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 makes Eaton Rapids an outstanding school district. I encourage you to visit our schools to see for yourself the high quality education we provide. Occassionally, I will share with you on this page articles, links, and other information that are helpful to our schools and community.
Get Away Week for 7th Graders
At Eaton Rapids Public Schools, we have some wonderful experiences for kids. One of those is our 7th grade camp. I asked Vicki Loren, a parent and teacher in the district, to give us a view of that experience...continue reading
The Start and End of the Day
Our school district is relatively large for being a suburban school district. We cover close to 125 square miles and have our schools, central office, bus garage, and maintenance facility all on our Greyhound Drive campus. Read more..
ERPS Students on Weight, Nutrition, and Physical Activity
My view on physical activity is a little warped as I was told that I had only a 50% chance of running again after breaking my ankle when I was in my early 20’s. My daily exercising keeps me fit; according to my doctor, I still need to drop a few pounds. On nutrition, due to a lot of homemade soups, I do pretty well on getting my five portions of fruits and vegetables daily. Continued...
Reflections on Life Drills
I was sitting in the dark in a locked down room as we practiced one of our safety drills that we have throughout the year. It caused me to reflect about the past few weeks. We have fire drills, tornado drills, and lockdown drills. We have procedures for inclement weather and we have practices that we kick in if we have problems in a building where we need to shift students.We also are pretty adept at what to do when someone is injured, gets sick or has a health problem.We do not have regular practice in dealing with grief that occurs in a family where we are impacted as a school community. Continue reading...
Standing Room Only
My schedule is run by meetings. My administrative assistant gives me a calendar on Thursday for everything going on the next week. Compared to most of you, my evenings are more cluttered with required meetings and functions than are my work days. More..
Quiz Buster Team
High schools offer a variety of extracurricular activities beyond sports to join. One of the more cerebral activities is our club called Quiz Busters. Advisor for the club is Jamy Marske. Mr. Markse has served high school students in a couple of roles in coaching as well as teaching advanced placement courses.Read more about the team by clicking here.
A superintendent’s job is quite unique in that everybody has sampled your product. You have seven
publicly elected bosses and are provided an immense amount of oversight, rules, and regulations from two different legislatures. You have to work through and with employees and their employee
associations; and at the same time have to make calls where you feel a little like a dictator. All of this
comes into play on setting a school calendar. Read full article by clicking here.
January is School Board Recognition Mont
January is School Board Recognition Month. Eaton Rapids Public School district is joining 540 local and 56 intermediate school districts across the state to thank these community volunteers for their untiring dedication to public education. I received a little help on the facts and figures from our Michigan Association of School Boards in writing this. Click to read more.
Somebody Has to Do It
From a school calendar point of reference, we recognize local school board members in the month of
January. There are two reasons for this. First, it is the start of a new calendar year. Second, after fall
elections, school boards typically set their organization, committees, and meeting dates for the
upcoming year. Continue reading by clicking here.
2016 Fall Sports Review
We just had a pause in our winter sports season for the holiday break. I thought it would be fun to give you a little glimpse of the fall high school season. Three times a year, Derek Lounds (high school principal), Jeff Dassance (athletic director), Collin Smith (Chief Financial Officer), and I sit down to review the health of our athletics program. We just completed review of our fall sports. Click hhere to continue reading
ERPS Wants You
Everybody, it just seems like everybody (my Mom, grandmother, mother-in-law, wife, both daughters),
was or is a teacher. None of my family went the route of being a substitute teacher. It may be of
interest to note that I started teaching college as a substitute for a professor who had some health
issues. So you never know where a guest teaching experience may lead. Read more
This is a wonderful time of year for touching stories as many Eaton Rapids and Lansing area families are given needed assistance for a brighter Holiday. Here are just a couple of examples: Click here to read more.
Transparency and Accountability
On December 7th, Board members of Eaton Rapids Public Schools ERPS) heard Mark Perry, CPA from the school district’s audit firm of Yeo & Yeo, present the 2015-2016 financial audit. Click here to continue reading.
Election News for ERPS Board
Amidst all the furor in the November election, residents in the Eaton Rapids Public school district(ERPS) elected two school Board members for two positions. Since I have been here, we never have had a contested school board election. It is also interesting to note that Eaton Rapids school board members voted very early on to have six year terms. So, over a six year cycle all seven Board positions come up for a vote.Continue reading...
