One-room schoolhouse being moved

May 21, 2014 by Administrator · Comments Off 

A one-room schoolhouse more than 150 years old will soon be relocated to Burr Oak, thanks to a trio of student groups at the district.

Burr Oak Community Schools Superintendent Terry Conklin said the Worden School Relocation Committee received funds from the Burr Oak’s senior class, its Varsity Club and National Honor Society to help cover $3,500 in additional charges that had threatened to delay the project.

In an attempt to preserve the school and give it a more visible location, plans were made to move the building next to the high school.

Conklin said he is proud of the district’s students for their consideration.

The move, which was originally planned for May 14, will now take place May 28.

Searching for new principal

May 19, 2014 by Administrator · Comments Off 

The search for a new principal at Three Rivers High School is expected to step up at the end of the week.

Superintendent Roger Rathburn said current principal Jean Logan, who will take over the district’s top post July 1 – will play an integral part in her successor. Rathburn said Logan has had her hands full with end-of-the-year activities.

Rathburn said Logan will likely delve into a large collection of résumés Friday, the day after the high school’s graduation. He said interest in the post, which will pay about $95,000 annually, has been expressed internally, from throughout the region and from outside the state.

The district is also expected to start looking for a replacement for director of operations Steve Lucas and soon-to-retire finance director, Dorothy Woodbury.

Trooper on administrative leave

May 16, 2014 by Administrator · Comments Off 

A veteran trooper with the Michigan State Police is on paid administrative leave, as an investigation into his conduct during an April traffic stop is under review.

St. Joseph County Prosecutor John McDonough said he is hopeful that the 19-year member of the state police force, will be removed from duty following the April 15 stop.

In a letter to MSP 1st Lt. Chuck Christensen, McDonough stated his concern about the trooper pulling a gun on an 18-year-old high school student  for speeding on U.S. 12.

McDonough said he objected specifically to questions the trooper allegedly posed to the woman. Nonetheless, McDonough did not authorize charges against the trooper.

The woman said she was driving 80 miles per hour because she was informed while at softball practice moments earlier that her residence had been burglarized – a statement that proved to be valid, officials said.

New director of operations

May 12, 2014 by Administrator · Comments Off 

Three Rivers Community Schools has lost its director of operations, as Steve Lucas took a job with the Cass County Road Commission.

Lucas will become managing director of the Cass County Road Commission. He is stepping into a job previously held by Christopher Bolt, who was splitting the task with St. Joseph County.

A 20-year school district employee, Lucas’ last day in Three Rivers was Friday.

Millage request approved

May 7, 2014 by Administrator · Comments Off 

White Pigeon Community Schools will have more than $1.6 million additionally to spend each year over the next five years, as the district’s voters approved a request for a 1-mill increase Tuesday.

The measure prevailed with 359 yes votes to 336 opposed.

Superintendent Ron Drzewicki said the community support helps keep the 750-student district on a positive road. He said the district has been gaining momentum since 2007, when voters approved a sinking-fund request that was renewed two years ago.

With the additional funds, the district plans to buy five new buses, purchase iPads and Chrome Books for its elementary and middle school/high school students, upgrade its technology infrastructure and step up its security measures.

The request prevailed despite being voted down, 144 to 37, in Cass County’s three precincts.

Funding approved

May 7, 2014 by Administrator · Comments Off 

A request to restore special-education funding to St. Joseph County’s nine school districts was approved Tuesday.

The request to reinstate nearly three-tenths of a mill to a full 2.75 mills passed, 1,261 to 1,158.

With the Headlee Rollback in effect, school districts were not receiving the full number of mills established in the 1960s for special-education support.

The full 2.75 mills means an additional $633,000 in special-education funding will be made available to the county’s school districts based on student population. At the high end, that means more than $150,000 a year for special-education funding for Sturgis Public Schools. At the low end, Burr Oak Community Schools stands to gain at least $30,000 more annually to support its special-education programming.

The restoration remains in place for 30 years and will cost the owner of a house with a market value of $100,000 about $12 more a year.

The request failed last August.

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