Good morning –
As the end of the school year quickly approaches, I am excited to share with you a number of exciting activities taking place at Flint Community Schools.
The district continues to encourage area families to explore available early childhood education options, from our Montessori pilot program to Cummings Great Expectations and the early childhood education center under construction at Durant-Tuuri-Mott. Flint Community Schools, along with community and state partners, are committed to building a strong bridge from early childhood education to our K-12 schools.
Even before the water crisis took place, we identified the need for early childhood options to position children for success from a young age. As research demonstrates
, those who begin learning before age five have higher earnings, are more likely to hold a job, commit fewer crimes and are more likely to graduate from high school. Now, more than ever, it is imperative we continue the progress we have made in the area of early childhood education.
In a new initiative to be piloted this summer at the Accelerated Learning Academy, Flint Community Schools will partner with the Michigan Laborers’ Training and Apprenticeship Institute to provide training for skilled trades and job placement for seniors. The training sessions will take place throughout the month of June and cover topics ranging from job readiness and life skills to general construction. It is my hope that this is the beginning of a partnership that will continue to thrive and grow well into the future, positioning countless Flint Community Schools graduates to lead successful lives.
We also recently partnered on the announcement of the expanded Food Bank of Eastern Michigan BackPack program, funded through the Michigan Department of Education (MDE). As superintendent, one of the most difficult decisions I face every winter is whether to close the district for a snow day during inclement weather. The reason: I know for students who depend on free and reduced-price lunches, school is often the only consistent source of a healthy meal.
Thanks to the Food Bank and MDE, students throughout the district can now go home every Friday with a backpack full of nutritious and easy-to-prepare food, so students don’t go hungry over the weekend. The impact is tangible in our classrooms, as well. Teachers throughout the district have noticed an improvement in student attendance and increased parental participation in school activities and volunteer opportunities.
We are equally excited about the announcement of a summer partnership between the Food Bank and Flint Community Schools, which will offer students nutritious meals every week day throughout the summer – another time of critical need for our students. I am confident that this initiative will have a great impact for our students, because as we all know, student hunger doesn’t take a break over the summer.
Finally, I encourage all Flint families to get the 2017-2018 enrollment process started early. As a reminder, our enrollment office, located at 923 East Kearsley Street in Flint, is open all summer long, and is happy to assist with questions or concerns regarding paperwork and documentation.
As always, I am grateful for your continued support of Flint Community Schools and thank you for serving as a trusted partner in the education of the wonderful children throughout the community.