Superintendent’s Welcome Comments
Superintendent’s Comments - Click: Podcast Introduction
Barbara VanSweden, Superintendent
Message from the Superintendent…
Fitzgerald Public Schools has a long standing tradition of making decisions that set the standard for other districts in Macomb County and across the state. From selecting the first female superintendent in Michigan, to rallying parents and elected officials, to appropriately fund special education, to transitioning to trimesters, this district does not shy away from identifying what is best for our students. Our high school has become a model for other districts in Macomb County and across the state when it comes to implementing interventions for struggling students and providing opportunities for high performing students. This tradition of challenging the status quo continues as our Board of Education considers the concept of a balanced or adjusted school calendar.
A committee of staff, parents and Board members met this fall to study a balanced school calendar. The adjusted calendar would have the same number of days as the traditional calendar but reorganized differently to minimize the extended vacation time during the summer. A balanced school calendar is based on ten and a half months rather than the traditional nine and a half months. Regardless of the calendar, the curriculum in a balanced calendar and the traditional calendar is the same.
The committee reviewed the research and discovered that a balanced or adjusted school calendar offer benefits such as:
- Improved student achievement,
- Reduced summer learning loss,
- Reduced time spent reviewing previous years curriculum each fall,
- Expanded enrichment and intervention opportunities for students delivered in a timely manner and
- Flexibility in scheduling for families and staff.
The Board of Education has taken no action at this time to change to a balanced or adjusted calendar. Presentations are being made to staff and parent groups across the district. Surveys will be made available to parents and staff very soon. The results of the surveys will be made to the Board of Education before a decision is made at a future date. Information about the balanced or adjusted school calendar is available on the website in the S.A.I.L. Committee folder under Files and Folders. The folder includes a sample balanced calendar that was developed by the committee. I encourage you to review the information at your convenience.
I would also like to share with you that our NEW web site will be available very soon. Information has been reorganized to improve accessibility with fewer clicks! We listened to the concerns expressed by staff, students and parents and responded with a web site that is more user-friendly.
Best wishes for the remainder of the school year that is filled with academic successes. I also look forward to warmer weather!
Superintendent, Fitzgerald Public Schools