Meet the Teacher Nights and Open Houses are over in the Flat Rock District. The schools look great. The new additions arguably give Flat Rock Schools some of the best learning environments in the Downriver (or even Southeastern Michigan) area.
All the principals and teachers were enthusiastic and seemed ready to launch a great year.
Simpson Middle School
My oldest is starting his first year at Simpson Middle School. I think that transition is always challenging. So, I was really thankful and impressed with how the teachers specifically encouraged each new sixth grader they greeted. I have to commend Principal Armstrong for creating a well organized and welcoming open house for the new parents and students.
Barnes Elementary School
I am an old hand at Barnes Elementary, with my second child going through and serving as the Barnes PTO treasurer, but there was a fresh new feeling in the hallways.
Barnes Elementary, the building, is getting a new face and so is the Principal’s office. Principal Smith did a wonderful job for many years and I enjoyed working with him, he will be missed in those halls. However, I got to meet and talk with Principal Sica briefly and she seems like a great addition to Flat Rock education. Simply reading the wonderful endorsements of Ms. Sica in the MonroeNews.com, gave me confidence. I also enjoyed her suggestion to vary the times of the Barnes parent group meetings–hoping to accommodate more schedules and encourage more participation.
Bobcean Elementary School and Flat Rock High School
Unfortunately, I did not get to Bobcean because it coincided with my son’s open house, but I heard that it went equally well. Principal Donaldson has done a great job taking the reigns at Bobcean and working through the challenges of enduring construction during most of her tenure.
Not having a student in Flat Rock High School yet I will be spending time getting to know those folks better. However, as a new Simpson parent I have joined the Ram Boosters and my family always enjoys catching the high schools sports throughout the year. I have meet with a few teachers and coaches already and look forward to meeting more as we approach November’s election.
Flat Rock District Superintendent and Board of Education
I thought it was a nice touch for Superintendent Russ Pickell to invite and introduce the Board of Education to the parents at each of the school open houses. This was a first. I thought it was a great idea to give the School Board a little more exposure to the community they serve.
Flat Rock Class Sizes Were the Buzz
The start of any new school year often comes with some parent anxieties. This year the main concern was the growing class sizes at most of the schools.
It is certainly no secret that school budgets are getting tighter, even as our student populations continue to hold strong. This is potentially going to stretch class sizes for some Flat Schools and teachers. Many parents heard this reality for the first time at these open houses. However, the real concern seem to spark from some of the answers (or lack thereof) that they got to their questions.
This triggered a very good discussion on Flat Rock class sizes on our Facebook page. The final conclusion was basically: Any new school year starts with significant volatility between registration and actual attendance. This is likely to balance the classes to more acceptable sizes. However, if that is not the case we are confident that the District administration and the Board of Education will swiftly create a positive solution.
By the way, I encourage you to become a Bill Rice for School Board Facebook Fan for all the great discussions and frequent updates on Flat Rock and Michigan education. Your participation is welcome.