A Visit to the Holocaust ERHS Memorial
Senior high students read Wiesel’s book, Night, which was an account of his life in Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps in 1944 and 1945. Students also toured the Holocaust Museum in Farmington where they listened to Eva, a daughter, of a survivor from those camps.Click here to continue reading.
Michigan Education Finance Study
I spent some time putting together a very rough analysis for you of the numbers presented to the legislature for adequate funding for K-12 school districts. It gets complicated as school districts also receive funds for special education from county and state sources as well as Federal and state funds for at-risk programs. Continue reading the article by clicking here.
Sinking Fund Committee Takes Shape
The Eaton Rapid Public School District (ERPS) has organized its committee to oversee tax receipts from its sinking fund. The committee met for the first time during the last week of September.The majority of funds collected from the sinking fund millage will be collected during the winter and available for projects. Continue reading the article and find out more about the committee by clicking here.
What’s So Special About Learning and Kindergarten-Come Find Out
I have always been a big fan of plays and musicals. My first taste in performing came in junior high school. I had a part in Li’L Abner when I was in eighth grade where I actually had a two line solo. The previous year, I was part of a Native American dance prior to the performance of Bye Bye Birdie. I had so much makeup to take off that I really never saw the first act. I have always loved the home grown performances wherever we have lived. Read more, click here.
To Market, To ERMC’s Farmers Market
I am always looking to improve on my physique’ and my diet. This is important to me as I need focus on this from a physical and stress standpoint, or so my doctor says. It is also important to me from a financial standpoint. I am part of a Wellness Team in Eaton Rapids Public Schools and have started using ERMC Healthworks’ trainers religiously as well as a health coach through my wife’s work. My health coach has strongly suggested my trying to find ways of substituting fresh fruits and vegetables for cheese and crackers. Read more
What Do You Pay Attention to as You Prepare for a New School Year?
I always lose sleep on the nights approaching the first day of a new school year. Here are some of the things I stress about in the form of questions. Click here to keep reading
School Starts Early
I thought that it might be interesting to give a couple points as what makes Eaton Rapids Public Schools (ERPS) a fun place to be as we start this 2016-2017 school years as well as highlight our- major changes. Read more
Weekend Fun this Fall:
This fall, we have tried to coordinate our athletic and arts activities with community events and home MSU football weekends so there are always family activities on the weekend in Eaton Rapids. Here are some dates to put down for the home teams and performers: Continued-
What’s Behind a School Calendar
I am one of a few school employees who work year round. There are a couple of administrators, our operations staff, and our custodians who work through the summer. Like most of you, we can schedule and take vacation as work permits. For most of us, it is more convenient to either take it during the summer or when students have time off. For the rest of our employees along with all of our students and parents, they march to the beat of the school calendar. Keep reading...
School Year Calendar Changes
This is the first time in 10 years that school districts in Eaton County have an opportunity to begin prior to Labor Day. This is great for ERPS for three reasons. First, we need to have five more student instruction days built into this year’s school calendar due to state requirements. Second, starting earlier allows us to have better coordination for some of our academic offerings and teaching strategies. Continue reading here...
Sinking Fund Final Questions
May 3rd is a big day for Eaton Rapids Public Schools. We have placed a sinking fund proposal on the ballot, which we are referring to as the Greyhound Capital Stewardship Fund. If approved, this fund will help us pay for critical repairs to our facilities. We have prepared a couple of questions and answers for you.Keep reading...
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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.Read more...
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. Continued..
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. Read more-
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. Read more...
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. Click here to continue reading
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. Click here to read more
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. Click here to read full article
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. Continue reading
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. Read more here
Some Nice Winter Thoughts
This will piece will be on some nice things that have happened to us this winter. The first is that we had no major accidents coming and going to school. This includes bus drivers as well as employees and students driving to school. I will highlight a couple items for you: Continue reading
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. Read more here .
Bill DeFrance, Superintendent
Cindy Smith, Administrative Assistant
912 Greyhound Dr.
Eaton Rapids, MI 48827
(517) 663-8155 (Phone)
(517) 663-2236 (Fax)