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May 17, 2024


GLPS Families,

As we approach the mid way point for the month of May, our students and staff are feeling the end of the school year approaching, while focusing on all of the important learning that still needs to happen between now and June. In keeping with the trend of identifying important recognitions and celebrations, May is Jewish American Heritage Month, when we recognize and celebrate the Jewish American members of our community. May is also Mental Health Awareness Month, in which it is important to raise awareness about mental health and reduce the stigma of talking about mental health issues.

May is also the time when students are working through M-STEP and NWEA assessments, showing off the learning gains they have made throughout the year, and the seniors are counting down the days to graduation. We have celebrations, activities, countdowns, and field trips, and this is the time of year when a lot of fun school memories are made. In the midst of this exciting time, from a planning perspective, we are not only focusing on continuing to grow this year, but also on setting the stage to start next year off on the right foot. We are actively planning staff professional learning, building schedules, looking at the budget for next year, and thinking through all of the other things that need to be done to be ready to go in August. Among those important pieces of preparing for next year is setting the stage for our newest learners to start school in the fall. To those ends, we held our first fall of 2024 kindergarten family meetings this week, welcoming our Comet kindergarten families into GLPS. All of the elementary buildings held the first of two spring family meetings, and we also held one at Sawdon for our incoming schools of choice families who have not yet been assigned a building. Meeting our newest learners, while preparing for our seniors to graduate, is a wonderful reminder of the impact that GLPS makes for our families and our community, and continues a cycle that has occurred here for nearly 150 years.

As we carry out all of this important work, it reminds me that spring is a good time to ask for feedback, because it is timely and can make an impact. This won’t be the last time I ask you for feedback between now and June 14th, but given the time of year and the new kindergartener meetings, I have a one question feedback survey for you today. I would like to know, if you had the chance, what would you tell incoming kindergarten families about Grand Ledge Public Schools? Your responses will help us know what is good here, what needs work, what makes you proud to be a Comet, and what could change to increase your pride in our district. So, I would ask that you think about how you would respond, and then take a few minutes to share your thoughts here.

Thank you, as always, for your support, and for giving us the chance to work with you and your kids every day. I appreciate all of you, and I am #proudtobeacomet!

Dr. Bill Barnes
Superintendent of Schools