“To the Banana” and “Louie Louie” – Every Day Evidence #77 for 2014/15

April 30, 2015
Arrival Time:  7:40 a.m.
Happy Poem in Your Pocket Day!  Every student and adult at North (and East) Oakview had a poem in their pocket, shoe, sock, headband, hand, or head today.  Fourth grade students were in the media center preparing for a “Skype” poetry reading with a 4th grade class in Illinois.  Student use of technology continues to grow in Northview.
The two 4th grade classes read three poems together – Fire Flies; Homework Blues; Backboard Rap.  Laughter and applause spread across the connection between two states and 60 children and their teachers.
A class of kindergarten students discussed how they would say goodbye to a fellow classmate had moved to a new school.  The class was preparing to write him letters and pictures.  They quickly moved on to reading the poems in their pockets.  Their teacher reminded them that the more they read the poems the more they learned about new words.
YES! You heard that correct. Kindergarten students reading poems to each other.  All day long, all students reading poems to each other and adults.  Adults reading poems to kids and to each other. Yes, I have a poem in my pocket.  It also was written in chalk near the drop-off area:
“To the Banana”
by
Laura Purdie Salas
Thick skin forms
a rain-proof seal
You’re a fruit
with great appeal
I pack a lot
of things for lunch
But you’re my favorite
of the bunch!

I picked up a few coaching tips from Travis today.  He shared that he is in “coach pitch” baseball and that the job of the coach is to make sure each kid has something to hit.  He also shared that he is not a coach on the team but his dad is kind of like a coach and his name is also Travis.  He assured me that the kids on the team don’t get him and his dad confused because his dad is a lot taller and throws better than a kid.
Travis also reminded me that I better have a poem in my pocket today because people will be asking me that question all day.
Meanwhile Back at East Oakview…….. 

Every student and every adult had poems at the ready.  I was asked to share mine within the first 5 minutes in the school.  My favorite poem of the day – at either school – was one written by Shel Silverstein in the book “Where the Sidewalk Ends.”  The poem is titled “Hot Dog for A Pet.”
Students in Lou Sinigos’ music class were hard at work with the bell chimes.  They were chiming out the tune Louie Louie, one of my all time favorite songs.  Lou told me that the three chord song Louie Louie breaks all the rules of music theory by using a minor cord rather than a major chord.  Our elementary students know the difference and their Superintendent just learned about the major and minor chords today.
However, I do have a cassette tape somewhere in my file cabinets that has 15 different bands playing this time honored song written by Richard Berry back in 1957.  Here are the first few verses of the “poem in my pocket” and my head thanks to Lou and his students.

“Louie Louie”
(originally by Richard Berry)Louie, Louie, oh no, I said we gotta go
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah I said
Louie, Louie, oh baby, I said we gotta go

A fine little girl, she waits for me
Me catch a ship across the sea
Me sail that ship all alone
Me never think how I’ll make it home

Louie, Louie, no, no, no, no, no, I said we gotta go
Oh no, I said
Louie, Louie, oh baby, I said we gotta go

Just for the record, the 2nd grade teachers were deep into professional development regarding the delivery of the math curriculum.  Our teachers constantly learn new methods that improve the teaching and learning process.
OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS WORK!
Sincerely and With Great Respect,
Mike Paskewicz, Superintendent
Northview Public Schools

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World Wide Wednesdays With West Oakview – “Life is too short to be BORING.”

Every Day Evidence #76 for 2014/15

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Arrival Time:  7:25 a.m.

What a difference a week makes.  Not only in the weather but in life.  Last week it was cloudy, cold, and rainy.  This morning was a “Popeye sunny day!” You know the one – the sun is so bright that when you look up one of your eyes goes shut while the other tries to stay wide open so that you don’t bump into anything.

I was in a rush this morning to follow up on a promise to meet with one of the 4th grade teachers.  I said my hello in the office and quickly left the office.  The teacher was standing in the hall waiting for me.  When I asked if we should head to her room she said “no, let’s just meet in the library.”

The entire West Oakview staff was assembled and clapped their hands to the song “Celebration” as I entered the room.  I had been tricked into arriving early so they could thank me for my service to Northview children, staff, and community.  They even presented me with a book of retirement advice written by the students and staff at West.

After expressing a few words of thanks, mostly due to my inability to get past the emotional impact I was feeling, we adjourned to the lounge for a breakfast prepared by the staff.  The emotion didn’t have any impact on the amount of good food I piled on my plate. Now I know why that staff member was hauling in a slow cooker full of bacon this morning.

After finishing the delightful blueberry cobbler, I headed to the drop-off line.  There must have been 20 kids with “Popeye sunny day” faces.  I told one girl she looked like Popeye.  She turned around, with both eyes fully open, and said “who?”  I considered going into the explanation but that would include the words “Olive Oil and Bluto” plus the bell had already rung to start the day.

