FOURTH GRADE BIG ZOO LESSON
Volume 11, Issue 7
FOURTH GRADE BIG ZOO LESSON
Each year, Waldron fourth grade students are invited to participate in “The BIG Zoo Lesson” held at Potter Park Zoo.
This is a unique program for select schools only. The program spans five consecutive days in which our teachers and
students travel to Potter Park Zoo and use the zoo as their classroom. They immerse themselves in learning for a full
week of in-depth study. This experience includes:
A full week of lessons provided by docents and zookeepers
Teacher-led lessons, reinforced with independent observation and research time
Behind the scenes tours, and presentations from wild life experts
Groups of students working cooperatively on research
Observations/research on animals from all over the world
Well rounded lessons which include geography, research, writing, poetry, art, etc.
Our fourth grade students look forward to this special learning opportunity all school year. They were exceptionally
well-behaved, followed directions, listened and learned. The photos below include students making animal observations, a student touching a rhinoceros, and a behind the scenes look at the large animal holding cage. Just another
day at the zoo!
The Waldron Buzz
SCREENING FOR NEW KINDERGARTEN STUDENTS APRIL 26
Waldron School will be holding kindergarten screenings for all NEW kindergarten students on Friday,
April 26, from 8:30 a.m. to 12 noon. Each child will be assigned an appointment time and will undergo a benchmark assessment, a speech assessment and vision and hearing screening. The process
should take approximately 30-40 minutes. If you have a child who will be attending our kindergarten
program in the fall and you have not yet registered, please contact the Waldron office at 593-2160 or
e-mail Marcy Wieber at [email protected] In April, there will be a more detailed packet
mailed to those registered, outlining appointment times along with enrollment forms that will need to
be completed and returned. Please put the screening date on your calendar. We look forward to
seeing you and your child on Friday, April 26.
FOWLER PRESCHOOL PROGRAM FULL—WAITING LIST STARTED
As of now, we have two completely full sections (AM & PM) of preschool. Because our preschool program
is licensed by the State of Michigan, we are limited to 15 students per section. However, we will consider
opening another section if there is a demand for it. As a result, a waiting list has been established. If you
would like to add your child to the waiting list, please contact Marcy Wieber at 593-2160 or send an e-mail
to [email protected]
CURSE YOU, OTIS CRUMMY!
Waldron Middle School Drama Club has begun preparing and practicing for their
spring production of “Curse You, Otis Crummy!” This comedy will have you rolling in the aisles as the cast of old west characters roll into town and stir up all
kinds of trouble! Cast and crew will put in countless hours rehearsing, building
props, making costumes, etc. to make this production a great success. Performances are on Friday, March 22 and Saturday, March 23 at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are
$5.00 at the door. Please contact Waldron School or Director Bonnie Brown with
questions at 593-2160 or [email protected]
VFW HONORS ESSAY WINNERS
Several area students were honored for their award winning essays at the annual VFW and Ladies Auxiliary banquet in February. Congratulations to Hanna Epkey, Lauren Bancroft and Owen Feldpausch,
Waldron eighth graders, who were awarded for their Patriot’s Pen essays.
FEBRUARY SOAR LUNCHEON
The February SOAR luncheon winners were Whitney Werner (KD), Hunter Olney (KD), Brianne Halfmann (1st
gr.), Carson Sillman (2nd gr.), Jocelynn Hunt (3rd gr.), Adalee Thelen (4th gr.), Cody Simon (5th gr.), Lauren Erk
(6th gr.), Lily VanDeusen (gr. 7), and Jace Feldpausch (8th gr.). Our guest visitors were the Homecoming King
and Queen, Travis Schafer and Cami Miller. The Positive Behavior Committee would like to thank Dr. Meredith Heisey of Mid-Michigan Orthopaedic Institute for her generous donation which allowed us to provide the
students with pizzas and pop from Main Street Pizza.
SECOND GRADE ECONOMICS
Left: Candis Myers
helps prepare the
The second grade class went into the chocolate-covered pretzel business in March. The
students advertised, made, and sold the pretzels. Second graders also learned about how
costs and profits come into play. The money
that was raised will go to help offset the
transportation costs of their spring field trip.
The class learned so much and they didn’t
want the experience to end. You might even
see them selling the pretzels in a store near
Don’t forget—March 28 is a
Right: Jordan Garner,
Mya Bertram, Cooper
half-day of school. Dismissal
at 11:30. No school on March
29. Spring break April 1-5.
School resumes on April 8.
THERE WAS A LOT OF LOVE SHOWN HERE!
