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Sunday, March 26, 2017

Cash Mini Grants Total More Than $7500!

The Third Annual Columbia School District Golden Ticket Cash Bash was a huge success!  The community came together to benefit the students of Columbia by raising more than $18,000!  Each fall and spring Columbia School District teachers and staff members come together to apply for the 3A’s Mini Grants funded through the ticket sales and raffles at the Golden Ticket Cash Bash.  The Cash Bash 3A’s stand for Academics, Arts, and Athletics.  This spring Mini Grants worth more than $7500 have been awarded to seventeen teachers and staff members to benefit more than 1400 students at Columbia!

Mrs. Eastman who teaches math and STEM courses at Columbia Central Junior High School is receiving a grant to give students a hands-on approach to learning topics that integrate math and science standards, critical thinking skills and problem-solving activities that benefit students by increasing their academic success.  Her students will have the opportunity to use 10 Cell KaZoon Kites, test Parachutes, build Toothpick Bridges, and investigate Packaging Engineering Design.  She will also receive two books that will underscore activities to acquaint students to Chemical, Mechanical and Civil Engineering.  In addition to the STEM grant for the Junior High students, Mrs. Kielhorn’s mini grant application for headphones was also funded.  Students at Columbia Central Junior High use headphones when they use the blended learning activities in the iReady and Newsela programs, along with taking the M-STEP exam.

Columbia Upper Elementary fifth Grade teacher Mrs. Elliott is receiving a Cash Bash Mini Grant to purchase materials for a Makers Fair.  The students will benefit by learning about STEM through hands-on activities that use problem-solving, higher-order thinking skills, and project-based learning strategies.  Also at Columbia Upper Elementary, teachers Mr. Howland, Mrs. Adams, Mrs. Wright, Librarian Mrs. Weaver, and Principal Mrs. O’Neil received Cash Bash Mini Grants for software, whiteboards, headphones, library books, and field trips to natural sanctuaries. 

Columbia Options High School science teacher Mr. Timmerman’s Cash Bash Mini Grant will benefit students by giving them the opportunity to learn more about botany by setting up a vertical garden or “Green Wall.”  This water based plant growing system is soilless.  It takes up minimal floor space and improves the air quality in the room, produces food and serves as a working art piece.  The vertical garden will sustain 32 plants and may be replanted as often as every six to seven weeks.  The hydroponic garden covers seven science standards and will help students learn through this hands-on activity.

Mr. Folts also wrote a mini grant application that will benefit students from both Columbia Central Junior and Senior High School.  His goal is to have his students learn and sing musical selections that appeal to young listeners.  He is excited to have the additional popular music to motivate students in the Voices of Columbia choir, the junior high choir and future members of those choirs.

The athletic grants that were funded include funds for the new Columbia grade 6th through 12th grade Clay Target Shooting Team.  The funds will help purchase ammunition bags, shooting vests, ear protection and safety glasses.  Columbia Options High School will receive a mini grant to help start a co-ed softball team.  The instructors at Options High School have found that organized sports help students to improve academically and behaviorally.  Mr. Iott and Mr. Moore wrote a grant to initiate a positive program called Bigger Faster Stronger.  The program gives students an opportunity to improve their physical fitness, flexibility, and mobility.  The Bigger Faster Stronger program will benefit all Columbia students in grades kindergarten through 12th grade by providing new activities and strategies in physical education and athletics.  The new Golden Eagles Baseball and Softball organization will be able to purchase new equipment with their Cash Bash Mini Grant.  Mr. Vitale wrote a mini grant to benefit students in grades sixth through 12th to help improve shot put and discus by purchasing new implements for this popular activity. 


Most of the 3A’s Cash Bash Mini Grants only partially fund these fabulous activities and programs for our students.  If you are interested in helping support any of these activities or programs, please email me at pamela.campbell@myeagles.org or call me at 5175926641.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Supporting Our Columbia School District Children

The Columbia School District special needs children have benefited from the Jackson County Intermediate School District’s partnership in financing educational resources.  In 2012, county voters approved and supported the special education millage for 1.55 mills.  In May, our community, along with the rest of Jackson County, will be asked to support a renewal of the 1.55 mills that funds special education services for some of our most vulnerable children.  This renewal would not add any new taxes and would sustain the 1.55 mills through 2023.

