Goodbye summer

Submitted by Mark Klumpp, MOISD interim superintendent 

OSCEOLA COUNTY — Many of you are probably familiar with former Mecosta-Osceola Intermediate School District Superintendent, Dr. Curtis Finch, who provided monthly articles to the Pioneer. Dr. Finch has retired from the MOISD and started a new job as superintendent of Deer Valley Unified School District in Arizona. On behalf of the MOISD Board of Education, staff, students and community, we want to thank him for his 12 years of dedicated service to our district and wish him the best of luck in his new endeavor.

The MOISD Board of Education named me as interim superintendent effective July 1, 2017, until a permanent superintendent can be named. At their August regular meeting, they took action to utilize the services of the Michigan Association of School Boards (MASB) to assist them in the process of conducting a “local” search for a permanent replacement. The MASB representative will be meeting with the MOISD board in September to establish the search parameters and timelines. In the meantime, we will be conducting business as usual at the MOISD and providing great service to our students and local districts thanks to all the caring and professional staff members we have.

Speaking of staff, it is hard to believe staff reported back Thursday, Aug. 24, with the majority of the students returning to our programs on Monday, Aug. 28. Summer certainly has flown by!

This is the first summer in a couple years that we did not have any major construction projects taking place. That does not mean we were not busy though, as many small upgrades and improvements were made to our facilities. We added new playground equipment to our Education Center site as part of Phase I of that improvement project. I know the students of that facility will be excited to use the new equipment. We are also replacing and updating certain sidewalks on campus, as well as our video surveillance system.

We continue to grow programs at the Career Center and added another section of allied health for the coming school year. We are jumping into our first full year of Meceola-Tech. Check out their website for the great things happening with that program at meceolatech.org. Special education and general education departments have both been busy providing training/professional development in order to ensure the staff working with your students are in compliance with the law and have the most recent techniques and updates within their specific areas.

These two departments joined forces this year to hire a behavior specialist to provide critical assistance to the MOISD and our local districts.

We continue to operate the Great Start Readiness Programs at Eastwood Early Childhood Center and in our local districts. We are excited to open a second classroom at Weidman Elementary this year in addition to partnering with Ferris State University’s Early Learning Center (formerly known as Tot’s place).

Technology and transportation departments have been busy with upgrades and preventative maintenance to ensure everything was ready to go on the first day. During the summer, the business office is always busy closing out the books, inputting budgets and then participating in the annual financial audit of our previous year.

Finally, the maintenance department was busy with deep cleaning of MOISD facilities, painting and relocating classrooms and offices during the hot summer months. This is not an all-inclusive list, but it gives an idea of all the exciting things that took place this summer at the MOISD to prepare for a new school year.

Thank you to all the staff who made it a successful summer. So it is time to say goodbye summer, hello fall and extend a welcome back to the staff and students to the 2017-18 school year. I wish everyone a safe and memorable start to the school year!

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