The Waldron Middle School 6th grade LINK students hosted a Valentine’s Day party for some students
from the CCRESA school on Valentine’s Day. The LINK students, who have been learning and helping
students with autism for the past three years here at Waldron Elementary, broadened their learning
to students with varying special needs. Students from Mrs. O’Rourke’S classroom in the center-based
program came to Waldron to spend the afternoon. The LINK students planned every part of the party,
from the games and crafts to the decorations and prizes. As soon as the bus arrived at Waldron with
Mrs. O’Rourke’s class, the LINK students started the festivities. There were introductions, games, balloons, crafts, snacks, and, of course, Valentines. When it was time for Mrs. O’Rourke’s class to leave,
everyone was asking, “When can we do this again?”
The fifth grade class recently completed their D.A.R.E .lesson with the Clinton County Sheriff’s Department. This
year, millions of school children around the world will benefit from D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education).
D.A.R.E. is a police officer-led series of classroom lessons that teach children how to resist peer pressure and live
productive drug and violence-free lives. During the graduation ceremony, top essays were read by the students
and a cake & punch reception was held to congratulate their hard work!.
MARCH IS READING MONTH
This year, our March is Reading Month theme is SUPER
HEROES! Staff and students are celebrating is SUPER
style as the entire month of March is jammed packed
with fun events, reading contests, special visitors, and
guest readers. Thank you to our March is Reading Month
Committee for planning this action packed month. We
hope to inspire Waldron students to read, read, read!
Above: Seventh graders McKenzie Feldpausch, Makenna Miller
and Jolie Wieber show off their
“super vision” shades.
Left: The first grade class of
Mrs. Patty Schmitt was so excited when they discovered their
Super Reader T-shirts and capes
in the classroom. Thank you,
parents, for making that day
extra special for them!
A VOLCANIC LESSON
The third grade students of Ms. Carol Blackwell and Mrs. LeAnn Schafer have been learning about land
forms and how they change over time. During their science classes, they discussed how some of these
changes take place very slowly over many decades or centuries. Some forces, however, such as floods,
landslides, earthquakes or volcanoes can change the land in a matter of minutes.
The students were given the opportunity to make their own volcanoes. Students “erupted” in laughter as
they demonstrated how their volcanoes could make new land and change the landscape.
Jacob Rademacher and
Lauren Schafer and
PTA CARNIVAL—FUN FOR ALL!
The PTA spring carnival was held at Waldron on March 16. This year’s carnival took on a “Superhero” theme.
The Piggott gym was filled with children of all ages, enjoying games, a bounce house, and clowns creating balloon animals.
We would like to thank the PTA for all their work. We would also like to thank the Waldron staff, parents, students and area businesses for your continued support and contributions. We could not hold this event each
year without your generous support.
The PTA raised about $5000 that will go directly back to Fowler Public Schools. From the bottom of our hearts,
thank you so much to everyone who helped make the carnival a success!
Listed below are the businesses and individuals who donated items to the carnival:
Simon Brothers Trucking
TH Miller Excavating
Main Street Pizza
Dr. Gadille, DDS
Allaby & Brewbaker
Avery Eye Care Center
The Next Level Salon
Sparrow Clinton Wellness
T & H Dairy
Fowler Food Service
Leon Schneider Builders
Fowler’s Hot Spot
Discount Tire & Battery
Main Street Café
Theis Party Store
Simon’s Flower Shoppe
Designs by M&D
Main Street Station
Tami Rademacher & family
Sweet Celebrations by Stacey
Lori Hyland — Thirty-One
No More Sidelines
Ryan & Vicki O’Rourke
Greg & Katie Halfmann
Mary Ann Vargo
Clinton Co Chamber of Commerce
Joy & Hilary Stump
Brent & Tonya McCarty
Big Boy Restaurant
HIGH SCHOOL 3RD QUARTER
It’s hard to believe that the end of
the third marking period at Fowler
High School is Thursday, March 28.
There is no school on Friday, March
29 as this is the start of spring
break. Classes will resume on Monday, April 8 and report cards will be
distributed to students on Friday,
April 12. If your student does not
bring a report card home, a copy
can be obtained by calling the high
school office at 593-2250 or you
can access the grades online at
www.fowlerschools.net. Click on
the Parent Connect under the high
HIGH SCHOOL BAND ACTIVITIES
The Fowler High School Band participated in the MMEA Wind
Band Symposium on Saturday, March 16, at Dewitt High
School. They worked with clinicians from GVSU, Western
Michigan University, and Indiana/Purdue University. All of
the clinicians were overwhelmed with the performance of the
Fowler Band. They put on a spectacular show. Congratulations on a job well done!
