BY JESSICA STEELEY
Clarkston News Staff Writer
Summer break for Clarkston kids is quickly coming to an end as classes resume, Monday, Aug. 28.
This is the first school year starting before Labor Day after the Clarkston Community Schools Board of Education received a waiver from the state last March.
Clarkston Community Schools (CCS) requested the waiver from the state to start a week before the Sept. 4 holiday, because the State of Michigan started requiring school districts to have 180 days of instruction in the school year as opposed to the past requirement of 175. The change took effect during the 20162017 school year.
This year the district is rolling out its new educational culture, Clarkston for Life.
“Our collective focus for this school year and beyond is to collaboratively nurture and protect the well-being of our students, staff and community members,” said Superintendent Dr. Rod Rock.
This Clarkston “culture” is ready to create more opportunities for students and student success inside and outside the classroom, including expansion of Clarkston’s Career and Technical Education at the junior high, continuing the Stars & Stripes Gymnastic partnership, and enhanced learning opportunities.
“(There’s) full implementation of elementary world language, coding at our middle school, expanded internships for high school students, enhanced mathematics instruction and partnership with our community to foster the well-being of our students and staff,” said Mary Ellen Rowe, marketing director.
Seven instructional technologists were added to this upcoming school year to bring new technology tools and instruction to every classroom, K-12. There will also be seven new literary coaches supporting literary instruction in elementary classrooms.
“They will be collaborating with grade level teams, special education and support staff to strengthen students’ understanding of reading, writing, and word study,” Rowe said of the coaches. “Our instructional technologists will work with teachers to seamlessly weave engaging technology tools into the curriculum to deepen the learning experience.”
“We know social, emotional, psychological, and physical well-being are critical to positive outcomes at school and in life, and research informs our practices in achieving these,” Rock said. “Our shared efforts via Clarkston for Life are designed to do exactly that.”
The 2017-2018 school year begins with a half-day, and about 7,500 students will stream into the buildings and hallways of Clarkston Community Schools. Forty-six new educators are ready to teach throughout CCS, with an average classroom size of 22 students.
“After a week of orientation and training workshops, they are well-prepared to hit the ground running,” Rowe said.
Look for a story on the Clarkston for Life initiative in next week’s edition.