Superintendent's Blog

  • New Facility Reservation System

    Posted by Adam Spina on 7/18/2019 1:15:00 PM

    The Enrichment Department has launched a new reservation system for district facilities. The new online system offers a sortable listing of available district spaces as well as an expandable menu option listed by facility. The new calendar system allows users to preview dates for a particular space to determine if it is currently available. Additionally, the maximum capacity, rentable hours, photos, a map, and rental rules are listed for each space. Fees, if applicable, are listed on the site as well or by referencing Board Policy 9250-R. Finally, once a reservation request has been made online, a response email will be generated either confirming or declining the request. This new feature will enhance communication and ensure the status of requests are known in a timely manner.

    Reservations made before July 1, 2019 have been migrated into the new site, there is no need to make an additional reservation if a confirmation notice has already been received. 

    The Enrichment Department supports hundreds of unique facility requests each year and manages a wide variety of long-term reservations, district events, and enrichment opportunities. We encourage community members and local businesses to utilize district spaces and learn more about the programs and partnership opportunities offered by the Enrichment Department. Whether you are interested in obtaining a CPR certification, yoga, aquatic events, or special events for children, the Enrichment Department offers something for everyone. A listing of current opportunities can be found here. Bookmark the website or stop by the Enrichment Office located inside the fitness center entrance at Williamston High School to stay updated on new events and activities each season.

    Refinished Playing Surface in the WHS Performance Gym:

    New Performance Gym Floor

    New Performance Gym Floor at WHS

    Little Hornets Preschool Enrollment:

    Little Hornets Preschool Enrollment Information

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  • Summer Safety Projects

    Posted by Adam Spina on 6/26/2019 7:35:00 AM

    As noted in my most recent blog, the district invested heavily in multiple facets of school safety throughout the 2018-2019 school year. This summer we will focus on additional physical security enhancements. The projects are funded by the district sinking fund and the Michigan State Police School Safety Grant that WCS was awarded this past winter. Although timelines are subject to unforeseen circumstances (and in our case, almost non-stop rain), below is a listing of the safety projects that will be completed before school begins in August or shortly thereafter. 


    Secure High School Entrance: Includes an entrance vestibule directly connected to the main office, canopy, and signage. See more details about the project here.

    WHS Secure Entrance Project, 2019

    Proximity Key Card Entrance System: Includes a WIFI integrated, programmable entrance control system for all district schools. The locking systems on select interior doors will also be upgraded.

    Proximity Key Card Readers

    Additional Summer 2019 Physical Security Projects:

    • Automated emergency alert system at Williamston Middle School
    • Installation of additional high definition security cameras
    • New steel core classroom doors at the preschool and Explorer Elementary
    • Door barrier upgrade pilot at Discovery Elementary
    • Addition of safety film on glass building access points. Safety film being applied to the main entrance at Williamston Middle School:

    Security Film Installation, 2019

    View the WCS Goals for improving the safety and security of district schools and facilities here.

    Report safety concerns anonymously with Ok 2 Say.

    Updated 2019-2020 Calendar (as of June 24):

    Download the updated one-page summary of the 2019-2020 district calendar here. The updates are to the times for spring conferences at the middle school and high school. The calendar on the district website reflects the new secondary spring conference times as well.

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  • District Safety Upgrades 2018-2019

    Posted by Adam Spina on 6/20/2019 4:05:00 PM

    The District made significant progress throughout the 2018-2019 school year in addressing its goal of improving the safety of schools and facilities. Highlights from the past year:

    • The implementation of an expanded police liaison program and increased uniformed police presence at district events
    • Installation of bollards at each campus, preventing vehicles from accessing sidewalks at a high rate of speed

    Bollards at Williamston Middle School:

    Bollards at Williamston Middle School

    Staff at Williamston Middle School receive training by medical professionals from McLaren and NIESA first responders:

    Stop the Bleed Training at Williamston Middle School

    • Installation of bleeding control/triage kits throughout the district, provided by NIESA and McLaren Hospitals

    Bleeding control/triage kits installed throughout the district:

    Bleeding Control Kits

    • Installation of a remote emergency notification system at Williamston High School
    • Implementation of the “Be Nice” mental health program at Williamston High School and Williamston Middle School
    • Run, Hide, Fight training for staff and students at Williamston High School
    • Implementation of Restorative Justice practices throughout all district schools
    • Construction of a secure entrance vestibule at Williamston Middle School
    • Addition of numerous high definition security cameras and “live feed” monitoring of camera footage at all district schools
    • Hiring of a full-time school psychologist and additional school social workers

    Progress on our district safety initiative will continue over the summer. The district sinking fund will become eligible for safety expenditures on July 1st, allowing for additional physical security upgrades. Future blog posts will highlight new safety initiatives underway this summer.


    Report safety concerns anonymously using Ok 2 Say.

