Superintendent of Schools
Welcome to the Eaton Rapids Public Schools. Our school district strives to provide all children with the best education possible. Dedicated faculty and staff, a safe and friendly community, and excellent facilities make Eaton Rapids an outstanding school district. I encourage you to visit our schools to see for yourself the high-quality education we provide. Weekly, I will share with you on this page articles, links, and other information that are helpful to our schools and community.
The Pool Reopens
Where do I start in the saga of the Eaton Rapids pool? Starting during the holidays last winter, we had some chemical imbalance issues with the water in our pool. We limped along during the high school boys’ swim and winter Silver Sharks season. We decided to shut the pool down in late March.
Through the spring and early summer, construction crews took off 1.5 inches of the pool walls and bottom. After we drained the pool, a crew then came in and made a mix of concrete and marble to rebuild it. We then trucked in fresh water to refill the pool, minimizing the “hard mineral content” of Eaton Rapids water.
Over a succession of days that turned into weeks, we struggled with the problems of lighting, water flow, and chemical imbalance again (chlorine versus alkaline). After receiving a couple of new parts and retooling a motor, we thought we were ready. We slowly changed and monitored the water content and finally were able to be up and running. Our maintenance staff also made repairs to our locker rooms at this time.
During the time of our rebuild, we were able to find a quality pool director. Valerie Finney started slowly getting herself and us organized for our programming. At this point, Val is the pool director, the girls swim coach, and the coach of our Silver Sharks swim program. She has extensive coaching and teaching experience having previously worked at the YMCA and Mason programs.
On Tuesday, August 27th, our girls swim team was finally able to practice. They had already had a swim meet with their coach shuttling groups of swimmers to the Charlotte pool for practice. Our second week of school, the week of Labor Day, we started getting our GIS and Middle School students in the pool as part of their physical education classes.
By the end of September, we will be back to full operation with community swimming times and classes as well as time in the pool for our Silver Sharks (competitive swim team for our younger students).
While we have done a lot of improvements to our pool, it took us an inordinate amount of time to get it right. Pool maintenance companies were slammed with summer work already when we got in the queue. We also got three staff members certified as pool operators plus hired a maintenance person with pool experience. So, we are back a later than we hoped but we are back.
Check us out at http://www.erpsk12.org/communityeducation/aquaticsprograms/ as we want you in the water!
The Boogeyman Is in Your Pocket
This is an offshoot of Jesse Weinberger’s book title about the dangers of smartphones for both children and adults. Mrs. Weinberger spent two days in Eaton Rapids during our first week back to school.
Jesse spent an entire day talking to five classes of Eaton Rapids students. Boys and girls from 4th grade to 8th grade listened to her scare them about the pitfalls of the Internet. The problem begins with kids getting phones. Close to 70% of our fourth graders in Eaton Rapids have some type of phone. Mrs. Weinberger said that this is higher than she normally sees. During the day, she talked to close to 1000 kids.
Each session ended with our students filling out a survey about their Internet behavior. Mrs. Weinberger spent the next day tallying and summarizing data and comments from our students.
She also spent the following evening with adults in the high school auditorium giving the adult version of her presentation. While I thought that we had promoted this program aggressively, we had an audience of only about 50 people. Half of the audience was teachers and school administrators; so, there were about two dozen parents and grandparents in attendance.
Mrs. Weinberger’s parent message focused on monitoring, supervising, and setting consequences. A couple of points for your consideration on each:
-Monitor: No smart phone before 9th grade and set up a blocking device on the phone (Qustodio program was suggested).
- Supervise: Limit usage to one hour per day checking browser history and games for sexual content. There should be no live streaming! Data showed that live streaming had high usage among our Middle School students.
-Consequence: set up a family contract on phones (like no phones in the Kitchen) and have digital rules pertain to everyone in your house, including your child’s friends.
Luke Brown, our technology director set up Mrs. Weinberger’s visit. Behind the Internet challenge, Jesse has a goal to raise her children to leave the home successfully and to have children give more than they take. She is relentless in taking on the
She has a punchline for parents: Children want limits on their phones and they want us to use our phones less. As she says,” Your children want you to say no to them and you. And I have proof.” Jesse Weinberger has a website: http://www.overnightgeekuniversity.com/. It is filled with information about her surveys and has information about her book, The Boogeyman Exists: And He Is in Your Child’s Back Pocket.
