$30) and elimination of academic performance funds (-$40)?
  2. Are you aware that the Governor’s proposed increase to per-pupil results in six Kent County School districts receiving $25 – $55 per-pupil less in budget year 2016?
  3. Are you aware that not one of the 21 KISD school districts will receive a “net-operating revenue” increase of $75 per-pupil in the base foundation grant?
  4. Are you aware that Northview, and other districts, are already implementing “best practices” to increase the percentage of students reading at grade level by the end of 3rd grade and that the practices mirror recommendations made by our Governor?

Our Legislators have a great responsibility to govern the State of Michigan.  I ask you to be respectful in your communications.

Legislator Contact Information:

Representative Chris Afendoulis   ChrisAfendoulis@house.mi.gov  517-373-0218

Senator Peter MacGregor            Senpmacgregor@senate.michigan.gov  517-373-0797

 

Sincerely and With Great Respect,

 

Mike

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Hey, My Nose is Frozen Shut – Every Day Evidence #57 for 2014/15

February 19, 2015
Arrival Time: 7:40 a.m.
EDE #57 for 2014/15

Today the temperature was what some people call a “squeaky, booger and snot freezing cold.”  That description may have come from a kid or maybe it came from a certain teacher at North or a certain person from the Central Office.  Whoever it came from “knows their types of cold temperature.”

Everybody went right from the drop-off line into the school.  Even with the cold, the smiles on the faces of the parents in the cars and the kids running to the school were heart warming.  A few kids still walked at a slow pace so they could enjoy “my boots squeaking on the snow and my nose freezing shut.”  Several students said to me “try this Dr. Paskewicz.  Breath really hard through your nose and see what happens.”

Of course, I couldn’t resist trying and guess what it was a SBASF cold today.

North Oakview is participating in Jump Rope for Heart – for the 20th straight year!  Students learn that giving back to your community improves the quality of life for everyone.  Even if you can contribute any money, you can jump for an hour and tell others that it helps your heart to exercise.  One 4th grade boy showed off his new “red” tennis shoes that had not yet been jumped in but he was putting them to work this morning.

I wonder if Travis is coaching 4th grade kids now.  By the way, there were four new pairs of red tennis shoes over at West Oakview yesterday.  I beginning to think Travis has an “on-line” life coaching business.  After all he is a digital native.

My short stay in a second grade classroom resulted in learning that the kids know they are taking a short math quiz “so their teacher knows what they don’t know and do know.”  A couple of the kids knew the test was going to be “easy peasy.”  I also found out that when you kneel down in front of one kid the kids behind you notice that you have a bald spot starting on the back of your head.  Of course the child in front of you says to those in back that “he has bald spots in front too.”  They also are very willing to let you know about all the other people they know who have bald spots.

……Meanwhile Back at East Oakview

I was treated to some time with a kindergarten girl who read “Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons” to me in a flawless manner.  She told me it was her very best book so far.  The only word she didn’t know was “groovy” and really wasn’t interested when I started to tell her about groovy my life was in the 1960’s.  I did tell her that my best book is “To Kill a Mockingbird.”  She moved on and I now wonder if she thinks I like books about killing birds.  Sometimes I forget that five-year old kids are quite literal.

A second grade classroom was working on a writing assignment about Fairy Tales.  They understood the four components of a good Fairy Tale – characters, setting, problem, and a solution that teaches a lesson.  They are really good writers.  It seems to me our Readers and Writers Workshop model is paying off.

My wife Ruth’s aunt turned 80 this past Saturday.  Many of the family attended the surprise birthday party.  Aunt Nancy also has a great granddaughter in the 4th grade at East Oakview.  she wasn’t able to attend the party because her family was out of town.  Not a problem for a digital native.  She “Skyped and Face Timed” her great grandmother and participated in the party from a place far, far, away.  I think I have an idea for the second grade Fairy Tale writers.

Of all the wonderful things that happen between our staff, students, and their families, I appreciate that they all care deeply about the same thing – working together and being responsible for the upbringing of the children in our community.  They remember the “important stuff.”

Sincerely and With Great Respect,

Mike Paskewicz, Superintendent

Northview Public Schools

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Have You Seen My Twin Sister? EDE #56 for 2014/15

February 18, 2015
Arrival Time: 7:40 a.m.

Have you seen my twin sister?  EDE #56 for 2014/15

When schools and their respective community members and parents work together, wonderful things happen for children.  Not all of the wonderful things are measured by a standardized test.  So often people judge a school by the test scores that are placed on the front pages of a newspaper or magazine or perhaps by a 30 second newscast.

Sometimes the wonderful things happen in a simple yet elegant way.  It reminds me of what I care deeply about.
On Wednesday the outside temperature and wind chill factor indicated that we should have students enter the building before school rather than play outside.  My job was to stand at the front door and open it for students.  I was happy to help.  About three minutes later one of our parents, Andy, came in with his child and said that he would stand by the door and let folks in as they arrived.  He shared with me that he does this duty every so often and really enjoys seeing all the kids and the parents.  Plus, he said, it really helps out the secretary so she can answer phone calls and get ready for the day.

