Superintendent's Blog

  • Winter Break Updates and January Podcast:

    Posted by Adam Spina on 1/15/2019 9:55:00 AM

    Happy New Year! It has been great to have the buildings open after the holidays and have students back in school after some time away. The momentum of the District did not slow over the break, in fact, there was a lot accomplished.

    We continued to make progress on our District Safety Goal, adding six new high definition cameras to Explorer Elementary. In collaboration with a school safety consultant, our technology department completed the installation of a new public address system at the high school. This will allow select staff to initiate pre-programmed emergency announcements from remote locations should that ever be needed. The Board of Education approved an agreement with an architectural firm which specializes in school safety renovations to begin work on the redesign of the high school main entrance. Drawings of the new design will be provided for review in the near future. At the preschool, a new AED was installed in the lobby outside of the office.

    Our maintenance and custodial teams were extremely busy over the break. Floors were resurfaced, carpets cleaned, and extensive painting was done across all buildings, to include many student bathrooms and the elementary STEAM lab. There were repairs to select HVAC systems and drains.

    Additional improvements include the installation of an announcement/upcoming events screen at the middle school, the construction of a new play structure at Discovery Elementary (thank you PTSA), and the demolition of the city storage building adjacent to the kindergarten playground.


    New Discovery Play Structure:

    New Discovery Play Structure

    Removal of City Storage Structure Next to Discovery Elementary:

    City Storage Structure Removal

    Learn more about these updates and other upcoming events by listening to the January District Podcast.

    The Podcast can also be accessed at the following links:

    Comments (-1)
  • Happy Holidays!

    Posted by Adam Spina on 12/20/2018 2:00:00 PM

    The first half of the school year has been a great success. We have continued to build momentum regarding all of our district goals. There is a lot more to look forward to in 2019!

    I would like to wish our entire community a safe and joyous holiday season. All the best in the new year!

    WSF Pancakes with Santa at WHS:

    Pancakes with Santa

    WHS Jazz Band performs holiday music for staff and students: Watch part of the performance here.

    Jazz Band in the Dome

    Central office staff “casual for a cause” donation to Weekend Survival Kits:

    Central Office donation to Weekend Survival Kits

    Comments (-1)
  • Hornets Helping the Community

    Posted by Adam Spina on 12/13/2018 7:05:00 AM

    Holiday Hornet

    I would like to acknowledge the dedication of our staff, students, and parents in supporting many different charitable entities throughout our community during this holiday season. It is a long-standing tradition at WCS to assist local service organizations, not just during the holidays, but throughout the year. This is a symbiotic relationship, we know and appreciate that these organizations will, in turn, provide a wide variety of resources and services for Williamston students and their families. It is another example of the strong and positive relationships our schools have with all facets of our community.

    Some recent examples:

    Williamston Middle School Giving Project, which contributed 6,000 food items to the Harold Larson Williamston Food Bank.

    Food Bank Donation by WMS

    Williamston Middle and High School Peer Assistance Leaders (PALs) preparing packages to deliver.

    PALs

    Second-grade students at Discovery Elementary organize donations as part of the 12 Days of Giving project.

    12 Days of Giving Project at Discovery Elementary

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  • MI Heart Safe Certification and LED Lighting Upgrade

    Posted by Adam Spina on 12/6/2018 6:00:00 PM

    All schools in the District are now MI Heart Safe certified. Banners are displayed in the buildings indicating this distinction. Learn more about the certification and application process here.

    Mi Heart Safe Middle School

    Mi Heart Safe Explorer

    Mi Heart Safe Discovery

    Mi Heart Safe High School

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    LED lighting upgrade in the high school parking lot:

    LED Light Upgrade HS Parking Lot

     

     

    Comments (-1)
  • Wilson Talent Center

    Posted by Adam Spina on 11/28/2018 4:35:00 PM

    In various conversations across the community, I am frequently asked about opportunities for students to enroll in Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses or if we will offer those programs again in the future. These conversations have indicated we need to do a better job of communicating the wide variety of exceptional CTE classes and certifications offered at the Wilson Talent Center for qualifying Juniors and Seniors. Consequently, we will soon be taking our entire 10th-grade class to tour the facility, but it is also something that I encourage families with children in other grade levels to learn more about.    

