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Welcome back from the Thanksgiving Break! It was wonderful to see your kids again this week, and we are happy to re-engage in teaching and learning across the district.
In the survey I sent out this fall, a couple of areas that rose to the top in terms of things you would like to hear more about, and that I have not yet shared with you, were district events and celebrations, community connections, essential learnings, and curriculum. So I thought this week would be a good time to share a few of those.
In terms of district events and celebrations, along with community connections, I am excited to share that GLPS will be well represented in the Nights Light Parade in Grand Ledge this evening. The parade starts at 7pm, and runs from the fire barn down Bridge St. There will be a GLPS bus, district staff members from multiple employee groups, the marching band, and the pompon team, along with a variety of other community groups that are made up of GLPS students and families. I believe that a successful community depends on a successful school district, and a successful school district depends on a successful community. Our district, and community, are doing well. We are proud to be a part of tonight’s parade and other community events, and we are proud that our students and families are so involved as well. That is what makes a strong GLPS district and community.
When it comes to curriculum, or the tools we use to help our students learn and grow, GLPS always endeavors to make sure we have the most up-to-date and research-based materials in the hands of our teachers. To choose materials, we always start with our essential learnings, or the things we want to make sure all students know and are able to do. We currently have our essential learnings identified for BK-8th grade, and we are working on the high school courses as well. The board approved essential learnings, along with all of our curriculum guides, can be found here, on our Academic Services web page. With those established, we then make sure staff members have the materials they need to help students learn. The process for choosing instructional tools and materials heavily involves the expertise of our staff, and is consistent, regardless of grade level. Anytime a teacher is selecting a tool to use, it is rooted in this process, which is managed within our Academic Services department. This allows us to continue to work toward commonalities across schools and grade levels, and ensures we are creating the best opportunity for our students to learn and grow.
GLPS is an outstanding school district, both because of our community connections and the work and expertise of our staff around essential learnings and curriculum tools. We are very thankful that you are here and a part of the Comet family, and that you give us the opportunity to work with you and your students every day. Thank you for your support.
As always, I am #proudtobeacomet!
Dr. Bill Barnes
Superintendent of Schools