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  • A Week of Celebrations

    Posted by Adam Spina on 6/13/2019 4:50:00 PM

    Our final week of the school year was a memorable one. Some notable moments are listed below:

    Commencement at Michigan State University’s Wharton Center

    Graduation 2019

    Students perform during 8th-grade Graduation at McGoff Performing Arts Center

    8th-grade graduation 2019

    Students recognize their parents during the 5th-grade Celebration at Explorer Elementary

    5th-grade Celebration 2019

    Staff at Discovery and Explorer Elementary Schools wave goodbye as students leave on the last day of the 2018-2019 school year.

    Last day of School 2019

    Buzz updates over the summer will include updates on summer projects, new programs, and other district news. Please continue to check the blog, website, and monitor updates for WCS information over the next couple of months.  

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  • Momentum

    Posted by Adam Spina on 6/4/2019 7:25:00 AM

    The June District Podcast can be listened to here.

    The Podcast can also be accessed at the following links:

    _________________________________

    Our theme for this school year was “Momentum,” a reminder for our district to build upon its long-standing legacy of success. In reflecting on this past year, I am confident we kept our positive momentum going. Our students and staff distinguished themselves in all aspects of the educational experience. Students throughout the district continued to demonstrate academic growth at some of the highest levels in Michigan. Our art and music programs raised the bar with the quality of their performances and presentations. Our athletic teams achieved at the top of their conference, also claiming numerous district and regional titles as well as competing at the state level in multiple sports. Students participated in an expanding number of co-curricular opportunities, including the inaugural season for our First Robotics team. School safety was prioritized, with upgrades to physical security and staff training. Student mental health was a focal point, to include extensive professional development for staff and new, meaningful resources for students. The momentum of this school year will carry into our summer projects, expect to see some very noticeable upgrades when the schools open in August (find out more by listening to the June District Podcast).

    Select WCS 2018-2019 highlights:

    • Approval of a District Sinking Fund allowing for expenditures on school safety
    • Earning the FY 2018 Michigan State Police School Safety Grant
    • District Fund Balance Increase from 3.6% to 6.9%
    • Niche Top Michigan School Districts List
    • Great Schools College Success Award
    • SET SEG & M.A.S.B. Education Excellence Award
    • Williamston High School ranked as the #1 school in Mid-Michigan for the second straight year on the Michigan Department of Education State Report Card Index
    • Three percent (3%) Enrollment Growth - Fastest growing district in Ingham County

    Over 130 “Good News Stories” were published this year, highlighting unique learning opportunities, district events, and student achievement. To scroll through a “year in review,” select the link here.

    I am greatly appreciative of our students, staff, parents, and community for a successful 2018-2019 school year. Thank you for all you do and for your continued support!

    2019-2020 District Calendar:

    Download the one-page summary 2019-2020 District Calendar here.

    Comments (-1)
  • Class of 2019

    Posted by Adam Spina on 5/30/2019 6:50:00 AM

    Congratulations to the Class of 2019! I am proud of their accomplishments and the legacy of success they have contributed to at WCS. I know they will achieve great things as they transition into a new chapter. Well done!

    I look forward to shaking hands with each of our graduates as they walk across the stage at Commencement on June 9.

    Class of 2019

    Class of 2019 Paper Throw

    Class of 2019 Senior Walk

    WCS Featured on M.A.S.B. DashBoard

    Williamston’s STEAM initiative was the featured article in the May 15 edition of the Michigan Association of School Boards DashBoard. Read the article and learn more about why WCS is a 2019 Education Excellence Award Recipient here.  

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  • Honoring our Retirees

    Posted by Adam Spina on 5/24/2019 7:05:00 AM

    This time of year is always bittersweet as we acknowledge the distinguished professional careers of our retiring educators. Our 2019 retirees are listed below, along with their years of service to Williamston Community Schools. Please join me in celebrating their countless contributions to our schools, students, and community.

    Mr. Michael Freeman, Assistant Principal, 18 Years

    Ms. Ann Fritts, Teacher, 21 Years

    Ms. Sandra Nagy, Librarian, 23 Years

    Ms. Lynette Pemble, Teacher, 25 Years

    Ms. Sara Evans, Teacher, 28 Years

    Ms. Sherri Petersmark, Teacher, 29 Years

    Ms. Pamela Gaffner, Para-Professional, 31 Years

    Ms. Kellie O’Toole, Teacher, 31 Years

    Ms. Julie Pettibone, Teacher, 31 Years

     

    Last Day of School

    With the recent legislative changes, I want to send another reminder that our last day of school is again Friday, June 7. The website and online calendars have been updated accordingly. Contact your child’s school for additional information on end of year events.

     

    Scenes From Around the District

    The Hornet Soccer Team celebrates an overtime win in the MHSAA playoffs (photo courtesy of Dave Ferguson):

    WHS Soccer

    Second-grade students present during “Our School is a Zoo” at Discovery Elementary:

    Our School is a Zoo

    Explorer Elementary’s Girls on the Run team participated in a 5K race and community service event:

    Girls on the Run

    WHS Junior Angelina and her art teacher Ms. Meagan Kubu are presented with the 2019 Masterpiece Grant from the Meemic Foundation. Angelina was named a winner of the art competition which includes student entries from three states.

