Thursdays with North (and East) Oakview

    As all of you know, Travis has served as my Life Coach for the past 1.5 years.  He always seems to have the right word of encouragement, advice, humor at just the right time.  He always helps me keep my focus on the important stuff.  Not bad for a kid half way through first grade.
    He jumped out of his mom’s van this morning, back back hung over one arm, coat unzipped, and carrying two brightly wrapped presents.  I must admit, I hoped one of them was for me.  I was not disappointed.  “This one is for you Dr. P.  I can’t tell you what it is but you should know we bought it on Mackinac Island, its and ornament, and it is fragile so don’t drop the bag.”  I smiled and told him I would open the present when I got inside.
    He also told me about the present he had for his teacher.  He said he would tell me what he got her if I promised that I would not tell her.  I promised.  He told me about the present with a hint of being the good elf this morning.
    Many of the kids were carrying  a gift for a teacher, a support staff member, the secretary, or the principal.  Some were carting a bag of goodies for the afternoon classroom holiday parties.  Several kids informed me that today was their birthday and “next week it is Christmas.”  Our students were taking care of their “important stuff.”
    I did get a few comments about the hat I was wearing today but no reprimands about it not being hat day.  The hat was made by my daughter Jade for use in the East Oakview play scheduled for Friday.  I am playing “Pappa” in the reading of The Night Before Christmas put on by the staff at East Oakview.  One student asked me why I was wearing a sock on my head while another informed me his mom liked my hat.  Not bad, I went 50/50.
    Since my last post, the staff at North met together to develop a set of strategies to help one student find success in her classroom. As the second meeting concluded her mom remarked that “no one else had done this for her daughter.”  Our staff and the student’s family took care of the“important stuff.”
    I really enjoyed the 4th grade class who sang the snow day song for me today.  Seeing one of our special needs students fully mainstreamed with his peers.  His voice was blended with the others.
    I hope by now you are wondering what was the fragile gift given to me from Travis.

    Inscribed on the bottom of the fragile ornament is “Merry Christmas! From Travis Jr. 2014.”  It will find an important place on our Christmas tree tonight.
    There was not one student in the drop-off line that mentioned that our Legislators were working on a set of solutions to solve road and public education funding issues.  However they may benefit from the “important stuff” our elected officials agreed upon today.  I encourage you to take some time to learn about how we might come together with our elected officials as citizens of Michigan to fix our roads and adequately fund our public schools.  More about this after the Holidays.
    I wish you and your family a very safe and restful Holiday break filled with Joyand Peace!
    Sincerely and With Great Respect,
    Mike Paskewicz, Superintendent
    Northview Public Schools


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