    The Wilson Talent Center provides opportunities for students to take specialized classes in preparation for university enrollment, explore a potential career pathway, or complete a professional certification program. It also provides a unique opportunity for WHS students to study with peers from across Ingham County who have like interests. Enrollment in many of Wilson’s programs provides an extension of our K-12 STEAM initiative, providing students with authentic learning experiences that can put them ahead of their peers when starting college or lead to employment opportunities upon graduation.

    A common misconception I have heard includes the idea that Wilson is an “alternative” high school, with the connotation that it is not for students who have excelled in a traditional classroom setting. In reality, Wilson offers opportunities for students with a diverse range of interests and future plans. There are options for students preparing for a university education, interested in studying a trade, earning a certification, license, or attending an academy. Currently, 20 different CTE programs are offered. Examples include cybersecurity and digital forensics, bioscience, and four different levels of medical field preparation. Students interested in automotive technology, law enforcement, aviation, and precision machining have the opportunity to utilize first-class facilities and learn from experts in those fields. Bottom line, our mission statement is to prepare students to be college or career ready and Wilson provides the opportunity to do either. I encourage you to find out more and see if enrollment at the Wilson Talent Center might be a good fit for your child, either now or in the future. Learn more by visiting Wilson’s website (which is linked to “Our Schools” on the WCS Homepage), talking to a guidance counselor, or attending the Open House on December 12 (see flyer here).

    Comments (-1)
  • Thanksgiving

    Posted by Adam Spina on 11/20/2018 11:20:00 AM

    WKAR published an article over the weekend that is an excellent reflection of the support our community provides WCS. Of course, this community support is much more diverse than just athletics. Our PTSA and schools foundation provide opportunities for innovative programming, our service organizations and business community invest in our classrooms, our visual and performing arts organizations benefit greatly from the generosity of donors and volunteers, parent/teacher conferences at our elementary buildings near 100% participation annually. These and many other examples make it possible for us to provide more opportunities for students than our size and state funding would suggest possible. It is truly a team effort.

    I am thankful for the opportunity to represent our schools and community in this capacity. On behalf of everyone here at WCS, thank you, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

    WHS Football Team Traveling to the State Semi-Final Game:

    Football Team on way to semi-final game

    Rotary Youth Leadership Awards:

    Juniors Katie and Nicole with WHS principal Dr. Steven Delp. The students were selected to attend the Rotary leadership program last summer and returned to the organization to discuss what they learned in the program. Congratulations Katie and Nicole!

    RYLA

    Comments (-1)
  • November District Podcast and Awards Banquet

    Posted by Adam Spina on 11/14/2018 2:35:00 PM

    Listen to the November District Podcast here.

    The Podcast can also be accessed at the following links:

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    Williamston Area Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet:

    An outstanding group of people representing many facets of our community were recognized for their leadership and service at the sold out awards banquet. Two members of the WCS team were recognized for their significant contributions, photographs courtesy of the Studio Shop.

    Educator of the Year, Ms. Nancy Misailedes. Award presented by Ms. Kelly Campbell, Principal of Explorer Elementary

    Nancy Misailedes

    Public Servant of the Year, Mr. Ryan VanSickler. Award presented by Mr. Taylor Omer of the Williamston Chamber Board

    Ryan VanSickler

    Comments (-1)
  • Snow Days 2018-2019

    Posted by Adam Spina on 11/8/2018 3:05:00 PM

    As the winter months move in, it is likely sometime in the foreseeable future that road or weather conditions will deteriorate to the point where a decision will need to be made on canceling school. The safety of students, parents, and staff is the foremost consideration when evaluating whether a day of school should be canceled. There are several variables that factor into making a final decision. These include the following:

    1. An early morning report from our Director of Facilities and Operations on road conditions in Williamston
    2. Input from law enforcement, the road commission, and staff from neighboring districts
    3. Consultation with Superintendents from all other Ingham County Districts. We have an “app for that!”

    School will be canceled automatically if there is a temperature (with or without windchill) of 20 degrees or more below zero.

    Note that each local district in the area makes an independent decision on whether to cancel school. Road conditions in Williamston (to include roads in all parts of our district) may differ greatly from those in other districts. If you disagree with a decision to open school, it is always your right to keep your child at home. If you make this choice, please contact the appropriate school office so we know where your child is and that he or she is safe.

