March 15, 2017
Good morning –
I hope this correspondence finds you well. As you may have seen in the district’s January newsletter, a pilot program is underway to increase attendance, promote positive behavior and improve individual academic outcomes. The Flint Community Schools district is partnering with My Brother’s Keeper in a mentoring initiative that aims to eventually pair every student in need with an adult mentor.
The program is already underway at Holmes STEM Academy, where 72 students have been paired with teachers and staff, who are serving as mentors and meeting with the students three times per week. In the short period of time that the program has been in place, more than 70 percent of students have seen improved attendance records – an incredible early indicator of the program’s success. I commend Ernest Steward, director of student intervention, who is leading the program’s implementation, as well as the teachers and staff who have so generously dedicated their time to these students. I look forward to continued positive outcomes to come. As the program continues to develop, my hope is that community members will volunteer to mentor as well. To that end, we will be sure to recruit community members when the time has come.
As you may be aware, March is Reading Month, an opportune time to foster our students’ love of reading. I encourage Flint Community Schools parents and guardians to ask their learners about what books they are reading at school this month, and to spend time reading with students at home as well. Our schools are celebrating in myriad ways, from grandparents reading to their grandchildren at Pierce Elementary to Family Literacy Night at Doyle/Ryder, and many community members reading to classrooms throughout the month.
Many will celebrate another staple of March this month – March Madness. At Flint Community Schools, we are exceedingly proud of all of our student athletes, including the Northwestern High School boys basketball team, who recently claimed the district championship. I commend the players as well as Coach Napoleon Petteway on an incredible season.
On the topic of athletics, I am proud to announce the return of Jamie Foster to the district as athletic director. Many will remember Mr. Foster, who had a more than 30-year career as a Flint Community Schools teacher, assistant athletic director and athletic director at both Northwestern and Southwestern High Schools, before retiring in 2015. Mr. Foster’s rich history with our district – dating back to the Flintstones and Buddy Camara – along with his dedication to our student athletes, will be a true asset to the district.
In a show of tremendous support and dedication to the district, Mr. Foster will be donating a portion of his salary to the Flint Community Schools Athletic Fund to pay for equipment and facilities upgrades, as well as to cover a portion of the salary of a part-time assistant athletic director, George Finch.
While it is difficult to conceive that we’re quickly approaching the end of the 2016-2017 school year, the time to enroll for 2017-2018 is just around the corner. All families interested in enrolling in Pre-K or Kindergarten for the next school year should attend the Flint Community Schools Kindergarten Round Up taking place on March 23, 2017 from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. in every elementary school throughout the district.
Additionally, new families to the district should visit the centralized enrollment office at the district administration building, located at 923 E. Kearsley Street, to get the enrollment process started. As a district, we aim to have every student enrolled and in school on day one of the 2017-2018 school year as attendance at school ALL DAY, EVERY DAY is essential to long-term academic success.