Welcome Back Edition - 2015-2016 School Year
Superintendent's Column - Endless Possibilities!
Welcome Back Bentley Learning Community!
Our 2015-16 school year is sure to go down in the record books as one of the most exciting and fulfilling in the history of our district. The positivity throughout our community is contagious. Summer has been full of activity as our bond construction work has been in full-force. The community's endorsement of our district through the passing of the bond initiative has resulted in fantastic improvements throughout the district, touching each building in a very special way.
Barhitte Elementary: The building underwent a facelift with the abatement of all the asbestos tile throughout the hallways and every classroom and the installation of beautiful new red and white tile. Additionally, the gym and cafeteria has new lighting, the entire building has new exterior lighting, the north-end dilapidated overhang has been removed and is being replaced with a beautiful new canopy, and work has been done on the windows throughout the building to address an issue with leaking. The whole building received an electrical upgrade and a new phone system.
Bentley Middle School: A new secure entry was installed to improve building safety. A brand new, state of the art fire alarm system has been installed. Ventilation and electrical systems have been upgraded throughout the building. The MS theatre space was completely revamped with new flooring, new stage fascia, all new curtains, lighting and sound system, and a fresh coat of paint. It doesn't even look like the same space. The band room received a full overhaul, and will be completed with acoustical panels slated for installation in September. Several classrooms had the asbestos tile abated and replaced with new tile. The gym floor was removed, abated and replaced with a beautiful new floor. A new gym ceiling has been installed as well as new lighting. A fresh coat of paint and a new set of bleachers (scheduled for installation in October) have completed the gym renovation. A new phone system has been installed at the MS as well.
Bentley High School: A new secure entry was installed to improve student safety as well as safety improvements in the main office. A brand new, state of the art fire alarm system has been installed. Ventilation and electrical systems have been upgraded throughout the building. Several classrooms had the asbestos tile abated and replaced with new tile and the cafeteria/kitchen floor has been abated and beautifully tiled red and white. The gym floor has been sanded down and repainted. A new gym ceiling has been installed as well as new lighting. The fitness area behind the gym (formerly the stage) has received new lighting and new rubber flooring. A new phone system has been installed at the HS as well. Many portions of the HS roof have been replaced. The brand new boiler system is a work in progress. The old steam boilers and piping were demo'd and removed by creating holes in the walls of the tunnels under the school. The new boilers and new pipes have all made it into the building through the opened up tunnels and the holes have all been closed and refilled. The heating control system and many new heating units have been installed. Work in the tunnels on the boiler and piping system will continue through September and will be completed before the heating season kicks in. A lot of work has been done in the courtyard, with more work slated to occur this fall.
BCS Stadium Facility: An overhaul of the electrical system including the removal and installation of transformers and new service equipment has taken place. The demolition of the old bleachers and track occurred in June and all the underground work for sanitation, electric, drainage, etc... has been completed. The new building for tickets, concessions and restrooms has been erected. The base and middle layer of the new eight lane track has been laid. The home and away bleachers are installed. The press-box is being built this week. The top two layers of the track will be laid (weather permitting) in the next two weeks (hopefully prior to homecoming). Our season opener will be held in the new stadium on September 18th. Homecoming is the following week.
In addition to the multitude of projects focused on improving the buildings and grounds, our professional staff members have been involved in multiple trainings as we prepare for a wonderful year of learning together. Our students' access to technology in the classroom is moving closer to a 1:1 learning environment. High school students will all have Ipads, all Middle school students will have access to chrome books and Barhitte students will have a mixture of chrome books and IPads. Most of our staff members participated in a Google Camp training this summer where they honed their skills with Google apps and we are excited to see all the professional learning translate into heightened levels of student engagement in the classroom setting.
