Welcome to the 2017-18 school year! It's hard to believe that summer is already nearing its end; it seems to pass more quickly each year. We have had some great Michigan summer weather to enjoy! Summer is always a great opportunity to rejuvenate and make new memories with family and friends.
At a recent Board of Education meeting, we were updated on the savings our district has experienced through our energy savings project over the past year and a half. As you may recall, the district did many energy upgrades including lighting throughout the district, select boiler replacements/additions, water conservation measures, and several other control measures to reduce energy consumption.
We are happy to report that we have exceeded savings projections for a total cost avoidance of over $225,000! The savings was applied to payments on our zero interest QZAB (Qualified Zone Academy Bond), allowing us to complete the energy projects plus complete significant roof work, install wireless access throughout the district and other needed projects. This is obviously great news for the district and community.
We are looking forward to the first year in our district for an upper elementary, grades 4 and 5, and two lower elementaries, grades K-3. North Elementary will be our 4-5 building while Central and Northwood Elementaries will be K-3 buildings. As many of you know, this decision was made by our Board of Education following a recommendation from a Steering Committee consisting of parents, grandparents, board members, and staff members at all levels.
This change will allow for better differentiation of programming and curriculum delivery based on student needs. We appreciate all the work of the committee and staff. Staff members have worked diligently over the summer in preparation for this new building configuration.
Their efforts are greatly appreciated and we look forward to a very successful school year!
Once again, we would like to recognize our High School and Northwood Elementary for being named Reward Schools by the State of Michigan for last school year. They were 2 of the 3 buildings in Kalamazoo County to earn that distinction!
Additionally, the Middle School was ranked at the 89th percentile on State M-Step scores! Congratulations to our students for their great performance and to the staff for theirs.
Additionally, our Reading scores throughout the district were significantly higher than state averages. This is noteworthy especially when factoring in our student risk factors. We are very proud of our students and staff.
That said, we all know that the education of our youth is much more than what occurs within the classroom of the Parchment School District. We are all tasked with the responsibility of preparing our youth to not only be successful academically, but also be creative problem solvers, effective communicators and team members, as well as being productive members in our democracy. Please trust that the Parchment School District is committed to doing its part in this endeavor.
Yours in Education,
Matthew J. Miller,