The special education millage renewal will not add to our tax burden.  The millage results in 85% of the funds going directly to the local school districts in Jackson County to reimburse mandated special education costs.  The remaining 15% of the millage supports a portion of the Jackson County Intermediate services.  Without these funds, precious children would lose opportunities to learn and progress. 

Over 170 special education teachers, consultants and staff members provide essential educational services to more than 3,000 children in our county public and parochial schools.  The Intermediate School District of Jackson County leverages economy of scale and saves millions of dollars county-wide while it coordinates educational services that are mandated by both state and federal legislation.  Included in the services are: Occupational therapy providers, physical therapy services, psychology services, speech pathology and audiology services, social workers, specialized classrooms and programming, early childhood intervention, regulatory oversight and records management, transportation, teachers and classroom aides, and teacher consultant services.

By partnering together with the Jackson County Intermediate School District and fellow county districts, Columbia’s children benefit from the special education services available due to the millage.  The current millage rate of 1.55 mills will enable all local districts to maintain mandated special education services.  In 2016-17, Columbia School District received reimbursement of $438,300 to support special education students.  Without this reimbursement, Columbia would have had to reallocate general fund dollars to provide the mandated special education services.  This would have adversely affected all Columbia students.


Please take time to learn more about how the 2017 countywide special education renewal millage proposal will affect you, your family, and educational opportunities for the children of our community.  The Jackson County special education millage impacts all students because it reimburses mandated expenses.  More information is available at www.jcisd.org .  If you have questions, or are interested in learning more about the educational programs at Columbia School District, email me at pamela.campbell@myeagles.org or call 5175926641.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Thank You Columbia School Board of Education!

Each January we celebrate School Board Appreciation Month, which is a wonderful time to recognize our school board members for the critical role they play in Columbia School District.  We want to thank these local leaders for their devotion and enthusiasm serving as advocates for our students.  As elected officials, they are the representatives from their community, serving in the best interest of Michigan school children.  Our school board members listen to the community, make policy and set the budget. 

Even though we are making a special effort in January to show appreciation to our board members, we realize their many contributions reflect a year-round commitment. They generously give of themselves to ensure that decisions directly affecting our local schools are made by representatives of this community, people who are close to our schools and know our teachers, parents, and students.  You will see them at musicals, band concerts, and football and basketball games.  They will also be at community meetings, parent teacher conferences, the Cash Bash, and the Hope Run. 

Board members shoulder critical responsibilities and often make difficult choices. Their ultimate goal is always focused on the future success of the children in our district. It’s more important than ever before that the public supports our schools so that today’s students are prepared to be productive citizens and the leaders of tomorrow. Our board members provide vision and leadership in their roles as advocates, and they will continue to stand up for public education and guard against anything that takes away from our children.

The Columbia School District benefits from the countless hours contributed by these local citizens who work tirelessly.  The Columbia School Board is responsible for an annual budget of $ 13 million, 1415 students, 190 employees, and four schools. Plan now to show your school board members you appreciate their dedication and hard work. They are extraordinary people who tackle this enormous job. Their actions and decisions affect the present and future lives of our children. Please help us thank these dedicated individuals for their efforts to make a difference and their unfailing commitment to the continued success of our students now and in the future. 

The board members serving Columbia School District are (back row ) Mr. Garry Applegate, Vice President, Mr. Dave Slusher, Trustee, Mr. Robert Wahr, President, and Mr. Michael Moore, Trustee. Pictured in the front row: Mrs. Bev Fish, Trustee, Mrs. Jodi Collins, Secretary, and Mr. Mark Fish, Treasurer. These seven fine individuals make up an efficient and effective board that has taken on the huge responsibility and challenge of working together to lead the way in the Columbia School District.  Their ability to work as a team will help increase the effectiveness of the district and give our students the optimum opportunity to succeed now and into the future.

