Supt./Bond Issue

Bond Work Around the District - August 2018

New CarpetingNew Middle School Security Entrance

 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                        New Carpeting and Middle School Security Entrance                                

New Boilers

Following a longer than typical plan review and permit approval process, we have obtained full permits over all three schools.  This will allow us to start foundations for the new additions promptly. During the approval process we have made progress on supporting activities including interior upgrades, mechanical improvements, and site work.  The Middle School has updates to the theatrical equipment in the auditorium, teacher planning room renovations, and main entry reconfigurations for security.  Elementary School work has included installing new boilers (pictured right), new ceiling systems and flooring in some of the classrooms, reconfiguring the main entrance, and improvements to the drop-off and pick-up parking lot.  Underground utilities have been installed to prepare for the BeeHive and Middle School additions. During the remaining weeks of summer we will finish the Elementary School parking lot, perform selective demolition in preparation for the new additions, and begin foundations for the new additions.

                                                                                                                                                                                             

Superintendent Update July 2018

New Road School Parking Lot
New Road into Elementary School Parking Lot
 

Summer is flying by and construction is underway.  Due to the discovery during excavation of some underground treasures, as well as other delay issues with required permits, our initial timeline has fallen behind schedule.  The slow start is now behind us, and I expect building projects to get back on track over the next few weeks.  The asbestos abatement project is nearing completion at the elementary school. The installation of new ceiling tiles and carpeting in the east wing of the elementary school gives the classrooms a whole new look.

While we will continue to have construction in the fall, we are excited to see this project come to fruition.  Completion of the new elementary parking lot includes a one-way traffic flow and a designated entrance and exit.  We anticipate this will greatly improve our parking lot safety and flow.

New this summer is our “Meet Up & Eat Up” summer food service program through the Michigan Department of Education.  Children 18 and younger are served lunch at no cost from 11-12 p.m., M-F, at the Bath Middle School. No sign up is required and the program runs through August 17th.

We have been fortunate to enjoy some beautiful, sunny weather this season. Enjoy the last half of your summer vacation with your family/friends as school begins on August 27th!

Proud to be a Fighting Bee,

Jake (jhuffman@bathschools.net)

Superintendent Update May 2018

May 11, 2018

We are deeply saddened by the recent passing of our state superintendent, Brian Whiston.  Our flags have been lowered to half-staff today in honor of him.  He dedicated his life to serving the children of Michigan.  Please click on the following link for more information about this admirable man:  https://www.michigan.gov/mde/0,4615,7-140--468223--,00.html

Bond 2017 Project Update:  Earthwork is well underway at all three schools.  Grade has been cut for the Preschool/Latchkey addition, kitchen addition at the elementary school and the parking lot.  Foundations have been started as well as underground utility work and storm/sanitary installations.  The gates north of the elementary are closed daily during recess (11:00 – 1:30 pm) with no construction traffic on the drive during this designated time. The mileage club has been relocated to the west field in front of the middle school and the elementary school students will also be using the upper elementary playground during lunch recess.  Any safety related concerns should be reported to central office by calling (517) 641-6721.  Please emphasize to your children to stay clear of the construction areas. 

 

 Construction at Elementary School

Photo Courtesy of Christman Company

Forgiven Days:  As it stands now, we will not need to add an extra day at the end of this school year to account for the snowday that occurred on March 7, 2018.  School districts are allowed six forgiven days and the March 7th day was number seven.  Notification was just received from the Michigan Department of Education granting our requested waiver.

Today marks the last day of staff appreciation week and our most sincere thanks to the students, parents and community for all the special treats and kind words you shared with our staff.  Your thoughtfulness is appreciated.  As the superintendent and as a parent of two BCS students, I know firsthand the commitment of the staff as they strive daily to provide the best educational experience for all students at Bath Community Schools.

Proud to be a Fighting Bee,

Jake Huffman (jhuffman@bathschools.net)

Superintendent Update February 2018

March 15th update

Recently, the Stockbridge Community News published an article by the Stockbridge Chief of Police, Johnnie Torres, Jr., about threats of school violence. In the article Chief Torres mentioned that the true intent of a person making a threat of school violence does not matter when it comes to the law.  He cited the law, outlining some very serious consequences for a person found guilty.  He also implored students, parents, and community members to not remain silent if they hear threats and to use systems available for reporting. One example is the OK2Say method of submitting a tip.  This link is currently on the district home page of the Bath Community Schools website. 

The Bath Township Police Department, in my conversations with them, share the same concerns noted above.  They are a constant source of support and assistance to our school district.  On Monday, February 26th, Chief Lindemulder, Officer Avery and I addressed the students at the middle school about the seriousness of these types of threats, along with the importance of reporting safety concerns. On March 12th, Mrs. Roedel and Officer Avery addressed the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students regarding the same topics.

Student Safety is of primary importance at Bath Community Schools and we are continually reviewing/analyzing safety procedures and implementing changes to our process to ensure the protection of students and staff.  In addition to the middle school threat in February, we received a threat at the elementary school last week. Every time, threats receive our full resources and prompt action.  We also learn from these experiences and adjust our plans accordingly. 