The Fowler Jazz Band will be performing at the Thornapple
Jazz Festival in Hastings at 11:00 a.m. at the Parrish Hall on
April 12. High school and middle school bands from around
the state will be in attendance. In addition, professional combos, steel drum bands, and jazz vocal ensembles will be performing throughout the community. The event is open to the
public. You can find out more about this two-day event at
ACADEMIC AWARD CEREMONIES
The annual academic awards presentations will again be split into two ceremonies this year. The
senior awards night will be on Tuesday, April 30, at 7:30 p.m. In addition to individual classroom
awards, scholarships such as the Mark and Marie Fox Scholarship, Dale Gage Scholarship, FEA Scholarship and many others will be given out during the evening.
The second awards ceremony is for the freshman, sophomore and junior students. This will be held
on Wednesday, May 29, at 8:30 a.m. in the high school gym. Please mark these dates on your calendar and we hope to see a great turnout to support all of our students and award them for their academic excellence.
OTHER DATES TO REMEMBER
Thornapple Jazz Festival
NHS blood drive
Seniors’ last school day
7:00– 11:00 p.m.
On February 26, the freshman English class traveled to Farmington Hills to enhance their
knowledge of the Holocaust. After participating in a docent-led tour, they had the rare privilege of
listening to Holocaust survivor Jerry Manko, speak about his experience and entertain questions.
Our class thanks Mr. Jeff Bierstetel, Mrs. Mindy Schafer and Mrs. Cynthia Carollo for helping
chaperone this important event.
The following are quotes that students wrote as part of a reflection response after the visit.
“There may be times when we can’t do anything about injustice, but never a time when we can’t
try.” Jacob Hamilton
One way I can help prevent misery in my corner of the world is by, “ speaking up and taking a
stand for injustice and make sure to treat everyone equally.” Hunter Simon
Survivor Jerry Manko “inspired me because [he taught me] even though you might not see any
hope, there is still always a chance.” Tyler Klein
One statistic that stood out was “the number of Jews who died in Poland was outrageously big [3
million] especially if you compare it to the amount of people in Fowler.” Garrett Scott
“The eternal flame made an impression on me. It shows that we will never forget the Holocaust
or the lives that were taken because of it.” Megan Conner
One way I can help prevent misery in my corner of the world is by “letting others know they are
always accepted for who they are.” Holly Bierstetel
Sag. Nouvel Invite
Carson City3/27 Crystal
4/15 St. Pats
4/20 Vestaburg Invite
5/4 Fowler Invite
*No bus provided for trip home after event.
CMAC PRESEASON MEET
FULTON CMAC DUAL*
P-W CMAC DUAL*
FOWLER CMAC DUAL
ALMA COLLEGE INVITE
BATH CMAC DUAL
CMAC LEAGUE MEET
P-W Inv (Portland)
Laingsburg (Pine Hills)
St. Pats (Portland CC)
St John's INV (Emerald)
N o n - H o m e s t e a d P r o p e r t y
V o t e S e t f o r M a y
T a x
R e n e w a l
As discussed in the February edition of the Eagle Flyer, the Fowler Public Schools Board of Education approved a resolution at their February meeting calling for an election on a proposal to renew the non-homestead property tax rate to the
maximum permitted assessment of 18 mills. This election would renew, or continue, the rate last approved by voters in
2009. That election approved the 18 mill non-homestead property tax for four years, which expired this past December.
This proposal will enable the school district to receive the entire per pupil foundation allowance provided under the
state’s funding formula.
The following is an explanation of the operating millage proposal in a “Question and Answer” format. School funding in
general is a complex issue, and the same is true for the non-homestead property tax portion of it. I have tried to organize the Q & A section in a way so that the simpler and more direct questions related to the May ballot proposal are near
the beginning, with more complex funding issues addressed later on. I hope that this clarifies any questions voters may
have on the proposal, but please know that I would be happy to meet with any community member or group to provide
any additional clarification or information regarding the May ballot issue. Please feel free to contact me at 593-2250, or
our business office at 593-2296, with any questions or to set up a time to meet.
Questions and Answers on the Non-Homestead Property Tax Election
1. What exactly is the ballot language on which we will be voting?
The exact language as it appears on the ballot is as follows:
This proposal will allow the school district to continue to levy the statutory rate of 18 mills on all property, except principal residence and other property exempted by law, required for the district to receive its revenue
per pupil foundation allowance.