As most of you know, I plan to retire at the end of June.  I am now calling it a move to self employment without regular hours.  Since I now have THE book of “Advice for Life’s Next Step” I am able to ponder how to spend my time.  Here are a few examples:

  • “You could go around town tellin’ knock knock jokes.
  • “Go shopping for old man stuff.”
  • “Don’t step in the mud because your mom is going to be really mad.”
  • “Keep those red shoes clean.”
  • “Ride you bike if you still can.”
  • “When your house is on fire, jump out the window.”
  • “Don’t jump off a horse.”
  • “Turn into a kid.”
  • “Play in the waves at the beach.”
  • “Hang out with your twin brother.” (See an early blog post for information)
  • “Go on vacation with your kids and your wiph.”
  • “Spend time with your grandchildren and children.”
  • “Get a pet cat.”
  • “Make some art.”
  • “Check with your doctor because people start losing their senses when they are old.”
  • “Follow your dreams and sleep in.  Dream big.”
  • “Life is too short to be BORING.”

Thanks West Oakview.  More clips of advice from students will appear over the next few weeks.

Sincerely and With Great Respect,

Mike Paskewicz, Superintendent

Northview Public Schools

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Advanced Copy of May 2015 Northview News – Every Day Evidence #75 for 2014/15

April 23, 2015

Good Morning,

As you have come to expect, here is an advanced copy of my Superintendent Letter for the May Northview News.  Please feel free to share this email with those in your circles of influence.

I am also asking you to mark your calendar for May 5, 2015 and remember to vote.  If you need additional information about Proposal 1 please visit our web site nvps.net or contact me directly  mpaskewicz@nvps.net

Sincerely and With Great Respect,

Mike Paskewicz, Superintendent

Northview Public Schools

Northview News

May 2015

Dear Families, Community Members, Staff, and Students,

Over the past five years I have reflected upon the upcoming high school graduation celebration and the close of school activities scheduled in each of our Northview schools. This annual reflection is important to me but is being briefly et aside to once again remind you of a very important election.

I am asking all Northview voters to please remember to mark your calendars for Tuesday, May 5, 2015 and make an informed vote on Proposal 1.  This ballot initiative is important as it addresses the needs to fix Michigan Roads and to stabilize the School Aid Fund.

Here are some facts about Proposal 1:

  • Proposal 1 increases the sales tax from 6 cents to 7 cents per dollar, bringing our state sales tax in line with other sales taxes paid in Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, New York, and Ohio.
  • Proposal 1 substitutes the sales tax on gasoline with a funding stream that directs all tax dollars spent at the pump to transportation purposes.
  • Right now the sales tax on fuel provides more than $630 million per year for schools.Proposal 1 replaces the money devoted to schools and prohibits the Legislature from diverting school aid funds to four-year universities, which have received $200 million or more from the school aid fund each year since 2011.
  • Proposal 1 would also provide additional dollars for schools through the increase in the sales tax, as most of sales tax revenues are devoted to public education.
  • A part of the sales tax on fuel also goes to revenue sharing, to help our local municipalities pay for police, fire and other services. Proposal 1 would replace those revenues through the sales tax increase.
  • Many people fear low-income families will bear the brunt of the Proposal 1 sales tax increase because the one-cent increase would represent a larger portion of their family income.Proposal 1 restores a reduction in the earned income tax credit to offset the burden of additional sales taxes on families at or near the poverty level.
  • Proposal 1 creates stability in the School Aid Fund.Under Proposal 1 the School Aid Fund is projected to get an increase of $300 million. This would mean $202 per pupil or $692,860 to Northview.

Proposal 1 gives tax payers three strong guarantees:

  1. Every penny in state taxes we pay at the pump is guaranteed to go to transportation.We can put an end to the shell game of politics that shift gas taxes to non-transportation purposes.
  2. Every penny in the School Aid Fund is guaranteed in the constitution to fund education where it helps our kids the most: our K-12 schools and community colleges.No more shell games with education funding.
  3. Taxpayers get guarantees from the road builders.If their roads don’t last, road builders pay to fix them, not taxpayers.

There are many resources on the Internet published by groups that both support and oppose Proposal 1.  A list of Frequently Asked Questions and a Proposal 1 Fact Sheet may be found on our web page – nvps.net.

As you can see, Proposal 1 is complex because it was constructed to make sure schools and municipalities do not suffer because taxes paid at the pump would be dedicated to repairing and maintaining our roads and bridges.

Last year, the House of Representatives passed a road funding package that would divert over $880 million from the School Aid Fund to help fix Michigan roads. In Northview this would mean a reduction of $593 per pupil or $2,033,990 less (loss from possible funding and moving funds out of the School Aid Fund to pay for roads).  This package/idea for road funding is still an option pending the outcome of the May 5 vote.

This proposal has a direct impact on the roads in Northview and on the Northview Public Schools.  I am asking you to take time to study Proposal 1, talk with those in your circles of influence, and, above all else, VOTE ON TUESDAY, MAY 5, 2015.

Sincerely and With Great Respect,

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World Wide Wednesdays With West Oakview – EDE #74 for 2014/15 – It’s Slinky

Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Arrival Time:  7:40 a.m.