As we go through the cold and snowy month of January, please join me as we celebrate the continued commitment of the Columbia School Board members by telling them “Thank You!” for all of their hard work and determination.  You too may become involved in Columbia School District and make a difference in the lives of our students through our PTO, booster clubs, Buddies Reading program, and athletic programs.  If you are interested in learning more about Columbia School District and our programs, please email me at pamela.campbell@myeagles.org or call me at 5175926641.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Golden Eagles Class of 2016!

Columbia School District students grow up knowing that they are Golden Eagles.  As we wish the Class of 2016 farewell, we can liken their successes to the strength and swiftness of the Golden Eagle.  Much like the way an Eagle builds her nest; our graduates will begin building their adult lives.  They will add knowledge and experience, like the eagle adds grass and bits of string or twine to their nest.  Our graduates will want to build a strong foundation over the next few years to help them on their way to a successful future, much like the eagle works to build a sturdy next for their eggs.

Just like our tiny eaglets struggle to peck their way out of their eggs, our graduates may experience difficulties as they begin their lives after high school, but with determination, our graduates will move successfully through any concerns.  Similar to the way the eaglets are when they first hatch, the Columbia Central Class of 2016 will be experiencing everything for the first time as adults.  Whether our graduates are on their way to college, the military or to a job, they will have to use their strength and innate ability to problem-solve and pave the way for success. 

 As we focus in on our eaglets, we see them growing and maturing.   In much the same way our graduates will develop over time as they get ready to stretch their wings and continue to progress into a successful adulthood.

Best wishes to our newest graduates: the Class of 2016.  They have been a terrific group of students, consistently working towards goals, which many people deemed impossible.  Their organizational skills enabled them to plan and carry out the district-wide Hope Run and raise over $13,000 to fight cancer, their tenacity helped them gather donations and enough bottles of water to fill a truck for the people of flint, and they earned the highest average on the ACT in school history.

Congratulations to our graduates.  As the 49th class to graduate from the Columbia School District, you have set the bar high for those who follow in your footsteps!  If you are interested in Columbia School District programs, please email me at pamela.campbell@myeagles.org or call me at 5175926641.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Columbia Maker Space!

The other day I read a blog post online about the founding of Tempe, Arizona.  A gentleman was on the way from Tucson, in the southern part of Arizona, to Prescott, which is towards the northern part of the state.  When he arrived at the Salt River, it was raging and he had to wait a couple of days before he could cross.  This gentleman saw the possibilities in the area, purchased 160 acres of land, and helped start the city of Tempe.  The writer of the blog, Jim Mullins, called this gentleman (Charles T. Hayden) a visionary.  Any of us who have visited the Tempe area, with its bustling economy, well laid out streets, and large university (Arizona State University) would easily agree with Jim, that it was a stroke of genius to establish the city of Tempe (http://surgenetwork.com/blog/2016/5/26/entrepreneurship-creativity-and-the-story-of-tempe).

At the Columbia School District we encourage our students to make a difference; much like Mr. Hayden did in the 1800’s.  This past week all of our fifth grade students were part of a Maker Space invention discovery day.  The students had an opportunity to build electrical circuits, including using oranges and bananas.  They learned how to program small robots to follow a trail, either on a table or on the floor.  The students used computers to interact with the robots.  Our fifth grade students were also challenged to create!  They used boxes, scissors, paper, tape, staplers and glue to build and create shapes and structures.  The students used various items to build wooden and plastic structures. 

During the Maker Space day, the Columbia teachers and advisors from the Jackson County Intermediate School District were facilitators, helping the students to use their skills and intuition to investigate and create.  Much like Mr. Hayden saw the potential in the central Arizona, our students saw the potential in the random items they were given to construct amazing creations. Their teachers supported their creative spirit and natural curiosity, and gave the students the leeway to be successful through investigations. 


Each day our Columbia teachers give their students opportunities to use their classroom experiences as a base and encourage the students to use their abilities, skills, imagination, and insight to extend their learning.  If you are interested in hearing more about Columbia School District programs, email me at pamela.campbell@myeagles.org or call 5175926641.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Columbia Central High School: Positive, Dynamic Students!

