A Letter from the Superintendent

ImageWelcome Back, Wildcats!

It is with great excitement that we open the books on another year at Jenison Public Schools.The first week of school is something I look forward to every year, but this fall feels different and I’d like to tell you some of the reasons why.

1. Our Fine Arts Center is set to open this December: This multi-million dollar dream has been made possible by your generous approval of our most recent bond proposal. With true concert seating and state-of-the-art sound and stage features, this Fine Arts Center will serve as the hub for all our band, choir and theater productions, to name a few.

No other school in the state of Michigan can boast a facility quite like this. And though I want to remain humble, I am thrilled for our students! They will finally have the opportunity to learn and perform in a “home” setting after many years of borrowing space from our kind neighbors and community members. Please stay tuned for updates on the FAC as the grand opening draws closer.

2. New Chrome Books and iPads:  As we told you about last week, Jenison Public Schools have purchased over 600 new Chrome Books to round out and update our technology offerings. Those Chrome Books–and another 500 iPads–will be evenly distributed throughout the district for all to use. Students at JPS will now have available to them virtually any type of technology they could ask for!

We believe that having these devices is a wonderful privilege; we also believe they are a wonderful training tool. We know that the world of work is using an ever-changing palette of technological options, and the ability of our students to move seamlessly between one platform to another is critical to their success. Like the Fine Arts Center, this purchase was made possible with your bond dollars — we are so grateful!

3. We’re releasing a new JPS commercial! You may remember that last year we shot a commercial in partnership with Fox 17 News that aired during their Friday night high school football coverage. We’ve felt that this positive press had a measurable impact on our district, so we’ve returned for another go-round.

This year our commercial highlights the many unique offerings available to our students and features JHS students throughout. We’re looking forward to sharing it with you next week here on the blog. In the meantime, keep your eyes peeled while you tune in to channel 17 on Friday nights!

4. Gifted & Talented and Accelerated Learning: We don’t often discuss our Gifted & Talented program, but we should. Did you know we’re the only district left in Ottawa County that has not eliminated this important educational component due to budget cuts? ACT, our elementary gifted and talented offering, is open to students in grades 3-6 here at JPS, but is also available to students in local Christian schools and those who are homeschooled.

Additionally, Advanced Math is available to sixth graders who test into 7th grade math. Those eligible students are bused from their elementary schools to the junior high each day to accommodate the pace of their learning. When those students move into the high school, we continue to offer accelerated classes with over 16 AP course offerings! At Jenison, we do our best to match our instruction to your child’s learning style and speed.

5. We are coming off a year of SIX conference championships in athletics! …and that’s pretty exciting!

With a new school year upon us, we’re thrilled to welcome Coach Todd Kolster to our football sidelines and look forward to a year of rebuilding and strength conditioning under his leadership. We’re also looking ahead to basketball season when we’ll officially welcome the expertise and experience of WMU’s Coach David Koole to our bench.

Of course more than the buildings and the books, our school is made up of people — people who care about kids. I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to our teachers, custodial staff, grounds crew, food service workers, administrators, bus drivers, transportation director, secretaries and parapros who helped kick off the year. We are a team in the truest sense of the word!

Jenison families, we’re honored that you entrust us each day with your child and make it our mission to give them a world class education bathed in discovery, compassion, and patience. Thank you.

Here’s to another great year!

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