FLINT COMMUNITY SCHOOLS
923 E. Kearsley Street — Flint, Michigan 48503
April 20, 2022
My name is Kevelin Jones. As superintendent of Flint Community Schools, I will be sharing the board communiqué for this evening.
I would like to begin my communiqué by acknowledging the tragic passing of Patrick Lyoya in Grand Rapids, Michigan. We understand that this can be a difficult time for scholars and families, as children may have questions and adults are doing their best to navigate conversations around this topic. Flint Community Schools stands with its community, and we will continue to offer counseling resources to help support the school community as it navigates this trauma. If you or your family need anything at all, please do not hesitate to reach out to your building’s principal.
Shifting to news within the school district, Flint scholars continue to impress with their commitment to academics, extracurriculars, clubs, athletics, the arts and more. Earlier this month, nine scholars were selected for the Greater Flint Arts Council’s 32nd Annual Young Artists Today event, which features high school artists in an exhibition and competition. Scholars in grades 9-12 located in Genesee, Shiawassee and Lapeer counties were selected by the Greater Flint Arts Council and the Mott Community College Studio Art and Graphic Design Programs to be a part of the showcase. The exhibit is open at the Greater Flint Arts Council until May 6, and we want to congratulate the scholars that have been included: Jasmin B., Alayzhia B., Jacobey R., Dylan H., Oswaldo A., Desmond A., Malachi H., Cheyanne F. and Trinity R. We are so proud of our scholars, and we thank you for sharing your artistic gift with the greater community.
While National Reading Month concluded in March, reading proficiency and skills are a year-round focus for scholars, educators and families. Last week, we hosted a literacy event at Pierce Elementary as part of our ongoing commitment to scholars’ reading prowess. The event included a reading by a local children’s author, a Scholastic Book Fair and report card pick-up. We thank our skilled team of educators at Pierce for hosting this event for scholars and families.
Additionally, through a partnership with the Flint Club and Totem Bookstore, Pierce secured portable crates of books for the top five readers from each class, based on the school’s March is Reading Month contest. The books, which have been personalized for each student’s interests and are available through this grant-funded project, will be distributed to families this week. We want to thank the Flint Club and Totem Bookstore for serving as an incredible partner and donating time and resources to help foster a community of life-long readers and learners.
As we head towards the end of the school year, there is much to celebrate. Prom is May 21, and it is our first school dance since the pandemic began more than two years ago. We cannot wait to celebrate alongside our scholars. In the fall of 2020, Southwestern introduced the Jag Spot – a room supplied with over 100 suits and dresses for scholars to choose from if they do not have one. We are thrilled to offer this to scholars so that we can all celebrate together. Events like prom are a key part of the high school experience, and we are grateful to once again offer this social opportunity to scholars.
In between the end-of-the-year celebrations, scholars maintain a steady focus on their futures. Between now and May 6, many of our high school seniors will be preparing for Decision Day, narrowing down their education or trade choices and determining their plans after graduation. We understand that this can be a difficult choice for many, but I know that our scholars will choose what is best for them as they chase their aspirations for the future. To help scholars explore post-secondary opportunities, we are hosting a College and Career Fair on May 13 at Southwestern. Scholars today have more options than ever before, and we are thrilled to work closely with local colleges, CTE programs and community partners to give our school community the opportunity to learn more about these choices. We all have a shared focus on the future of Flint Community Schools and its scholars, and we are pleased to help some of our oldest learners navigate the road ahead.
Of course, our scholars would not be able to achieve what they have without our incredible team of educators. This month, I want to recognize Ms. Ashlee Talaski, a first-grade teacher at Pierce Elementary School. Ms. Talaski is passionate about her scholars, and she continuously supports them in their academic, social and emotional endeavors as they navigate the school year. She excels at hands-on learning opportunities for her class, most recently teaching the life cycle of plants by giving each scholar their own plant biodome to foster, cultivate and observe. Scholars also had the opportunity to design and build a drone from scratch, and they are looking forward to even more hands-on experiences with field trips to Cranbrook Institute of Science, Legoland and the SEA LIFE Aquarium. We are blessed to have educators like Ms. Talaski serve our school community. We know that our scholars and families truly appreciate and grow from the lessons that they are learning in both her classroom and throughout our district. With such a high-quality staff working tirelessly day in and day out, I am confident that the future of Flint Community Schools will be filled with excellence in all of our endeavors together.
Earlier this month, we began standardized testing with the M-Step, MI-Access and SAT across all of our buildings. We know that standardized testing can be daunting for families, but our entire team of educators has been working closely with our school community to ensure that scholars are supported for testing. As you know, state assessments help us create a snapshot of scholar development and achievement, providing us with valuable information about academic progress. For our high school scholars taking the SAT, this determines college admissions and helps them reach their career goals. With the information that we receive from standardized testing, we are able to evaluate our curriculum and programming to make the necessary changes to best support scholars’ academic journeys. We will continue standardized testing into May, and we appreciate our entire school community’s commitment to this key initiative.
We continue to build out our team of dedicated educators and staff. If you know someone who would like to be a part of the Flint Community Schools team, please invite them to join us for open interviews every Wednesday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the administration building. A wide range of positions are available and additional details can be found on our website. We hope your friends and colleagues will consider joining our team to support the families we are honored to serve.
As we look ahead to the 2022-23 school year, we encourage new families to begin planning for their children’s academic journeys. If you know someone with a scholar going into pre-school or kindergarten, please encourage them to reach out now to begin the enrollment process. A robust pre-school and kindergarten experience is essential and foundational for each scholar, propelling them well into adulthood. Flint Community Schools offers the options, support and resources that your scholar may need, and we encourage families to reach out with any questions.
Our work this school year is not done, and we will always remain focused on our scholars’ academic, social and emotional journeys. To support scholars over the summer, we have summer programming, with pre-registration open now. We encourage families to enroll in a summer program so that we can continue building upon scholars’ growth from the 2022-23 school year.
We are fortunate to have a school community that shares our mission to support the scholars of Flint, and this commitment does not go unnoticed. To that end, I want to thank our scholars, families, teachers, staff, residents and the Board of Education for their dedication and work this school year and beyond. As always, my goal is our success, and we will remain Flint-focused on behalf of those that we serve.