    Masterpiece Art Award Winner 2019

    Ms. Carrie Hartges and her Young Fives class visits the Granger Recycling Center:

    Young Fives Recycling Center Trip

    Athletic Director Tom Hampton presents a plaque to Mr. Tim Stiffler at this week’s home baseball game, recognizing him for 30 years of service to WCS:

    Tim Stiffler, 30 Years of Service Award

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  • Educator Appreciation

    Posted by Adam Spina on 5/2/2019 6:25:00 AM

    In August of 2003, I attended my new staff orientation here in Williamston. My most prominent memory of that session was the very clearly articulated expectation that every member of the staff at WCS is an educator. The roles vary, but the opportunity to make a positive difference in the life of a child was the same. The day might start with a greeting from a bus driver and end with guidance from a coach or advisor. In between, all who work in the education profession have the unique chance to make that difference with our students.

    May is traditionally the month to recognize those who have devoted their lives to the profession of education. There are some highlights during the month, such as Teacher Appreciation Week, which begins on May 6th. But more than appreciation or acknowledgment, May can be a chance to (re)discover respect for the profession of education. For secretaries who care for sick children, custodians who maintain a vigilant eye on school safety, or teachers and paras who deliver world-class instruction, respecting the profession of education year round is perhaps the most meaningful recognition we can offer. It has certainly been earned.

    Thank you to all the educators who make WCS such a special place.

    With appreciation and respect.

     

    Adam

    Note: The Superintendent’s Blog and Buzz Update will be off for a few weeks. The updates will resume in late May/early June.

     

    WHS Wins 2019 Great Schools College Success Award


    For the second year in a row, Williamston High School has been named a recipient of the GreatSchools.org College Success Award. The award recognizes select public high schools for “ensuring students are prepared for college, enroll in college, and succeed once they get there.” You can read more about this honor here or by visiting GreatSchools.org.

    GreatSchools.org 2019 College Success Award

    News Story on Technology Integration/STEAM at WCS

    View the story produced by HOMTV here.

     

    Senior Awards Night:

    2019 Senior Awards Night

     

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  • Arts Fest 2019 and April District Podcast

    Posted by Adam Spina on 4/24/2019 7:05:00 PM

    The April District Podcast can be listened to here.

    The Podcast can also be accessed at the following links:

    _________________________________

    Arts Fest 2019 was a tremendous success, capitalizing on the momentum of the new format started last year. An estimated crowd of 1,500 attended the opening night performances, recognized contributions to the 36th Annual Susan Lorenz Memorial Art Show, and viewed student artwork from across the District. Faculty from our visual and performing arts departments spent close to a year planning this event and the results of their dedication to the project speak for themselves. 

    Read more about the event here.

    View select performances from Arts Fest 2019 on our YouTube page.

    Winners of the 2019 Susan Lorenz Memorial Art Show:

    2019 Susan Lorenz Memorial Art Show Winners

    McGoff Performing Arts Center Curtain Replacement Project:

    McGoff Curtain Project

    2019 PTSA Ice Cream Social:

    2019 Ice Cream Social

    Williamston Football Fundraiser Event at Culver's:

    Football Fundraiser at Culver's

     

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  • End of Year Calendar Update (added days) and Public Service Partnerships

    Posted by Adam Spina on 4/17/2019 7:25:00 AM

    The current District calendar remains in effect until June 5. Starting on June 5, there are a number of changes regarding the last few days of the school year. Please review the updated calendar carefully, not all the schools in the District end the year on the same day. Secondary buildings end on June 10 (one extra day) while elementary buildings conclude on June 11 (two additional days). The District and school websites have been updated to reflect the modified end-of-year schedule, contact the applicable school if there are any questions on the calendar or end-of-year events. You can download a copy of the updated end-of-year calendar here.

    For families with children in Little Hornets Preschool, please find the updated schedule for those programs here.

    __________________________

    WCS has a tradition of forging positive relationships with other public service organizations. Last week we had several examples of how these relationships benefit our students.

    Judge Donald Allen from the 55th District Court talks with AP Government classes after the Ingham Court to School Program was hosted at WHS:

    Judge Allen at WHS

    Elementary students and staff with Williamston City Manager Corey Schmidt and WPD Liaison Officer Don Smith as part of the WPD Police & Kids program.

    Police & Kids Program 2019

    Firefighters from NIESA participate in Mileage Club with elementary students:

    Firefighters at Mileage Club 2019

    2019 WSF Golf Outing:

    2019 WSF Golf Outing

     

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Executive Assistant

Mrs. Janet Eidt

Phone: (517) 655-4361

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Mrs. Janet Eidt