Shall the limitation on the amount of taxes which may be assessed against all property, except principal residence
and other property exempted by law, in Fowler Public School District, Clinton County, Michigan, be increased by 18
mills ($18.00 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation) for a period of 7 years, 2013 to 2019, inclusive, to provide funds
for operating purposes; the estimate of the revenue the school district will collect if the millage is approved and
levied in 2013 is approximately $140,000 (this is a renewal of millage which expired with the 2012 tax levy)?
2. Why is this referred to as a “non-homestead” ballot issue?
This millage would be assessed only on non-homestead property. Non-homestead refers to “property, except principal residence and other property exempted by law” as mentioned above. Non-homestead property includes industrial/commercial property, apartment buildings, rental homes, vacation property, and some vacant land. It does
not include a family’s primary residence.
3. How will this affect my property taxes?
This proposal will not increase the tax rate for any taxpayer. Whether you own homestead or non-homestead property, there will be absolutely no increase in your property tax related to this millage. This proposal is simply a renewal of the current 18.0 mills allowed by law for the next seven years.
4. How much revenue will this provide the school district?
If this proposal passes, Fowler Public Schools will continue to receive approximately $140,000 to use for operations
that will not be provided under the state aid formula if the millage is not in place.
5. How will our educational program be affected if the proposal in not approved?
If the proposal is not approved, the district will receive $140,000 less than we have been receiving under
the current state funding formula. As we prepare for the 2013-2014 school year, the district already faces
a budget deficit of nearly $300,000 due to per student funding reductions in recent years and the state
requirement to provide all day kindergarten to preserve funding. Combined, the district would face a
budget deficit of over $400,000 which would certainly lead to reductions in the educational programs and services our
community has come to expect from our schools.
6. Is this a new tax?
No. This millage was last approved by the voters in 2009. The district had voter approval to levy 18 mills on nonhomestead property through December, 2012. Passage of this proposal will allow the district to continue to collect approximately $140,000 for educational operations. Failure of the proposal will lead to a $140,000 loss of revenue compared to what the district had received in previous years.
7. Why is the term of the levy seven years?
Non-homestead property taxes are subject to being “rolled back” because of the Headlee Amendment to the Michigan
Constitution. This roll back occurs when properties are sold and the assessed value is increased. Passing a levy with a
term of seven years, as opposed to the maximum allowed ten years makes it less likely that the district would need to ask
for a restoration millage during that time to avoid a loss of educational funding should property values start to increase
again. The seven year term will also allow us to align the next renewal election with our regularly scheduled school elections which now occur every other November. This will allow us to avoid any costs for a special election.
8. I thought the state guarantees a certain minimum amount of funding per student?
The State School Aid Fund guarantees a foundation allowance of $6,966 (2013) for Fowler Public Schools, but that assumes that the district levies and collects the total available property tax millages, including the full 18 mill nonhomestead property tax that must be approved by voters. The state makes up the difference between the local revenues
that the district has the opportunity to collect, and the minimum foundation allowance. If the district does not collect all
of the allowable tax at the full 18 mill rate, the state does not make up the difference.
9. Speaking of Proposal A, I thought that took property taxes out of the school funding equation and would end millage
elections for operational funds. Isn’t that the case?
Proposal A changed the way Michigan public schools are financed. It dramatically shifted the burden from property taxes
to the sales tax, but it did not eliminate property taxes a source of funding. When the legislature adopted the foundation
approach to funding education in December, 1993, four important changes came about.
Property taxes for school purposes were substantially reduced.
Rather than millage rates being applied uniformly on all property, different rates were applied to homestead and nonhomestead property. Owner-occupied primary residences were classified as “homestead” property and taxed at six mills.
Non-homestead property generally includes industrial, commercial, and second homes, and is taxed at 24 mills (six mills
base plus 18 mills, which requires voter approval).
The maximum non-homestead property tax levy is 18 mills. However, to avoid the added cost and paperwork, districts
may request Headlee overrides above the 18 mill limit and levy only 18 mills until the override expires.
The state levies a uniform rate of six mills on all property—both homestead and non-homestead. The proceeds are deposited in the State School Aid Fund and used as a part of state aid under the new foundation approach. Local districts
are required to levy 18 mills, with voter approval, on all non-homestead property. These proceeds constitute the local
district’s contribution under the foundation approach.
Again, if you have additional questions or need any further clarification of this potentially confusing issue, please contact
me. Superintendent Neil Hufnagel at 593-2250 or 593-2296 and I would be happy assist you.