Over the past several weeks, the Columbia Central High School senior class has begun to imagine their graduation.  They have pictured themselves crossing the stage and celebrating their success in high school.  As June 3rd draws closer, our seniors not only think of graduation, but of their future opportunities and challenges. 

This past week our senior class had the opportunity to participate in an interview process.  During the interviews they spoke about their background, their plans and their hopes and dreams.  Those that were fortunate to sit on the interview panel, heard as our positive, intelligent students talked about scholarships they have earned, their volunteer experiences and where they will be next fall.  As they talked to the panel, it was obvious that some of our seniors were beginning to realize that just having a strong academic background will get them off to a good start, but that they will also have to use wisdom as they apply all of their academic knowledge. 

Columbia School District students have distinct advantages not only because of the high academic standards at Columbia Central, but because of the caring, nurturing nature of their teachers and our exceptional programs.   The students in our Leadership program have learned to work together, organize positive community events and spend time volunteering with our elementary children. 

Recently the students in the Leadership program organized, planned and carried out the Hope Run Day and memorial for Columbia Central alum and fallen trooper Chad Dermyer.  After the day long event was over, one of the young ladies on the planning committee mentioned that her experiences at Columbia Central have given her the confidence to get in front of the whole district student body and lead.  She and her team inspired the Columbia School District students and staff members to raise over $13,000 for the American Cancer Society.

During their time with the interview panel, other students talked about their experiences in our Advanced Placement classes and how they feel prepared to go to college.  Some of them talked about their interest in science and how their experiences taking advanced anatomy, Advanced Placement biology, Sports Medicine and Forensic Science have given them a great base for their next step in college.  The Class of 2016 is a great group of young people full of promise and energy.  It will be exciting to watch them take on their future with tenacity!

If you are interested in cheering our senior on as they walk across the graduation stage, join us at the Potter Center on June 3rd at 7:00 pm.  To have your child join the positive programs at Columbia School District, call me at 5175926641 or email me at pamela.campbell@myeagles.org

Monday, May 9, 2016

Columbia is a Great School Community!

Approximately 150 Columbia School District teachers, staff and administrators appreciate the opportunity to assist in developing and increasing learning activities to benefit your child’s education. Our goal is to partner with you to provide your child an outstanding educational experience in a safe, positive and dynamic environment.  

At the schools in the Columbia District, we work on being intentional regarding our students’

learning opportunities.  Teachers develop plans which include activities designed to enhance student achievement.  Our terrific teachers use detours and “teachable moments” to allow random events to become learning filled occasions.   The other day I ventured into a classroom where a visiting spider had given the teacher an opportunity to help the students learn a bit about the rather large arachnid.

Increasingly, teachers are integrating technology into their learning activities in their classroom. Our teachers engage their learners by unfolding their lesson by intentionally using technology to boost student interest and understanding.  The teachers are coming up with creative ideas to improve student achievement and to increase the capability of students to be successful problem solvers.  We are empowering our teachers to work with students to harness technology to gather information and to communicate efficiently and effectively.  Our teachers, using best practices, are striving to increase literacy and integration of technology while incorporating digital and blended learning activities into the educational environment in their classrooms.
As a member of the Columbia School District community you may support the teachers’ intentional focus on enhancing the students’ achievement by encouraging your child or grandchild to fully complete their school projects or assignments.  You may encourage your child to take the next step and learn more about topics they are covering in school by conducting web-quests.  You may also support our wonderful teachers by engaging in positive verbal support as you speak with others in the community.  Your enthusiasm for learning at Columbia Schools may also include volunteering to serve on a committee or read a book to a child or cheer our sports teams on to victory.

As we work together side-by-side leading the children of the community to become lifelong learners, our support of education will have an enduring effect on our children! I am deeply proud of the critical and immeasurable community support for the Columbia School District. Thanks to your help, Columbia School District has become one of Michigan’s premier school districts.


If you have questions about how you may partner with the Columbia School District or to register your child for school, please email me at Pamela.Campbell@myeagles.org or call me at 517.592.6641.