February 19, 2023
Update from Superintendent Shuldiner
Dear Lansing School District Community,
I hope this newsletter finds you well. As always, it is a pleasure to be writing to you all, though today's topic will be a sad and painful one.
At 8:18 p.m. on February 13, 2023, the social fabric of our community was ripped asunder by the acts of a lone gunman shooting indiscriminately into a crowd. At that moment, the shell of security and safety cracked open to reveal the true vulnerability of modern society. With easy access to guns, we are only as safe as we are to the proximity of positive actors. Even when we think we have taken actions to protect ourselves, we realize that our health is reliant on those around us. This understanding can bring either great anxiety or great care. Either we look at our fellow denizens as family, worthy of our love and support and protection, or we look at our neighbor as the other, the stranger, the disaffected.
February 13 will be a day that will long live in the consciences of those around us. A day symbolizing fear and suffering, pain and sadness. We should acknowledge those feelings so that we can make sense of them. It is better to talk about our emotions and name them so we can heal. Last Monday will stick to our forehead like a never breaking fever. But, I hope we think of the day after, February 14, Valentine's Day, as a day we started to stitch back our social fabric, put together our community, and move forward together.
I know that after events like the tragedy at MSU, we can be at a loss as to what to do. What steps forward can we take? How do we heal?
For me, the answer has always focused on service. A safe and secure society is one in which we are all pulling together and helping each other. Our safety is a shared safety. Our well-being is a communal well-being.
So, what next?
I humbly ask -- If we see someone in pain, let us help them. If we see someone on the ground, let us lift them up. If a child is crying, let us soothe.
In the simplest way, I ask -- will you be my belated Valentine? Will you love me like your own family? Will you help me when I am in pain, or on the ground, or crying? And in return, I promise to love you. This should be our bond to each other and to the Lansing community. We succeed when we all succeed.
It is in times like these that we need to see what binds us together. What allows us to love each other. We all feel pain at some point in our lives, and we all need help. We all feel happiness, and we all have joy. The more we share, the more we will be connected. The more we care about each other, the more we will see the needs of others as our own and the success of others as ours collectively.
As a school district, we can't just think about one child succeeding or one school "being good." Let us hold ourselves accountable to all our students learning, all our schools "being good." But for that to happen, I need you all to pull together; we need you all to pull together. Let us find ways to tutor, to mentor, to coach, to volunteer, to support, to love.
In these trying times, please reach out to your closest school or the school your child goes to. Tell them you want to be their Valentine; you want to be of service. We are all busy, and we are all stressed, but the act of service to others will be actually lighten that load. The worry and anxiety, the fear and the trepidation, will turn into a feeling of belonging and joy as we give of ourselves to our community.
I look forward to all of us working together.
Happy Valentine's Day!
If anyone reading this newsletter is in need of support, counseling, or just a person to talk to, we have numerous resources. Please feel free to reply directly to this email.
Thank you so much for all of your incredible support of our community. Together, we will do great things for Lansing.
Benjamin Shuldiner, Superintendent
Lansing School District
Meet Our Featured Student!
Johanna Quinn, Mt. Hope STEAM Elementary
This week, our featured student is Johanna Quinn, who comes to us from, Mt. Hope STEAM Elementary. Johanna was chosen by Principal Danielle Bowden because she is a hard worker who enjoys learning.
Johanna's favorite subject is Math, and her favorite teacher is Mr. Moritz. When she's not in school, Johanna enjoys playing video games and reading.
Staff Feature of the Week
Kim Andrejczuk, Averill New Tech Elementary
Kim Andrejczuk, or Ms. A as her students know her, has been a dedicated Averill staff member for many years. As an instructional assistant, she works closely with teachers to provide high-quality Tier 1&2 instruction. Ms. A also supervises school lunches and recesses to ensure everyone is safe and happy. She has many wonderful connections within the Lansing community that result in donations, volunteers for events, and student field trips. Through community donations, Ms. A. ensures that our students have the extras they may need such as gloves, coats, hats, and clothes. The well-being of our students is always her top priority.
Ms. A also makes every staff member feel welcome, loved, and appreciated through Averill's social committee. We know we can always count on Ms. A to be there for Averill staff and students.
We love our amazing Ms. A!
In the News
Future Proud MI Educator Program
Eastern High School's Future Proud Michigan Educator EXPLORE program was highlighted in the Michigan Department of Education's (MDE) #proudMIeducator video series this week. The program, which was also funded by a grant from the MDE, was designed to foster interest in educational careers with the intent of growing and diversifying the teacher workforce.
Robyn Murray, the program coordinator at Eastern, leads her students in the exploration of teaching and learning from an educator's perspective. Her students have visited elementary classrooms, conducted research, and presented their findings during an event for district administrators and community members.
Watch the video to hear more about perspectives from current Eastern students and staff!
Eastern freshman Olivia Dela Cruz, in the 110 lb weight class advanced to the 2023 Individual wrestling state finals that will be held March 3&4 at Ford Field in Detroit.
Parent Community Advisory Council (PCAC) Meeting | Equity and How School Funding Works
Free dinner and childcare will be provided.
Unable to attend this meeting? See more here: www.lansingschools.net/pcac