Thursdays with North (and East) Oakview

    Good Morning Governor Snyder, Senator Jansen, Representatives MacGregor, VerHeulen, Lyons, Brinks, Dillion, Yonker, and Hooker, Riddle: A Boy Scout climbed a tall pine tree to gather some acorns. He tried all morning but couldn’t get any. Why not? Yes, for the third year, we are planning on sending you “evidence” that our public schools work. Over the past two years we have sent you over 300 pieces of evidence.

    This year we will have a little fun by placing a riddle in the first line of the EDE and the answer at the end of the email. This is a reminder from Travis, my life coach (a first grade student), to have fun but “remember the important stuff.”

    This will be followed by a set of serious questions that we ask you to consider, regardless of your political party. Then we will present a real piece of either qualitative or quantitative evidence that our public schools work! The “fun fact” comes just before the answer to the riddle.

    Questions for Your Consideration:

    Funding for public education is on both the Republican and Democratic party platforms. One party says that $1 Billion has been given to public education over the past three years. One party says that $1 Billion has been taken away from public education. Is it possible that both political parties are right? Can you answer the following questions?

    1. $400 million of the School Aid Fund was allocated to colleges during our Governor’s first two budgets. Is the same amount going to colleges this year?
    2. Was there a cut in the K-12, per-pupil funding during the Governor’s first budget?
    3. Was budget revenue allocated to the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System over the past three years?
    4. What is the “net-operational revenue increase” to the K-12 per-pupil funding over the past three years? This is the amount minus the contributions to MPSERS.

    Every Day Evidence

    Today’s “evidence our public schools work” comes from East Oakview 4th grade teacher Jean Sonday. In Northview, we believe we are all responsible for student success and learning.

    “I am usually blessed with a few parent/relative volunteers each year. This last school year, Rosemary, grandmother of my student Mason volunteered in my classroom. She is a gentle, loving, kind woman. She did whatever I asked & worked with all students (polite & crabby!)…she was such a good role model.

    The students all knew her as “Mason’s grandma.” She has excellent penmanship (old school), but was sometimes hesitant at teaching something or spelling correctly. She quickly learned that we are all “learners” (me especially) and that the students often see me looking in the dictionary or checking a fact online. I WANT students to see this type of modeling & know it is not an embarrassment to not know something…that it is a situation that requires a little effort (opening a book, asking a friend, checking online, etc.).

    ANYWAY…Rosemary discovered she had COPD the last 3 months of the school year & was not able to come in. When I did see her, she was pale & weak. She had mentioned making new book bag covers for my chairs (our blue ones had seen better days). I washed & repaired the blue ones as best as I could this summer.

    What do you think happened next?

    Rosemary got better (new medicine) & proceeded to buy fabric & sew me a new class set of book covers!! I met her last week in my classroom & she refused to take any reimbursement of money for her time and supplies.

    Talk about a help, a blessing, a truly giving human being!

    I know the sum of my success with students is not dependent upon just myself or even the efforts of my students. The success of our students is community based.

    Northview is filled with caring people like Rosemary…and that helps us build strong, caring students.

    Just wanted you to know!”

    Fun Fact

    US News and World Report ranked Northview High School in the top 6% in Michigan and in the top 10% in the nation.

    Riddle Answer: Acorns don’t grow on pine trees. They grow on oak trees.

    Mike Paskewicz, Superintendent


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