With the start of the new school year upon us, I wanted to take this opportunity to share a few updates with you.
SUPERINTENDENT SEARCH: The Board of Education continues to move forward with the search for a new Superintendent. Candidates will be selected in mid-September with initial interviews scheduled for September 20 and 21. Second round interviews will be the following week which means we should have a new Superintendent identified by the end of the month. All interviews are open to the public and we encourage you to attend.
FREE MEALS FOR ALL STUDENTS: In the past couple of years, schools were provided with free meals as part of the federal government’s COVID relief efforts. That relief is no longer available however, all our buildings do now qualify for free meals through a provision called community eligibility. This is great news for our students and families!
SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICER: We are excited to announce that the district has entered into an agreement with the Kalamazoo Township police department that will provide us with a full time School Resource Officer (SRO). Veteran patrol officer Halley Erdos has enthusiastically agreed to fill this role. Our students, staff, and parents can expect to see Officer Erdos in and around our schools on a daily basis. While her home base will be in Parchment High School, she will be making regular visits to each of our buildings. The addition of an SRO is not a response to any specific issue or concern. Many districts in our area have an SRO who not only provides the schools with a greater sense of security but also provides our students with a mentor figure and positive role model. Please join me in welcoming Officer Erdos.
ATHLETICS: Parents are reminded that we will be implementing some changes to our spectator policy for athletic events. These changes are being made to promote a safe atmosphere and a pleasant experience for all our spectators. Key changes include an enhanced expectation of positive behavior for all spectators and increased accountability for those whose behavior is not representative of the values identified for our athletic department. Another key change involves our students. Those in 8th grade and below, must
be accompanied by an adult who is responsible for their behavior during the game. The complete spectator policy is available on the district website or at this link.
We also want all Panther fans to be aware of our district ticket policy. All tickets for home events will be issued through an online platform called Ticket Spicket. No cash will be accepted. Fans new to this platform will be assisted at the gate. SAC Conference and senior citizen passes (62 and over) will be accepted.
BEHAVIOR EXPECTATIONS: For the 2022-23 school year, each of our buildings will continue to focus on promoting positive behavior among our students. This includes establishment of clear expectations and consequences for those who are unable to abide by those expectations. Safe, secure learning environments must always be our top priority.
NEW STAFF AND STUDENTS: Like many schools, we have experienced significant staff turnover this summer and we welcome many new members to the Panther team. Our administration has done an outstanding job of seeking and hiring quality individuals to fill each of our vacant positions. We welcome all new employees, students, and families to Parchment School District.
CHAIN OF COMMAND: When concerns arise, I would like to remind and encourage all to observe the chain of command when addressing a school related issue. As interim Superintendent, I am more than happy to discuss concerns with all parents but ask that you first contact the individual closest to the situation followed by that individual’s supervisor. Contacting a board member should also be reserved for after these channels have been followed.
COVID AND ILLNESS POLICIES: In an earlier message, I mentioned new year COVID policies. We have since received the official guidance from the county health department. Please become familiar with the chart below and check out this link for more information about student illness.
I’ve only been here for about a month but in that time, I can’t express how impressed I’ve been with the administration, teachers, and staff here at Parchment. These individuals are hardworking and dedicated to your children. They, like me, can’t wait to see the kids back at school on Monday, August 29, 2022.