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Chelsea School Board: administration provides progress report

By Crystal Hayduk

The Chelsea School District (CSD) Board of Education heard from the administration team about recent progress on district goals (as listed on the district’s website) at its meeting on Nov. 26.

Goal 1: Incorporate the graduate learner profile across all learning environments to develop globally competitive graduates. Matt Ceo, Beach Middle School’s (BMS) assistant principal, said the district has a critical thinking team, and some teachers attended an EdLeader21 conference in Arizona earlier this fall to learn new ideas about 21st century learning. Teachers are leading professional development for other teachers.

Goal 2: Provide and support a positive, safe, and healthy school environment. Nick Angel, BMS principal, and Lisa Nickel, director of special education, discussed community and district programming to support good health. The district is currently hoping to have more community events or resources available over the winter holidays to assist families in crisis.

Goal 3: Strengthen organizational effectiveness and maximize community and district resources to support continuous improvement. Michelle Cowhy, assistant superintendent of finance and administrative services, said the district continues to improve its use of resources through leasing space and property reallocation, researching grant opportunities, using student count projections and School of Choice evaluations to staff efficiently, and long-range master planning.

Goal 4: Nurture open communication and constructive partnerships within the school district and with surrounding communities. South Meadows Principal Stacie Battaglia and Chelsea High School (CHS) Principal Mike Kapolka highlighted connections between the district and the Chelsea Senior Center, Silver Maples, Chelsea District Library, Faith in Action, and the upcoming cultural exchange with Dearborn’s Fordson High School on Dec. 2. (Related story here:

The board unanimously approved the agreement for the district to permit Midwest Energy & Communications to use two strands of dark fiber to provide internet service to Lyndon Township. (Related story here:

Superintendent Julie Helber said the district received a school safety grant of about $187,000. Washtenaw Intermediate School District will administer the grant, which is funded through Michigan Department of State Police. All money is required to be spent by the next school year, so work is expected to be completed next summer. The priority item is redesigning the front vestibule of South Meadows. Additional projects will be chosen based on remaining funds.  

In other board news:

North Creek Elementary Principal Kimberly Gillow wrote in her board report that the PTO raised more than $13,000 at the annual Bulldog Jog. The money will be used for direct support of students and staff at both North and South Meadows Elementary.

Results of drinking water testing at both elementary schools and BMS indicate “no adverse conditions,” according to the board report submitted by Tim Courtright, director of operations. The other district buildings will be tested in the coming weeks.

The board made the following commendations: Steve Hinz for partnering CHS choirs with Dearborn Fordson High School in a community, cultural, and musical exchange; CHS music students Teresa Wozniak (flute), Charlie Dahlgren (trumpet), McKenna Ford (bassoon), and Emmett Henry (viola) for being selected for All-State ensembles; Coach Eric Swager and the boys’ cross country team for winning back-to-back state championships; the football team for making it to the state finals; the football team for being honored as the Team Academic All State by the Michigan High School

Football Coaches Association for the fifth consecutive year (11 varsity players had a 3.88 GPA for the past term); and the field hockey team for receiving the state Field Hockey Association award for Academic All State (the team averaged a 3.6 GPA).

Upcoming dates:

The next board meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 10 at Beach Middle School, 445 Mayer Dr. 

There will be no school Dec. 24 through Jan. 4 for winter break.

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