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Friday, August 31, 2012

The School Mission Statement

As parents seek an excellent learning environment for their children, one of the most important aspects they must evaluate is ensuring that their children are able to learn in an environment filled with quality.  The school mission statement gives parents insight in to the district’s philosophy and values.  The Columbia School District Mission Statement provides a clear vision into the goals and aspirations we strive for as a learning community combining the efforts of teachers, parents, administrators and staff members working together to reach for excellence in education. 

The Columbia School District is working to emphasize our Mission Statement in everything we do to educate the children of our community. The Mission Statement gives us a lens through which to view the learning opportunities we offer to our students.  The Columbia School District Mission indicates that the school will partner with the community.  There are many ways that parents and businesses may partner with their child’s school.  By participating in school activities, attending school musicals, band concerts and sporting events we may begin to support our students though a basic partnership.  In addition, community members may partner with the school district by volunteering to assist in our reading Buddies program, help with school clean-up projects, join our Boosters organizations or PTO, support our coaches and teachers and donate to fundraising efforts.

The Mission Statement also ensures students that they will have the opportunity to learn in a safe and positive environment.  Parents and community members may support teachers and staff members as we strive to keep our school learning environment positive and safe.  Making sure that your children get enough sleep at night, benefit from proper nutrition and complete their school assignments will help them to be successful in school.  Your encouraging words and hugs will help to build your child’s self-esteem and prepare them be successful in our safe, positive classroom learning environment. 

Children who grow up in a learning environment where excellence in education is emphasized, and students have positive reinforcement will be ready to become contributing members in our global society.  The Columbia School District teachers and staff members strive to prepare their students to compete in our increasingly technological society.  As parents and supportive community members you can help our students reach their maximum potential by supporting our educators and encouraging students to reach new heights.

Join us as we work together toward success in educating the youth of our community by assisting us as we view our students potential through the lens of our Mission statement:

The Columbia School District, in partnership with the community, will provide a safe and positive learning environment, which will prepare all students to contribute and compete in a global society.

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 or call me at 517.592.6641.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Educational Armor

Recently I heard a speaker talking about ancient armor.  He had designed and made a suit of armor similar to what would have been worn by knights in the Middle Ages.  As he spoke, he put on each piece of armor and talked about its significance. 

His talk about armor reminded me of education.  As our teachers work with our students they begin with the foundation of education which is learning to read.  We could think of reading as the garment that the knights wore under their suit of armor.  Without reading, we would be unprepared to move further in education.  The knights wore special shoe, leg, arm and hand protective gear.  We might imagine that the core subjects English, math, science and social studies would be akin to these pieces of armor.  The four core subjects give our students an opportunity to reach out and expand their education as they grow and mature as citizens and conquer their life goals.

The breast plate was very important to the knights, just as character education is very important to our students.  Columbia School District teachers work with our students on a daily basis through teachable moments as well as through intentional lessons to instill the virtues of respect, responsibility, honesty, caring and many more!  Setting atop of our student knight is their helmet of self-esteem.  Our teachers work with our students to build their self-esteem and give them confidence to conquer concerns in their lives as well as the important subjects they will learn in school.

Our knight is in need of a shield made up of problem-solving strategies.  These strategies will give our students the ability to use higher order thinking skills and decision-making strategies to solve real world problems. 

Finally, our student knight needs a sword!  Imagine that the sword is our students’ ability to speak articulately in front of others and the sheath for the sword is self control to know when to speak.  Our teachers partner with our students and give them the opportunity to report on projects and present in front of their peers. 

Columbia School District teachers and staff members work tirelessly to prepare our students to succeed in life.  It takes all of us partnering together, building our students up in a safe positive learning environment, which will prepare them to contribute in a global society.  If you have questions about Columbia Schools, please give us a call at 592.6641, email me at  or check us out on the web at

Monday, August 20, 2012


If I happened to wear a baseball shirt emblazoned with the word “Cleveland” I might be labeled an Indian’s fan.  If I was wearing a sweatshirt that said, “Michigan State University,” I might be labeled a Spartan fan. 

Walk with me for a moment to see some other labels.  Walking across the parking lot and up the sidewalk there’s new mulch around the plants, wow; the landscaping looks great!  As we step through the doorway we see the newly polished floor; it looks so shiny!  Walking down the hallway you can smell the fresh paint and the walls look brand new.  We go to the first room; yes, this room on the right.  As we enter we take a look around the room and it is beautiful!  Nice paint, new bulletin board and even name tags on the desk tops.  This teacher must be the best teacher!  My child is so fortunate to have this terrific teacher in this nice school!

As we approach the school year many parents could label their feelings happy or excited to have their child returning to school.  They may be labeled hopeful, because there are hopeful that this will be their child’s best school year yet.  This year as a school staff we will work under the label of “United for Kids!” which is built on four educational pillars:

·         Technology integration and innovation which highlights best practices, collaboration and problem solving.

·         Continuous learning which focuses on high standards, commitment, reflection and engagement along with 21st Century teaching and learning.

·         Continuity of care which is built on a positive school climate and safe learning environment and provides a positive caring environment in which to concentrate on our student’s academic and developmental needs.

·         Excellence which focuses on opportunities for students to achieve high standards by incorporating rigorous content, application of knowledge and higher order thinking skills in each and every area of the curriculum. 

These four integral pillars will form a support system as we continue to label ourselves “United for Kids!” as we move throughout the year.