DISPELLING A SMALL SCHOOL MYTH
By Neil Hufnagel, Superintendent
This is the time of year when our high school students begin the registration process for the next school year.
This is a great time to address one of the myths I often hear about our relatively small high school. Many assume because we have a relatively small student body and small teaching staff, that our students are significantly limited in the types of courses that they can take. This is simply not accurate.
Listed below are all of the courses that have been available to our students in recent years. We are proud of
the solid core of traditional classes offered each year at Fowler High School that provide our students with an
outstanding education in the fundamental skills to be successful in college and the workforce. Those courses
are supported by an array of elective courses that we continue to grow and diversify to meet the needs and
interests of our students. Beyond the traditional classes taken face-to-face in the high school, a higher percentage of Fowler students participate in career preparation programs, dual enrollment college courses, and
online high school courses than any district in the county. Many of these programs require pre-requisites and
qualifying scores that allow students to earn these additional, non-traditional opportunities. We continue to
be proud of both our students’ opportunities, and their success in taking advantage of them!
WEB PUBLISHING ADVANCED COMPUTERS
COMPUTER AIDED DESI
INTRO TO BUSINESS
WRITING FOR PUBLICATION
INDUSTRIAL ARTS 1
INDUSTRIAL ARTS 2
INDUSTRIAL ARTS 3
INDUSTRIAL ARTS 4
ENGLISH LA 9
ANATONY & PHYSIOLOGY
ENGLISH LA 10
US HISTORY & GEOGRAPHY
ENGLISH LA 11
ENGLISH LA 12
INTRO TO PSYCHOLOGY
INTRO TO SOCIOLOGY
ONLINE HS COURSES
STATS & PROBABILITY
ONLINE WORLD HIST/GEOG
AP LIT & COMPOSITION A
AP LIT COMPOSITION B
DUAL ENROLLMENT COURSES
(HS & COLLEGE CREDIT) HUMANITIES 213
INTERIOR DESIGN 120
INTRO TO EDUCATION
BUSINESS OF MUSIC
CHILD DEVEL 100
COMPUTR INFO 110
COMPUTER INFO 140
COMPUTER INFO 150
COMPUTER SCIENCE 1
CRIMINAL JUSTICE 106
CRIMINAL JUSTICE 210
POLITICAL SCIENCE 120
EDUC PHYSH 204
CAREER PREP COURSES
FILM SCORE COMP 101 WORK BASED EDUCATION
DIGITAL MEDIAL ARTS
CRIMINAL JUSTICE 1
HEALTH CARE 111
CRIMINAL JUSTICE 2
Continued on next page
BOARD MINUTES IN BRIEF
February 11, 2013
CAREER PREP COURSES
(Continued from previous page)
EMS FIRE SCIENCE
EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT
ALLIED HEALTH INTERNSHIP
COMPUTER SYSTEM SUPPORT
HEATING & COOLING
Pledge of Allegiance and roll call (all 7 board
Approved the minutes of the January 14 regular meeting and January 31 special meeting..
Approved the bills paid and monies transferred.
Superintendent/High School Principal’s report
presented by Neil Hufnagel.
Reports by Kriss Naumann, Waldron Principal,
and Kris Ernst, Athletic Director, were included
in the board packet.
Personnel/Finance Committee set a meeting
for February 19 and Athletics Committee set a
meeting for February 19.
Approved ballot language for May 7 election
for renewal of 18 mills for non-homestead
Approved contract with Clark Construction for
Approved BPA trip to Grand Rapids for State
Leadership Conference on March 22-23.
Pat Jackson of CCRESA made a presentation on
Discussed superintendent’s evaluation process
and budget building process.
Entered into executive session to discuss negotiations; exited executive session; adjourned
FOWLER BOARD OF
Mary Kay Goerge
FOWLER BOARD OF
2013 REGULAR MEETING
HIGH SCHOOL MEDIA
CENTER, 7:00 P.M.
Neil Hufnagel ……………...593-2250
Elementary & Middle School Principal
Kris Ernst………... …………...593-2250
Building & Grounds Supervisor
Director of Food Services
Fowler Public Schools
11214 West Kent Street
PO Box 408
U.S. Postage Paid
Fowler, MI 48835
Permit Number 5
Fowler Public School District Mission Statement
Fowler Public Schools, in partnership with the surrounding community, will work to provide all students and staff with a safe educational
environment that focuses on a well-rounded, technology-oriented curriculum. Our staff will help create responsible citizen by giving all
students the opportunity to develop the skills for success in family, life, work, and community.