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March 8, 2024


GLPS Families,

As the calendar rolls over to March, from a school leadership perspective, planning for the 2024-2025 school year is in full swing. Planning budgets, projecting enrollments, putting together school improvement and professional learning plans, gathering data on this year’s goals, and planning for next year’s, are all part of the processes we undertake to ensure we are ready for school in the fall

As we plan, we have a responsibility to ensure that we understand what our students’ needs are, and what our families’ needs are, to ensure we finish this year strong, but also that we build systems of support and improve processes for next year. To those ends, we have multiple mechanisms to gather this feedback at the district level. For example, throughout the year, I have met with groups of students at all of our buildings to hear their thoughts on the work we are doing and how well it meets their needs. We choose the students at random, and then I set up times to meet at each of the schools (I bring pizza or donuts to these conversations, which helps!). We also have our Caregiver School Improvement Team, which is made up of our students’ caregivers, who meet to discuss our professional learning plans, strategic plan, and other issues that pop up. We have a community and youth advisory committee that specifically focuses on the logistics and planning for the Grand Ledge Public Schools Health Center, and I had the opportunity to visit all of our buildings’ PTO/PTA/PTIA meetings again this year. This is in addition to emails and phone calls that I receive from families and community members about multiple aspects of the district, and the conversations I am able to have at district events. At the building levels, we have additional opportunities for feedback, which range from surveys to conferences to PTO/PTA/PTIA meetings to other parent engagement opportunities.

In order to continue to build our collection of feedback to guide our work, I would like to remind you about the quick survey I mentioned in last week’s message. The answer to the survey’s two questions will give us data points to discuss as we wrap up this year and plan for next. If you have not completed the survey yet, I encourage you to take the time to do so today. We will have a few more surveys throughout the spring, so I encourage you to take a look when we send those as well. On the student side, GLPS has partnered with districts throughout the state to participate in the MI Student Voice project for grades 5-12 this spring, which elevates student voices to provide direct, anonymous, feedback to our district. More information will be coming soon in Hayes, Beagle, and GLHS newsletters, including the process, questions that will be asked, and processes to opt your child out if you do not want them to participate. So, if you have children in those buildings, please read through the information when it is sen.

To wrap up, I want to be clear that our goals as a district are driven through our Board Policies and our Strategic Plan, which includes our mission, vision, beliefs, focus areas, and goals. We continually track our progress, shore up areas of deficit, and celebrate our successes.  But feedback from our stakeholders, especially our students and families, is key to moving our district forward. 

Thank you for all you do for our district and community, and thank you for providing us with the opportunity to work with your children every day.  As always, I am #proudtobeacomet!

Dr. Bill Barnes
Superintendent of Schools

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