View Past Article
Earth Day Fun
As a Rotarian and a cofounder of our high school club, I am always interested in what our Interact Club students are doing. Club advisors, Stacy Surato and Kala Smith, worked with club officers to create a fun Earth Day event held on the school grounds between Lockwood Elementary and Greyhound Central Elementary. Continued
High Stakes Testing
M-STEP, S.A.T., PSAT, Work Keys...oh my! When it comes to high stakes testing in Michigan, it is difficult to keep up at times. In an attempt to explain the current testing, Brooke Ballee’-Stone, ERPS’ curriculum director, used a number of sources available in the hope of making things more understandable for parents and community. Read the article
ERPS Bond Update
We feel that we have been good stewards of funds received from bonds we issued that year. Here is how we have spent the money: See more
The Lushness of Green
When I think of green, my mind immediately goes to grass and then money. It now takes on a new meaning. The color of green is now the highest grade that you can receive on the Michigan Department of Education’s Scorecard. A few years ago, The Department of Education got rid of grades and established what I refer to as a color palette. Continue reading..
ERPS Water Testing
You have heard the phrase “better safe than sorry”. So, after the Flint water crisis, Board members asked that we have our water tested for lead. Prior to starting the testing, we met with city officials to understand what is currently done. In Eaton Rapids, our water comes from four wells that are part of the Saginaw Aquifer. Water is drawn from the aquifer that lies 450 feet below ground in four wells.ERPS Water Testing
A Millage Note
On behalf of the Eaton Rapids Public School District, I am writing to inform you that the School Board members voted to place a sinking fund millage proposal on the ballot in the upcoming May 3rd election. It is crucial that I explain to you why the millage, if approved by the voters, would benefit this community. Millage Information
Nice to Have Friends to Reduce Taxes
When you and I obtain a mortgage to buy our house, we agree to an interest rate and payment terms over the life of the mortgage. If interest rates change favorably for us, we often have a chance to refinance at a better interest rate. In essence, we pay off our old mortgage with its terms and get another one with lower payments. When a bond proposal is passed by local taxpayers, bonds are sold to give the school district the money shortly after the voter approval. Reduce Taxes
Board of Education Appreciation Month
January is School Board Recognition Month and Eaton Rapids is joining 541 local and 56 intermediate school districts across the state to thank these community volunteers for their untiring dedication to public education. Appreciation Month
New Year's Resolutions
Well, the New Year is with us and 2016 bring some hope for all of us. I like many of you have made some resolutions: eat better, lose weight, grow redder hair!. While I have tried to be purposeful in setting these, there is a little bit if wishing. We have just a couple of New Year’s resolutions for Eaton Rapids Public Schools (ERPS); hopefully, all of them are purposeful and doable. New Year's Resolutions
Postmortem of the Sinking Fund
By now, most of you know that we had a recount of the votes cast in the Sinking Fund election from November 3rd. We needed to find 4 votes but only found one. We could have lost votes just as easily in the recount. We had a few goals for this November election. Sinking Fund
High school students enter a financial world that is certainly more complicated and confusing than I encountered initially. All of us evolve in the financial world but sometimes we could use a little outside help getting us started.Our good neighbor, Consumers Professional Credit Union (CPCU), offers Eaton Rapids high school students just that opportunity. CPCU University
What Do Eggs and Proposal 1 Have in Common
There is an old Marx Brothers story about two brothers who considered committing their older brother to insane asylum because the older brother thought he was a chicken. They never could actually come around to doing it. When asked why by family friends they answered emphatically that they wanted the eggs. They did not like the chicken but needed the eggs. Prop 1
Rosetta Stone at the Middle School
This article introduces you to Mrs. Teri Lake. She recently became principal at Eaton Rapids Middle School. She is the author of this piece with a little editing on my part. Rosetta Stone
A second chance might be all we need
I will be writing a series of articles on school issues that are in the legislative spotlight right now. This is the first, and I would like to focus on truancy and the dropout rate. I recently read a report called the Silent Epidemic published by the Bill Gates Foundation. This report dealt with students dropping out of high school. There are many reasons why students drop out of school: classes were not interesting, students fell behind and never caught up, students spent time with the wrong people, and/or they had too much freedom with too little parent involvement. Second Chance
912 Greyhound Dr.
Eaton Rapids, MI 48827
(517) 663-8155 (Phone)
(517) 663-2236 (Fax)