Cloudy, cold, and the clouds are spitting snow flakes.  Kids were in winter coats but no boots today.  At least ten of our elementary children assured me that this is a temporary joke by Mother Nature and that it will get warmer next week.

The best comment I heard during drop off line duty today came from a girl who was carrying a Slinky.  I asked her if she had ever heard the Slinky Song.  When she shook her head “no” I started to sing the song made famous back in 1960 when I was a better singer.  Or at least then, I really thought I was a better singer.

When I shared that it was possible to find the song on the internet, she said she would “ask Siri” when she had a few minutes. I used the old fashion method by using a Google search:

http://www.hark.com/clips/bsvdsgymsz-old-slinky-song

This is the time of year when our students start thinking about what it will be like in the next grade level.  Today I asked eight students, from various grade levels, if they felt their teachers have prepared them to take the “next step” and move up a grade level.  Every student answered with an emphatic “yes.”  They had evidence that were prepared for the next grade level.  The evidence ranged from “I can read now” to “I know my math facts” to “I know how to write a persuasive paragraph” to “I can get along with other people really well.”

I have a hunch this might be the same skill set that employers are seeking in their new hires.

Have a great evening.

Sincerely and With Great Respect,

Mike Paskewicz, Superintendent
Northview Public Schools

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Northview One of 30 Michigan School Districts to Receive a Perfect Financial Score

Congratulations to the Northview Board of Education and staff for being honored as one of only 30 Michigan School Districts to receive a perfect financial  score from Munetrix.  Also congratulations to Craig McCarthy and Julie Bylsma in the Northview Business Office for their attention to detail and providing “even more evidence that our public schools work!”

Tell your Michigan Legislator that our schools need a “real net-operating revenue increase.”

This is from a MLive article posted this afternoon.  Click on the link to see the full article.

“Thirty Michigan public school districts and 20 charter schools received perfect scores in a new financial analysis by an Auburn Hills-based web consultancy firm.

Munetrix measured a variety of factors when developing their fiscal indicator scores for Michigan public schools, including operations performance, enrollment trends and fund balance status. The measurements are based off of Michigan Department of Education data.

A workgroup of Michigan Association of School Business Officials vetted the criteria for the fiscal indicator scores. The group included officials from the Michigan Department of Education, Michigan Center for Educational Performance and multiple school districts.

“Under very difficult situations, these districts performed exceptionally well and should be commended,” said Bob Kittle, president of Munetrix. “The fiscal headwinds facing local schools in Michigan and across the country are compounded by declining enrollments and state-aid revenue sources. Fiscal stewardship is taken very seriously by this group.”

http://www.mlive.com/lansing-news/index.ssf/2015/04/30_michigan_school_districts_a.html#incart_river

Mike Paskewicz, Superintendent
Northview Public Schools

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Our Public Schools Work – Student Voice – EDE #73 for 2014/15

Every Day Evidence #73 for 2014/15

April 13, 2015

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

and Afendoulis,

We are providing factual information to our community members regarding Proposal 1.  While we do not always agree with our Governor and Legislators about their actions regarding public education, we do “step-up” and do the right thing when something benefits the greater community.

Questions for Your Consideration:

  1. Are your legislative actions confusing entrepreneurs and innovators when you address education issues?
  2. Do you believe that educators are part of the solution rather than the problem?
  3. Are your legislative actions strengthening the relevance of public education?

Every Day Evidence

Today’s EDE comes from Instrumental Music teacher Joyce Antel and from one of her former music students.  OUR EDUCATORS ARE THE SOLUTION.

“I used to be at Northview playing the flute at Highlands. I am not sure if you remember me but you gave me a very positive musical and band experience… I am now in the 7th grade at City Middle High and playing the flute. I was invited to play in the Zero-Hour band, (with 11th and 12th graders) and preformed with them at their concert, and at Festival. The past weekend I participated in the Federation Festival (solos) and got a “superior” in both theory and flute performance. I have also played at solo and ensemble festival last season and received a One, and I plan on playing at spring S&E. I also am participating in Blue Lake International this Summer for 3 weeks overseas. I would like to thank you for the musical impact you made on my life and for encouraging me to stick with the flute. You were my first teacher and supporter.

Thanks Again,

 Max

Wow!…Max!  It’s so good to hear from you!  I and your former class mates miss you a great deal.  I knew you would excel with your flute playing.  You grasped everything so quickly and always had a “Golden” tone quality.  

You must have Mr. Schroeder now, is that correct?  His daughter was in my band many years ago, and I gave her private lessons (she was also an awesome flute player). He must love having you in his band.  :-)

I am so glad you contacted me to let me know how you are doing and of the successes you are experiencing.  Keep me posted on how Blue Lake goes. I would love to hear about your experience overseas.

Take care and I look forward to hearing from you again,

Mrs. Antel”


Fun Fact

Northview High School teacher Brian Bollone breaks the mold of traditional high school science classes.  Take a few minutes to view this video clip – http://wotv4women.com/2015/02/24/breaking-the-mold-of-traditional-science-classes/

Sincerely,

Mike Paskewicz, Superintendent

Northview Public Schools

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