A simple yet wonderful thing.  Evidence of caring enough to give a few minutes of time to help someone else.

A few weeks ago, I enjoyed having some fun with a kindergarten class by asking them if they had seen my twin brother.  Now every time I come into the room they say something about the fun of being tricked.  Today, one of the kindergarten students came into the hall an loudly stated “Dr. P. have you seen my twin sister?”  She had a face drawn on a piece of paper that was taped to her forehead.  I replied that I hadn’t seen her twin.  She immediately went back into the classroom and reappeared without the “paper face” and asked again “have you seen my twin sister?  She looks like me except for the white face.”

Inline image 1

A wonderful trick and very creative.  She made my day because she wanted me to remember the “important stuff.”

Sincerely and With Great Respect,

Mike Paskewicz, Superintendent
Northview Public Schools

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Putting on the R1TS – EDE #55 for 2014/15

Every Day Evidence #55 for 2014/15

February 16, 2015

Good Morning Governor Snyder, Senator MacGregor, Representatives, VerHeulen, Lyons, Brinks, Dillion, Yonker, Hooker,

and Afendoulis

When did you last ask those in your legislative district “what they care deeply about?”

Questions for Your Consideration:

You have a great responsibility to govern our State.  As you enter the budget discussions for FY 2016 I ask that you consider the following questions:

  1. Our Governor proposed a $75 per-pupil increase to the School Aid Fund.  Are you aware that the “net-operating revenue” increase for Northview is only $5 after reductions to best practice funds (-$30) and elimination of academic performance funds (-$40)?
  2. Are you aware that the Governor’s proposed increase to per-pupil results in six Kent Count School districts receiving $25 – $45 per-pupil less in budget year 2016?
  3. Are you aware that not one of the 21 KISD school districts are receiving a “net-operating revenue” increase of $75 per-pupil?
  4. Are you aware that Northview, and other districts, are already implementing “best practices” to increase the percentage of students reading at grade level by the end of 3rd grade and that the practices mirror recommendations made by our Governor?

Every Day Evidence

Today’s EDE comes from our Region I Special Education Transitions Coordinator.  We believe every student can learn – just in different ways and at different rates.

“Hi Mike,


I’m writing to fill you in on a recent discovery of R1TS being named as a recipient for donations in memory of Dan Rock.  Dan Rock was a parent of John, a student from Kenowa Hills who attended R1TS #1 from 2004-2006.  He exited in June 2006 with employment at Menards on Alpine and continues to work there to this day.  I have maintained occasional contact with them, most recently last New Years Eve day.  Dan passed away unexpectedly on May 26.

What a statement of honor to R1TS, those who worked with John and to our continued efforts for the young adults we serve!  I am deeply touched!!

Dan and his wife Kathy have continued to support all of our R1TS Programs since that time.  Dan’s company, Riveridge Produce Marketing, has donated caramel apples every fall for one or more of our classroom fundraisers.  Besides that, they were a wonderful voice of confidence and appreciation to us and for us!

I have shared this recent tribute with our current staff ~ it is not often that we are acknowledged deeply for the efforts of our work.  To be reminded that what we do each day can make a lifetime impact is powerful!   I feel blessed to work with such a wonderful team of R1TS staff, Region 1 schools, students and their families!

I also wanted to share this with you ~ I really value the appreciation you have expressed to me for the work that we do!  Thank you for your continued support!!

Kimberly Norman

Kimberly Norman, Transition Coordinator
Region 1 Special Education

Fun Fact:

Our community spirit produces overwhelming voter support that has allowed us to recently renovate all of our school buildings and grounds to provide safe, secure, and nurturing learning environments.  Our high school is anchored by a 750-seat Performing ArtsCenter to the north and a community fitness center and 13-lane swimming pool to the south.  The center of the high school hosts a new two-story academic wing for English/Language Arts, Foreign Language, and Mathematics.  All of our schools have wireless internet connections and up-to-date technology tools.

Sincerely,

Mike Paskewicz, Superintendent

Northview Public Schools

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Thursdays With North Oakview – 1,440 Hours

February 12, 2015
Arrival Time: 7:40 a.m.
EDE #54 for 2014/15

Today I started thinking about the amount of time our students are in school and how much time they are somewhere else.  There are 365 days in a year and 24 hours in each day for a total of 8,760 hours in a year.

Our students are usually in school for 180 days for about 8 hours a day or approximately 1,440 hours.  I have added in some days and hours because it averages out when you count all the co-curriculars, sports, clubs, and other opportunities that happen after school, during holiday breaks, and/or in the summer.