I would like to share my gratitude to the following people who have worked tremendously hard to ensure our Bentley kids benefit the most from this summer's construction improvement efforts:
- Our custodial and maintenance staff (Doug, Jack, Mary, Brenda, Mona, Jill, Jack, Mary) - Thank you for your incredible work this summer. We couldn't have been ready for this Tuesday without your blood, sweat and tears. Thank you. Kenneth DeWolf and Trevor Phelps - you guys have been wonderful too. Thank you so much for your commitment and hard work.
- Hendrick and Sons (Michael, Dan and Jeni) - We cannot thank you enough for your advocacy to ensure we get the biggest bang for the buck with each and every project. Above and beyond does not quite cover it. Thank you.
- Kathy Seaman, Chynna Blakker and Megan Daunt - Thank you for taking on all the additional work that came along with these projects with grace. We are very lucky to have you.
A complete list of the companies who have worked extra hard to give our kids the best will follow in the district's printed Bulldog Bulletin coming to homes later this month. We've been fortunate to have worked with high-quality contractors over the course of these projects and we will be sure to acknowledge them.
Thank you for partnering with Bentley Community Schools as we work together to ensure learning for all students. Our theme for this school year is "Endless Possibilities" because we truly believe, with a growth mindset, there are no limits to what we can accomplish together for our learning community.
Bentley Community Schools
Tickets, concessions and restrooms facility
The district's performing arts venue received a complete overhaul. The floor, lights, stage fascia, sound system and curtains have all been refreshed and renewed.
New floor, lights, ceiling, fresh paint, and new bleachers (coming in October) make the MS gym look brand new!!! Ready for volleyball and basketball seasons!
Homecoming is Right Around the Corner!!!
Bentley's annual homecoming parade will take place at 5:30 on September 25th. It will start at Barhitte and end at the football field at the high school. Entry forms are available for those wanting to be in the parade.
The Theme is Around the World (Venice, Paris, New York and Sydney).
Freshman have Sydney Australia
Sophomores have New York, New York
Juniors have Paris, France
Seniors have Venice, Italy
Spirit week will take place on Monday September 21st through Friday September 25th
Wednesday September 23rd is the annual powder puff game, cost will be $5 and the Homecoming King will be crowned at half time.
Friday will be the annual pep assembly at the end of the day at the high school. The parade starts at 5:30 (line-up at 4:30) and the Homecoming Queen will be crowned at the game at half-time. The game starts at 7:00 on the 25th.
Homecoming T-shirt order forms will be available soon and will be $10.
Spotlight on our Employees
This summer we were able to hire Kimberly Roberts as our new elementary teacher. While Kim is new to the role of "teacher" she is familiar to the Barhitte community as she has been an academic interventionist for a couple of years. Congratulations Kimberly!
Chris Brockmon is a familiar face in the district as well. She has been the Title I Lead Teacher at Barhitte for many years. This year she will be moving to the Middle School to serve as an administrative intern to Mr. Eddy. She will be spending 1/2 her day in that role and 1/2 her day working with AARI (reading intervention). She will be a wonderful asset to the MS building and the Administrative team. Welcome Chris!
Barhitte Elementary Teacher - Kimberly Roberts
Chris Brockmon - Administrative Internship/MS AARI
Congratulations to Beth Bush for assuming the Title I Lead Teacher role at Barhitte Elementary. Ashley Thomas will be serving as FUSION Director and MS Counselor. Kerry Munsey is joining the MS ELA teaching team.
Congratulations to Joyce Dixon on her retirement from Bentley Community Schools. Thank you for your years of service.
Kim Roberts - Barhitte Elementary
Chris Brockmon - MS Administrative Intern
Thank you for your years of service. You were wonderful at connecting families with community services. We will miss you.
New Coach Brings Pro Background, Unique View of 'Winning'
A perfect storm could be brewing on the football field at Bentley.
With a new varsity coach wearing a Super bowl ring and a shiny new stadium, can the football team be on the way to its first winning season since 2009?
When the season's Sept. 18 home opener against Genesee is in the record book, new head coach Andre' Weathers will consider the game a W if he feels his players are on their way to his goal of building better individuals.
