Letter to the editor

Happy New Year. As we round the corner and head into 2020, I wanted to take an opportunity to update the community on the many great things happening at Ovid-Elsie Area Schools.

In the spring of 2019, voters blessed us with the passing of a bond extension. Over the past few months, we have been working diligently with architects, construction management and contractors to ready ourselves for an extremely busy summer.

In addition to the bond extension, Ovid-Elsie was fortunate to receive two grants last spring as well — the Thompson Foundation Technology Grant and the Michigan State Police School Safety Grant. The Technology Grant will total around $700,000 and will provide our staff with unprecedented professional development and a complete refresh of devices throughout the District, essentially allowing Ovid-Elsie to become a 1 to 1 (student to device) district. With the MSP School Safety Grant (approximately $250,000), we are upgrading our “boot” systems, adding cameras and hardening exteriors.

Ovid-Elsie Area Schools is also exploring the utilization of solar arrays to reduce energy costs. Our initial projections indicate that our district will save nearly $3.5 million in energy costs over the life our solar project. Stay tuned.

All of this is super exciting, but what is even more exciting is the teaching and learning that take place every day in the classrooms throughout the district. Student achievement continues to rise as we explore new methodologies to deliver instruction, personalize instruction and engage students to be active participants in their learning. In addition, we’ve continued to expand course offerings at the high school and now offer multiple Advanced Placement courses, dual credit courses and online options. Those courses have helped several students enter college with most of their freshmen year completed. Recently, our sixth rotation of freshmen (over two years) graduated from the Dale Carnegie Course. That graduation signifies more than 250 students not only receiving free college credit, but working on how to improve relationships with family and friends and gain a tremendous amount of personal confidence and self worth. This is absolutely amazing work by our staff, students and administration and I congratulate and thank all of them.

At this point in the year I would be remiss if I didn’t remind everyone to make sure that your information is up-to-date in PowerSchool. With inclement weather sure to come, notifications will be sent out through the school messaging system. The fastest and most accurate way to find out about delays or cancellations, is to make sure your settings are correct.

Finally, I want to extend my most sincere congratulations to all of our fall sports, athletes and clubs and wish our winter participants “best of luck” in their current and upcoming seasons. Whether you’re on a sports team, a member of band, choir, drama, FFA, robotics, or any other club — the time and effort that you put in is important and as a district we are thankful for all of your efforts.

As always, should have any questions or concerns, I encourage you to talk with your teachers, building principals, etc. Our doors are always open and we welcome your comments and feedback.

Here’s to a prosperous and blessed 2020.

Ryan L. Cunningham

Superintendent, Ovid-Elsie Area Schools

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