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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.