Supt./Bond Issue

Superintendent Update - Oct 2019

COUNT DAY:

Our annual pupil count day took place on Wednesday, October 2nd, an important day for public school districts statewide.  The School State Aid Act mandates the funding of schools and the designated dates for the fall and spring counts.  Schools receive a blended number based on the fall student membership (90% of state funding) and the prior school year’s spring membership (10% of state funding). 

CONFERENCES:

Two other important days coming up soon are October 16th and 17th when parents/guardians can meet with staff for a face-to-face discussion regarding their student’s progress.  Please check the building webpage for additional information regarding the specific days and times of building conferences. Interactions with your child’s teacher is not limited to these times and you are always welcome to reach out to the teacher through email or by calling the building office.  Please contact your child’s teacher or coach first, especially when attempting to resolve any problems or concerns.  The school’s Chain of Command process lists the levels of authority and outlines the steps for any complaint resolution.

FLU CLINIC:

Anyone attending the October Parent Teacher conferences is welcome to stop in at the walk-in flu clinic, being held at the high school, from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on October 16th (be sure to bring your insurance card and ID). 

MMDHD ALERTS:

Please take a moment to review the following notification from the Mid-Michigan District Health Department on Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE).  In addition, just a reminder that tick season in Michigan is early May through November. Below are a few recommended strategies from the Michigan Department of Health and 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)

BOND/NEW FACILITIES DIRECTOR:

Jon Pechette Facilities Director

 

The 2017 Bond Construction project is in its final stages.  Our new Facilities Director, Jon Pechette (jpechette@bathschools.net | (517) 641-6721), is working closely with Christman Construction Company to guarantee a smooth transition through completion. Although there is still work to do, the students and staff have settled in and are enjoying our new spaces.  A public opening to highlight all the changes is in the works for when the project is complete.

Construction Update July 2019

 New High School Office

As is so often the case, the days have passed quickly this summer.   With a school start date of August 26 and the beginning of the fall sport’s season right around the corner, it will not be long before students and staff will once again fill the school hallways.  

Our construction bond project will soon be ending and we expect completion of the majority of the work by the start of school.  A few areas (e.g., high school and middle school fitness centers) will not be ready and both the high school and middle school principals have accounted for this in their start of school plan.  Since the beginning of the bond project, students, staff and the Bath community have been patient and accommodating throughout the construction process. It is exciting to be part of a school family and community that is so supportive.

Below is the July community update from the Christman Company:

Christman Company July 2019 Update 

You are welcome to share any questions or comments with me by calling the central office (517/641-6721) or by email: paul.hartsig@bathschools.net

Enjoy the remainder of your summer.

Paul Hartsig

Superintendent

NEW SUPERINTENDENT JULY 1, 2019

Superintendent Paula HartsigAccording to interim superintendent, Doug Murphy, the Board of Education and staff are excited to welcome Paul Hartsig as the new superintendent at Bath Community Schools.  Over the last few months, Hartsig has visited the schools, attending meetings and speaking with employees. He is looking forward to July 1st, when he will become the full time superintendent.  In May he moved to the area with his wife Diane and children Lewis, Mae and Millie.

Beginning in 1995 Hartsig worked for Dowagiac Union Schools as a teacher, then a high school principal.  In 2012 he took a position as a high school principal at Bridgman Public Schools until he returned in 2014 as Dowagiac Union’s superintendent.  When the superintendent position opened up at BCS, it fit Hartsig's goals of moving closer to family in East Tawas while providing their youngest daughter with an exceptional high school education.

Hartsig said he is excited to be starting his new position and welcomes community input.  By email he can be reached at paul.hartsig@bathschools.net or by calling the Central Office at 517/641.6721.  

Farewell Supt. Update - Feb. 28, 2019

It is with a heavy heart that I write my final update as superintendent of Bath Community Schools to bid farewell to a community that welcomed me here ten years ago. The time has passed quickly and I, as well as my family, carry north to our new home, many wonderful memories of our time spent here.  The opportunities to support our students in their educational path has been tremendously rewarding.  I was able to interact directly with students throughout the years in the classroom and in extracurricular activities. The friends we have made along the way will never be forgotten.  This has been ten of my best years as an educator because of the dedicated board of education, students, and staff.  I am forever indebted to Bath Community Schools for the privilege of being superintendent of a district steadfastly supported by the community.

In March, interviews to decide on a new superintendent for Bath Community Schools will be held in the High School Media Center.  I encourage you to attend these interviews (see below).  I truly believe the Bath Community Schools Board will find an outstanding new leader for our schools.  Any Superintendent or aspiring Superintendent would be fortunate to join the BCS school family. Doug Murphy, our Technology Director, will serve as the interim superintendent beginning on March 1, 2019.  He can be reached at 517/641-6721 or by email, dmurphy@bathschools.net.  We have an excellent team of administrators and staff who are available to assist you with any questions or concerns that may come up.

Selection of Candidates to Interview ~ 3/4/19 at 6:30 p.m.

1st Round Interviews ~ 3/12/19 & 3/13/19 at 6:00 p.m.

2nd Round Interviews/First Opportunity for Board Selection of Superintendent ~ 3/19/19 at 6:00 p.m.

Board Visitation (if necessary) ~ TBD

Second Opportunity for Board Selection of Superintendent ~ 3/25/19

Start Date ~ 7/1/2019

Thanks so much to the community for allowing my family and me to be a part of the wonderful town of Bath.

