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Monday, November 25, 2019

Reading and Writing at Columbia Schools

Columbia School District teachers and principals work diligently to partner with parents.  They feel that when children are learning about reading and writing in school, they will be a more successful learner if they complete fun skill building activities at home.  It is important to work with your children to write along with practicing reading.

Parents will want to encourage their children to write even if the end results appear to be a mess.  One of the secrets to interpreting their early writing attempts is to have them draw a picture then write a caption underneath.  As the parent or caring adult, you will simply ask them to read the caption and then you will write the correct spelling beneath their caption.  You can also suggest that they write a letter to a friend or relative, complete with pictures, and you can interpret the words that may be illegible. 

In addition to drawing a picture and having your child write a caption, you could ask your child to tell you what the picture shows.  Ask him or her to tell you a story describing the picture, then write down the story and read it back to him or her. 

To help reinforce your child’s writing skills you may want to talk about what you are writing, even something as mundane as a shopping list.  Talk about the list and the reason to make a list. Your child will have a deeper understanding of the use of the written language if you model the reasons to write. 

To further encourage your child to build his or her skills in writing, you may read your child a short book or a chapter of a longer book, then have him or her draw a picture of the next adventure of the characters in the book.  You could suggest that your child write a sentence or two depicting the exciting adventures for the characters in the story.

These writing strategies and tips will assist you as you work with your young learner at home.  The time you spend with your child reading and writing will lead to success as he or she learns today and becomes a leader tomorrow.  If you have questions regarding Columbia School District, call 5175926641 or email

Monday, November 18, 2019

Mission Impossible: Accomplished!

Mission Impossible!  Sometimes as we work with our children, it seems that it is an impossible task to get them to do small chores such as put the dishes away and clean their rooms.  Recently I spoke with a mother of two high school children.  She mentioned that she has worked diligently to prepare her children for college and beyond by making sure that they have the life skills necessary to survive.  Many parents do not want to burden their children with chores and tasks.  However, it is important to give your children age-appropriate assignments to teach them responsibility.

Even young children can help set the table, sweep the floors and clean their own rooms.  By the time a child enters upper elementary or junior high school they can take on more chores that teach them helpfulness and gives them a greater sense of responsibility.  They may be able to take on more accountability, and independence like helping prepare meals, making his or her own lunch, getting up in the morning, and managing his or her own money.  These life lessons will help support your child as they gain more accountability at school.

As you assist your child to make a smooth transition into a greater level of responsibility, you will want to make sure they know that you are solidly behind them and show that you love them.  Some ways you may support them as they become more accountable are to continue to make sure your child leaves the house on time and goes to school ready to learn.  He or she needs to have a good breakfast and an appropriate night’s sleep. 

In addition, you will want to be aware of his or her teacher’s expectations.  Although your child should do his or her own homework, you will want to know about the assignments in case your student needs assistance.  Make sure you meet your child’s teachers.  If you missed parent teacher conferences in October, take an opportunity to drop by the school and check in with them.  If you can’t stop by, make sure you call or email them to get the inside track on their expectations.

As your child takes on new challenges, be sensitive and understanding as you support them to reach for the stars.  Talk to your child about real life opportunities that tie into what your child is learning.  The newspaper is a good source of information to acquaint your student with the applications and ties to why they are taking math or science.  As you work on this impossible mission to assist your child as they grow into wonderful adults, remember you will be able to celebrate as you say, “Mission Impossible accomplished!”  If you are interested in learning about Columbia School programs, call 5175926641 or email

Monday, November 11, 2019

Columbia School District Salutes Our Veterans!

Columbia School District staff members and students are forever indebted to our veterans for their service to our Country.  On Veterans Day, Columbia School District students and staff members greeted our local veterans with breakfast and a thunderous applause.  

We believe that from the beginning of our nation, many brave young men and women have stepped forward to defend our freedom. Nearly 50 million men and women have worn the uniform of the United States, and nearly 20 million veterans are living and working among us today.  At this time, many young adults are currently serving our country and becoming a new generation of American veterans.  

Our nation owes a debt to our veterans, and it’s a debt we can never fully repay.  Thank you Veterans for your service!

Monday, November 4, 2019

Welcome to Officer Breijak!

Columbia School District is pleased to announce that we have a new police liaison officer to work with our students and staff to continue to increase safety within the district.  Officer Theodore (Ted) Breijak grew up in the Jackson area and graduated from Michigan Center High School in 2014.  Following high school he attended college at Ferris State University. 

During college Officer Breijak played saxophone and oboe in the Ferris State University athletic pep band.  He used his skills in music as a student conductor trainee for a year with the pep band.  He received a small partial scholarship for his participation and leadership in the band.  While at Ferris State University he was also an assistant manager for the fast food restaurant, Kentucky Fried Chicken.

While at Ferris State University, Officer Breijak enjoyed the law enforcement prerequisites and entered in to the Ferris State Law Enforcement Academy his senior year of college, during which he took 20 credit hours each semester to prepare him for a position as a police officer.  Officer Breijak graduated from Ferris State University with a degree in Criminal Justice in 2018. 

Officer Breijak became a police officer because he likes working with the community.  Coming from Michigan Center, he enjoys participating in community activities and getting to know the people in town.  His first position following his graduation from Ferris State University was at the Jackson City Police Department.  Although he learned a lot about being on a police force and enjoyed working in Jackson, he missed being in a rural community.  He worked last summer for the Mackinaw island Police Department.  Officer Breijak found his summer experience on Makinaw Island interesting.  Officer Breijak said that he enjoyed his time immensely with the Mackinaw Island Police Department during the summer of 2019.  He was able to take the position as the Columbia Township Police Department Columbia School District liaison because his time at Mackinaw Island was only a summer job.

Officer Breijak said that he became a police liaison, “because I enjoy working with kids.  I am not that much older than the students so I relate to them.”  He continued by saying that he is interested in working to “develop my skills in juvenile relations, through his work at the Columbia School District.”

Officer Breijak has enjoyed his time so far with the Columbia Township Police Department because people are friendly.  He sees the community as a small world scale and where neighbors look out for one another.  He called the Columbia Township community, “Refreshing.”  His long range plans are to continue working in Columbia keeping the community safe and getting to know more of the residents in the area.