This means the children in the Northview community are somewhere else, other than school that is, for 7,320 hours a year. If every student gets 8 hours of sleep a night it would mean they have 4,400 waking hours where they are somewhere other than school.

If you divide the number of hours our kids are in school (1,440) by the number of hours they are awake (4,400) it shows they are in school 32% of their time in a year and somewhere else 68% of the time.  If you count in the time sleeping the percentages are 20% of student time is spent in school and 80% is spent somewhere else.

Thanks to the strong emotional and spiritual relationship between our students, their families, staff members, and community members the percentages of time students spend in and out of school produces small and large miracles every day.

We believe that people working together toward common goals can accomplish anything.
This morning my life-coach Travis, walked from his mom’s vehicle to my post at the drop-off line and mumbled something like “it’s so cold my words won’t come out of my mouth right.”  So much for my hope that he would give me a little advice today about what is important to a first grade student on the 100th day of the school year.  He is 800 hours into the 1,440 hours that he is in school each year.

I spent a little time with Travis and his mom on Tuesday night.  I was walking between the high school swim meet and the varsity boys basketball game.  The Wildcat Youth Wrestling practice was going on in the wrestling room just outside the second floor entrance of the pool.  There were at least 40 “little cats” warming up for a night of practice.  Travis’ mom shared with me how much fun her daughter (3rd grade) had at the Daddy/Daughter Dance last Saturday night.  These are just two examples of how the community and the schools work together “bringing up the children of the community.”

One first grade girl shared that she is really excited about going to Denver, Colorado for her birthday this summer.  She will be staying with her favorite aunt for two weeks.  We talked about my time in Colorado and I promised to bring her a few of my books about Colorado.  She is a really good reader already.  That will be 224 hours out of the 4,400 hours she is not in school, yet her learning continues.

One of our students had a very tough day on Thursday.  The staff members who are directly supporting the student are highly qualified professionals who are also highly compassionate. Their interventions with the student having a tough day sent a great lesson to other students, “we never give up on any student no matter what.”  This same group of professionals spend time in their evenings, on weekends, and during the summer months honing their teaching and learning skills.  They are making sure that every minute of the 1,440 hours our students are in school make a difference.

I did ask 7 or 8 kids if anything important was going on this week.  The answers were all illustrated with sighs and/or eye rolls – “Valentine’s Parties are tomorrow.”  They care very deeply about giving and getting Valentines.  Yes, this is an important part of the 1,440 hours our students are in school.  The time family members spent helping their kindergarten child construct a box to hold the Valentines is good use of three (okay, maybe you spent 10 hours) of the 4,400 hours their child is not in school.

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Together we increase the likelihood that small and large miracles happen every day in the lives of our Northview students.  It may be something as simple as:

  • writing out a Valentine card for 23 other children
  • saying good morning – even if your mouth is so cold the words don’t come out right
  • learning to wrestle on a Tuesday night
  • taking your daughter to a dance
  • swimming in a meet or tossing plastic ducks to raise money for the team
  • learning to depend on a basketball team member
  • sitting on the top row of the bleachers (on the visitor side) at a basketball game and being known as a “Red Coat”
  • understanding how to help a student having a tough day
  • never giving up on any child, no matter what
  • knowing what you care deeply about and telling someone else – with or without a sigh and/or an eye roll

Have a great weekend.  Thanks for making every minute our kids are in school or out of school count.  You are the reason small and large miracles happen every day in the Northview schools and in the community.

Sincerely and With Great Respect,

Mike Paskewicz, Superintendent

Northview Public Schools

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Fly Squad – EDE #53 for 2014/15

February 11, 2015
EDE #53 for 2014/15

I was double booked on my calendar on Wednesday and did not make it to West Oakview.  As a result, World Wide Wednesdays With West Oakview will return next week.

Here is an Every Day Evidence for your consideration.  It is written by Northview High School Athletic Director Jerry Klekotka.  His children attend the Northview Public Schools and this is written from a parent point of view.  The “Fly Squad” meets every Thursday after school at the high school.

Every Day Evidence

“Mike,

I am writing this email from a parent perspective.  As you may know, Alex has developed a love for being outdoors.  He enjoys hunting, fishing, and everything outdoors.  In the past it has been difficult for him to find other students who shared his passion.  He has spent many hours by himself fishing or hunting.  Sara and I always worry when he goes alone, but have never stopped him from going.

This year has been different.  Rich Youngberg has provided a place for kids like Alex to learn and experience all of what Mother Nature has to offer.  The “Fly Squad” meets on Thursdays to talk fly fishing, go fly fishing, or tie flies.  Thursdays have become Alex’s favorite day of the week.  As a parent, I can’t thank Rich enough for putting this club together.  It is making a huge difference for those who participate.  If you get a chance to stop by on a Thursday, the kids would like to see you.

Jerry K.

Sincerely,

Mike Paskewicz, Superintendent
Northview Public Schools

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