Always Proud to be a Fighting Bee,

Jake Huffman

Weather Letter Update Feb. 15, 2019

Wednesday, February 13th,  marked the 13th snow day for our school district.  Hopefully this is the end of weather related school closings.  We plan on applying to the State of Michigan for the additional three days, which, if approved, would add to the six forgiven days schools are allowed each year.  At this juncture, we do not know how the declared State of Emergency for Michigan will play into forgiven days; however, we do know that all days that are not forgiven will need to be made up and will be added at the end of the school year.  We will keep you posted on any changes to the school calendar that we foresee and ask that you plan on some days being made up at the end of the school year.  Contact me if you have any questions regarding school closings or made up days. 
Proud to be a Fighting Bee,

Superintendent Update February 2019

Dear Bath Fighting Bee Families,
 
What an amazing week of weather challenges the month of January has given us.  So much for a mild December leading to an easy winter.   There are several factors that we look at every morning/evening when deciding whether to close school or not, and the bottom line is student safety first and foremost.  The unexpected break we are experiencing is tough on students, families, and staff.

The State of Michigan allows school districts six forgiven snow days per year, with the option of applying for a waiver for an additional three days if certain conditions are met.   Today, February 1st, is our ninth snow day this school year and the application for the waiver is being evaluated, dependent on how the declared State of Emergency for Michigan affects it.  We do live in Michigan and with 2-3 months of winter left, additional weather related school closings may occur.  Any days that are not forgiven will need to be made up. Make up days could end up adjusting our already scheduled calendar or be added on at the end of the school year.  We will keep you posted on our progress as winter moves along and ask that you plan accordingly.

I hope everyone made some lasting memories this past week.  It will definitely be a week our children will remember for years to come.  Stay Safe and Warm!

Yours in education,

Jake Huffman (jhuffman@bathschools.net

Bond Update January 2019

January is Board Appreciation Month.  We appreciate our school board members and the ongoing commitment they give to our school district throughout the year.  Our Board of Education does a tremendous job of staying the course on what is important for all our children.  The dedication to our school family and community is evidenced by the time and energy they invest in school board affairs each and every month.  If you have the opportunity, please pass along a big "Thank You" to Sam Bachelor, Ann Chaffee, Stephanie Halfmann, Nancy Hawkins, Ken Krapohl, Blair Svendsen, and Dean Sweet.
 
Included below is a Construction Update from our construction managers, Christman Co. and answers to two questions being asked recently.  Our new spaces are looking fabulous and we are excited to see the whole project completed by next fall.
 
 
Question:  How far behind schedule is our Bond Project?
Answer:  Our project as a whole, including interior renovations, is still on track to be completed by September 2019 (the original completion date).  We did experience permit issues, which extended the original completion date of new construction from October 2018 to March 2019. 
 
Question:  Is our Bond 2017 project still within the budget?
Answer:   Our project continues to be within the community approved $14.4 million.  Last week's budget update from Christman Co. confirmed that our project remains on a fiscally healthy path.  It is anticipated that we will complete the whole project within the approved finances.
 
Proud to be a Fighting Bee!
Jake Huffman,
Superintendent (jhuffman@bathschools.net

Superintendent Update November 2018

Our elementary school principal, Mrs. Lisa Roedel, has accepted a principal position at Plymouth-Canton Community Schools.  November 2nd was her last day in our district and with her, we send our best wishes as she begins this new chapter in her career.  Mrs. Roedel was instrumental in implementing and facilitating The Leader in Me (TLIM) program during her tenure which has built a solid foundation for our elementary students.

Interim Principal Tom Louks

 

Mr. Tom Louks, our assistant principal, is stepping into the interim principal position for the remainder of the 2018/2019 school year.  He brings a strong background in data analysis and curriculum development to the position.  He will be instrumental in continuing to foster The Leader in Me school culture with our elementary school students, staff and community.

 

Interim Assistant Principal Jeannine Brown

 

Mrs. Jeannine Brown, our BeeHive Director, has taken on the interim role of part-time assistant principal and Bright Beginnings Director/BeeHive Director.  With her early childhood development education training and her years of experience at Bath Elementary in the role of BeeHive Director, Mrs. Brown has proven to be a capable and strong leader.

 

 

We are fortunate to have an outstanding leadership team onboard through this transition.  Please feel free to reach out to Mr. Louks (tlouks@bathschools.net) and/or Mrs. Brown (jbrown@bathschools.net) with any questions or concerns.

Proud to be a Fighting Bee,

Jake Huffman (jhuffman@bathschools.net)

Bond Project Update - October 2018

View this flyer for an update from Christman Company on how the bond project is progressing!

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

Have a Safe Labor Day Weekend!

As the first week of the new school year comes to a close, it is rewarding to see all the students excited to be back in the classrooms.  Due to the interior construction taking place just days before the opening, our teachers and support staff went the extra mile to prepare for opening day.  They did an outstanding job! 
  
Next week the school year will be in full swing and we will begin seeing some significant progress on our outdoor construction projects. The building enclosures at all three school additions are coming together.  The demolition at the high school for the office addition is nearing completion and the foundation construction will begin soon.  While the entry way to the high school is worked on, entrance to the building is through the doors by our Central Office, where we are enjoying getting to know the students better!  Masonry walls are going up at the middle school and will soon start at the elementary school addition.  With all the changes going on, in and around the schools, please remind your children to stay clear of any construction areas. 
 
Have a safe and enjoyable weekend!
 
Proud to be a fighting bee logo 
Jake Huffman, Supt.
jhuffman@bathschools.net
 Photos Courtesy of Christman Company
 Middle School Masonry High School Demo Elementary School Foundation

 Middle School - Masonry Walls

 High School - Demo

 Elementary School - Foundation

 

2017 Bond Work Update

Construction work is progressing as we move into the last days before the start of school on August 27th.  The attached flyer from Christman Company gives a project update.  

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)

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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