    There is a change this year regarding snow days for our students attending the Wilson Talent Center. In the event the Mason Public Schools have canceled school due to road/weather conditions, the Ingham Intermediate Schools will also be closed. Consequently, the Wilson Talent Center will not be open. If Williamston is open on a day Mason schools are closed, students who attend class at the Wilson Talent Center will have space made available for them to study throughout the full school day at Williamston High School, but will only be required to attend class during their usual hours at WHS. Questions regarding this arrangement can be directed to the high school office.   

    School cancellations will be broadcast through a variety of means. These include local media outlets, our website, and School Messenger. Remember, you can subscribe to both School Messenger and the RSS feed on the announcements part of the district website to receive an automatic notification to your phone, email, and/or news feed. Our goal is to make a decision to cancel no later than 6:00 am.

    I hope this provides some perspective on how snow days are determined. Please contact me should you have any questions about our decision-making process or notification mechanisms.

    Comments (-1)
  • District Safety Update

    Posted by Adam Spina on 11/2/2018 7:25:00 AM

    I am pleased to announce several significant positive developments regarding our district safety goal.

    The Michigan State Police (MSP) announced on October 31 that WCS will receive a $110,222 grant via the MSP Competitive School Safety Grant Program. Successfully receiving funding from this highly competitive grant program was the result of months of careful planning, assessment, and collaboration. The MSP grant will allow WCS to accelerate the implementation of security enhancements throughout the district.

    All district schools were awarded MI Heart Safe School status in October after an extensive implementation and application process. MI Heart Safe Schools are required to have properly located AEDs, a detailed cardiac emergency response plan as well as validated cardiac response teams. All schools at WCS will soon be displaying banners indicating they have earned this designation. The MI Heart Safe School initiative was lead by Mr. Michael Freeman and Ms. Ash Wilkie.

    WCS has finalized a partnership with McLaren Hospital to implement the “Stop the Bleed” program throughout all its schools. Stop the Bleed is a Department of Defense initiative that promotes training to stop life-threatening bleeding following everyday emergencies and manmade and natural disasters. In conjunction with NIESA, staff at all buildings will receive this training during the course of this school year. Additionally, the District will receive numerous triage kits that will be located in strategic areas in all of our schools.

    To read the district safety goals, visit our website or click here. I look forward to providing additional updates on these and other safety initiatives throughout this school year.

    Comments (-1)
  • Facility Use Update

    Posted by Adam Spina on 10/24/2018 7:10:00 AM

    In accordance with Board Policy #9250-R, Use of District Facilities, we have improved our building use system and management tools including the creation of a single point of contact for all facility requests. Ms. Janelle Marvin is our new Facilities Use Coordinator. Ms. Marvin’s office is in the Community Fitness Center/Pool area. She may be contacted at 517-655-2142 x7740 or via email at marvinja@gowcs.net. We are confident these improvements will cause less confusion and be easier for everyone.

    Additionally, reservation requests are now made online. The online request form provides a quick and easy way to request a location. The system also allows for a confirmation email to be generated, which documents the request and any associated costs, if applicable. The online form and additional information is available on the Enrichment, Fitness Center, and Pool website.

    Finally, I’ve had a number of questions over the last couple of months about which groups fall into Category 1. I believe the most recent revision to the policy clarifies these questions. To summarize, Category 1 organizations are exempt from fees associated with facility requests in most instances. Category 1 organizations include any K-12 district sponsored academic or co-curricular class or activity. It also applies to registered school support groups such as boosters, PTSA, or WSF. Finally, Williamston based youth athletic programs are included in Category 1, with some exceptions. Please reference the policy or contact the Enrichment office for more details.

    New Facility Enhancements:

    In keeping with Board Policy #9260, Access to Gender Segregated Facilities and Activities, and parent requests, work was completed this week on a single user, ADA compliant shower room at the Community Pool.

    Community Pool Shower Room

    Williamston High School finished updates to its conference room. The office and select classrooms in the building are also being repainted.

    WHS Conference Room

    Comments (-1)

Executive Assistant

Mrs. Janet Eidt

Phone: (517) 655-4361

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Mrs. Janet Eidt