"I would like our program to stand for helping these players become well-rounded young men," Weathers said. "We want them to leave here having learned something--to be better men."
Weathers played on the New York Giants 2000 Super Bowl team. The Flint Central '94 graduate went on to play corner back for University of Michigan and was on the '97 championship team. He earned his degree in Industrial Engineering and is employed at WSG Global Services.
The 27 varsity players have been practicing full days preparing for their 9-game season. Weathers is also looking for players to field a junior varsity team.
Bentley Athletic Director Jeremy Trent said the entire community is very excited. "It's a great thing. We consider it a fresh start with a new stadium and a new coach. Obviously, Andre' is a great player, a great coach for our kids, and they love playing for him."
Trent said a big difference is evident in the attitude of the players and their work ethic. "They are working hard from start to finish."
Bentley Superintendent of Schools Rebekah Dupuis said she is impressed with the effective way Weathers interacts with the student athletes. "He doesn't have to raise his voice or yell. They respect him. He's intense, but skilled in getting his point across without being threatening or condescending. As a parent, I value that, but more so, as the superintendent, knowing he will not be inappropriate with our kids."
Weathers, the father of four children, from 22-to-3 years, said that football has taught him about life:
"There are few jobs now where you're not part of a team. We're teaching life skills, not just football."
This article was authored by: Wanda Emmerling, Retired Journalist Extraordinaire (and my mom)
Sisterly Custodial Team Epitomizes Bentley's 'Endless Possibilities' Credo
“For this new school year, the district will be focused on the theme, ‘Endless Possibilities.’ Brenda and Mary have such a positive influence on our learning community with their 'can-do' attitude, that they are a key component to us living up to that motto,” said Bentley Schools Superintendent Rebekah Dupuis.
The summer has seen a marathon of school building improvements districtwide, spurred by the Aug. 2014 bond approval.
At Barhitte, Brenda and Mary have cheerfully gone the extra mile, working alongside contractors hired to implement the major improvements of asbestos abatement and electrical upgrades, while still maintaining their routine maintenance duties. “I was so impressed with Brenda and Mary when I stopped in and found the two of them dripping with sweat after a heavy work day with no air conditioning, just to be told by them, 'We’ve got to get this done for the kids,’" said Dupuis.
The sisters spent much of the summer painting a hallway and each classroom in the hallway. They removed every item from all of the rooms in the building to allow the old, asbestos-containing tile to be removed and new tile to be installed before they returned everything to the rooms.
Barhiitte’s 250 students and the staff will return to a much-improved learning environment. Not only have electrical upgrades brought the building up to code, but the removal of old, musty carpets and tiling has greatly improved the air quality. New, energy-efficient lighting systems have been installed in the gym and cafeteria.
“The building improvements are long overdue,” said Brenda. “It’s a great improvement,” added Mary. “We’d clean the carpets, but still that musty smell was there. With the carpets gone and the new tiling installed, the air quality has been checked and it’s much improved,” Brenda explained.
Both sisters are Bentley High School graduates and said their entire family is Bentley proud. Their mom, Shirley Pyle, retired as Barhitte custodian with 37 years of service. Brenda’s three grandchildren are third generation Bentley students. “We’re Bulldogs through and through,” Brenda said, “I still remember our fight song,” added Mary.
“Brenda and Mary always have a positive attitude and approach their jobs as their calling,” Dupuis said.”That servant approach sets the example for all of us to follow to help our community explore the fascinating idea of endless possibilities.”
As for the sisters, they feel blessed to work around children and say they enjoy running into Barhitte students and their families in the community. “The kids say, 'Look Mom and Dad, there are the ladies who keep our school clean!’” Brenda and Mary say they enjoy working with a kind and appreciative staff: “They’ve got great school spirit!"
This article was authored by: Wanda Emmerling, Retired Journalist Extraordinaire (and my mom)