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Photo by Crystal Hayduk. Inside the new Media Center at Beach Middle School.

By Crystal Hayduk

The Chelsea School District Board of Education held its Dec. 11 meeting in the newly remodeled media center at Beach Middle School.

Principal Nick Angel, with Assistant Principal Matt Ceo, thanked the board for approving the facelift that is bringing “21st century learning” to the district’s sixth through eighth graders.

The changes to the space permit teachers to “cater lessons to specific learning outcomes, simulate real-world work experience, and permit more individualized teaching,” said Ceo.

Among the features rolled out in the first phase of the updates are a green screen wall, monitors throughout the room that can be synced to the projector or to individual students’ iPads, and several types of comfortable seating arrangements. Seating arrangements include caves (private spaces to think and reflect), campfires (“talking circles” where students can gather to learn from an expert), watering holes (informal spaces to share discoveries), and mountain tops (large space for instruction and presentations).

“The media center is constantly being used now. It’s a great space for teaching and learning,” said Ceo.

Photo by Crystal Hayduk. Another look inside the new Media Center at Beach Middle School.

The board approved the hiring of Mara Goodman as a social worker at Beach Middle School for a position that became available following the resignation of Frederik van Reesema.

Superintendent Julie Helber said that out of several well-qualified applicants, Goodman rose to the top with not only a wealth of experience and a great resume, but also glowing references. She completed both her undergraduate and graduate studies at Wayne State University as a presidential scholar, and has worked in the Waterford, Michigan school district since August, 2013.

During the opportunity for public input, Douglas Wright of Gregory addressed the board regarding the agenda item to approve either a motion or resolution in opposition of Senate Bills 584 – 586 and 366 (permitting an endorsement that allows certain individuals to carry concealed firearms into no-carry zones).

“Criminals seem to ignore gun-free zone signs,” he said, reminding the board about the incident in 1993 when a “disgruntled” high school teacher shot and killed the Chelsea School District superintendent and wounded two others on school property. He urged the board to vote against the action item.

Board member Greg Rhodes said that he was uncomfortable approving the Michigan Association of School Boards resolution because he believes several of the provisions in the statement “go overboard.” He cited the example of an off-duty police officer attending a school event who could avert an emergency situation.

Photo by Crystal Hayduk. Inside the new Media Center at Beach Middle School.

Following discussion, the board voted unanimously against the resolution. They plan to reword the motion and vote again in January. Helber said that in the meantime, board members are free to contact legislators privately to express their opinions on the bills.                 

In other board news:

Wayne Welton, Chelsea School District’s former athletic director, addressed the board during the opportunity for public input. “Thank you for your action … to commemorate the baseball stadium in my name. I’m humbled, honored, and proud beyond belief,” he said.

“Paychecks feed the family; relationships feed you…. My relationship with Chelsea has fed me for most of my life. Whatever I gave, I got back 100 times more.” (Read the full story here: http://chelseaupdate.com/chelsea-school-board-approves-baseball-field-commemoration/.) 

With board member Tammy Lehman absent, the board approved the high school field trip to Europe in June, 2018 for an educational and cultural experience.

The board commended Melissa McIntosh and students for winning first place in the Congressional App Challenge for Michigan’s 7th District (related story here: http://chelseaupdate.com/chelsea-high-school-students-win-2017-congressional-app-challenge/) and senior Patrick Bertoni for receiving honorable mention academic all-state by the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association.

Upcoming dates:

There will be no school for winter break from Monday, Dec. 25 through Friday, Jan. 5. School will resume on Jan. 8.

The next school board meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 8 in the board room at the Washington Street Education Center. 


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