Our three schools have a Building Emergency Response Team (BERT) set up to review procedures, make recommendations and train staff for emergencies.  Discussions with our Board of Education members include bringing in of an outside agency to review our current program in the coming year.  We will continue to work diligently to keep our students and staff safe.

Yours in School Safety,

Jake Huffman (jhuffman@bathschools.net)

Season of Giving - December 2017

Picture of snowflakes and trees

As we enter the holiday season, I reflect back on how fortunate we are to live in Bath. This community is a great supporter of our schools whenever a need arises. For example, prior to the passage of the Bond Issue last May, numerous individuals in the community volunteered hours of their time to sit on committees to evaluate the proposed scope of the project. Others attended Community Forums, completed surveys, and provided input to the development of the proposed project. After the voters decided to proceed with the project, we have been working with C2AE (architects) and the Christman Company (construction managers) to finalize our plans and designs. We hope to have all aspects of the project out for bid in January 2018, at which time I will be giving an update.  A special thanks to all the volunteers who helped formulate and prepare for our Bond Issue.

Our school district is not the only recipient of our communities’ goodwill, as the citizens of Bath rally around families facing difficult challenges on an ongoing basis. The high school students and staff raised an amazing $5,500 for families during the Week of Giving. In addition, the high school and middle school coordinated a food pantry.  With the help of parents, our elementary school implemented a program to provide food at the weekend for students in need. District employees recently participated in raising funds to help support Old Newsboys, a local organization that provides shoes to our students in need. These are just a few examples of the kindness shown by members of this community. Thanks to everyone who has been involved in these activities.

May you all enjoy a wonderful holiday season and may you find some time to build memories with your children and families. Playing in the snow, reading a book, enjoying a relaxing family game, etc., are all excellent ways to build those strong connections with your family and create lasting memories.

Happy Holidays,

Jake Huffman

Superintendent's Letter to Parents/Guardians - August 2017

Parent and children watching eclipse

A trip out West last week with my family to visit relatives and view the total solar eclipse reminded me of our dutto our students to continually teach them about exploring the world in which we live. Although the eclipse lasted only a short time, it will be studied for years to come. Fostering scientific exploration in our students enables them to make informed decisions and better choices about the world we live in. Given the opportunity in April 2024, I encourage you to consider traveling to the next total solar eclipse that will pass through Ohio, as close as Toledo.

Over the summer, and due in large part to the Bond Issue that was passed by voters in May, many changes have happened around the District. Monies allocated for Technology purchases for Phase I of the Bond Project 2017 have been spent and equipment received for the start of the 2017/2018 school year. Two new busses and cameras for the busses have been purchased and pre-transition work for switching to our new phone system has been completed. The anticipated cut over to the new system is scheduled for September 1st and we anticipate a smooth transition. Our architects (C2ae) and construction managers (Christman) have been meeting with parents, staff and community members over the last few months to finalize the design and development of the project. We hope to break ground in April 2018. More meetings are scheduled for September and I will post updates as progress is made.

Other work that has been completed recently include carpeting in the Auditorium, putting in a soccer field behind the middle school, and high school door replacements. Our technology department has secured 550 Chromebooks & 120 iPads and are working to incorporate them into the classrooms. The custodial / maintenance employees have painted, cleaned, and waxed floors, all in preparation for the return of our
students and staff.

We bid farewell to our retirees Stephanie Knapp and Cathie Wood, as well as other staff members who left to pursue other endeavors. Each of these individuals has left a legacy that will be remembered for years to come. Page 4 of the newsletter lists some of our staff changes and new staff members. Tom Louks will be beginning his new role as the part-time ES Assistant Principal and we welcome aboard all our new employees.

I am looking forward to a great school year and to connecting with all our wonderful students, families, and staff!

Proud to be a Fighting Bee, Jake (jhuffman@bathschools.net)

Superintendent Update - May 2017

Middle School Mural of Tree Swing Bees and Hive
At our May election, voters decided by a 73% majority to support the passing of the bond proposal. We are currently working on the final scope of the project, anticipating the solicitation of construction bids by early winter and breaking ground by April 2018. Additionally, technology and bus related bids will be addressed this summer. As we move forward in the process, updates will be made available via the website and other school publications. Our district is very excited about the new opportunities being given to our students and families. It is great to live in such a supportive community.

Soon summer break will be here (last day of school is June 9th) and families will be enjoying the outdoors on a more regular basis. With the warmer weather approaching, it is important for individuals to take measures to prevent exposure to ticks. Now through September is the season for ticks and parents should take steps to prevent their bites. Growing up in Northern Michigan and having lived in the Western Upper Peninsula, I have experienced the nuisance of ticks. We seem to be experiencing an increase in their numbers this spring and there are some precautions we should adhere to. Below are a few recommended strategies from the Michigan Department of Human Services (MDHHS) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • Avoid tick infested areas and walk in the center of trails (e.g., avoid areas of tall grass/weeds)
  • Use insect repellent
  • Perform daily tick checks
  • Bathe or shower as soon as coming indoors (especially when in areas of tall grass/weeds
Treating the school grounds was explored, however we determined that the cost and exposure to pesticides was not worth the benefit.

Have a great summer enjoying your families and all that Michigan’s great outdoors has to offer.

Proud to be a Fighting Bee,
Jake
jhuffman@bathschools.net
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