East China School District News

Together We Can!

Contact Information

Superintendent Suzanne Cybulla can be reached at scybulla@ecsd.us or by calling the East China School District at 810.676.1018.

For the week of Monday, January 7, 2019

From the Desk of Superintendent Suzanne Cybulla

Upcoming Events at East China Schools


  • Jan. 7 Classes resume
  • Jan. 9 Early Release (2 hours)
  • Jan. 23 Half Day for HS & MS students
  • Jan. 24 Half Day for HS & MS students
  • Jan. 25 Half Day for all students
  • Jan. 25 End of 2nd marking period
  • Jan. 28 Board of Ed meeting 7 pm
  • Feb. 9 ECEF sponsored Chili Heart 5K Run/Walk

Thank you Community Foundation

East China School District is very fortunate to continue to receive support from The Community Foundation. Last week at our monthly principals meeting, Randy Maiers, Dan Lockwood and Lynn Griffor presented a check to every one of our school principals that will provide funding that is intended to support general life and educational needs of students.


A big heartfelt and thank you to The Community Foundation for their continued support of our students!


Suzanne Cybulla

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East China School District is fortunate to have the following board members serve our students, staff and community: Pat Biebuyck, Karen Cedar, Todd Distelrath, Jeanne Frank, Lynn Griffor, Amy Murphy and Michael Westrick.



Thank you for all you do!

happenings at pine river Elementary

Principal for a day

Haylee Mills was an amazing “Principal for a Day!” She won the opportunity through winning the prize at Pine River’s Fall Festival. With Haylee in charge, teachers received chocolate, students had extra recess, and Principal Mills hosted a special lunch for her friends in the office. She even handled some unique discipline issues. Haylee proved to be a confident, capable, and enthusiastic leader. She is a true Pioneer!

Pine River Post Office


Students enjoy sending and receiving letters through the Pine River Post Office! The post office is run by Mrs. Andrea Ursitti, her fourth grade students, and parent volunteers Mrs. Lisa Moran and Mrs. Jenny Groeneveld. Each student and staff member has an address, and students get practice in writing friendly letters and correctly addressing envelopes by sending letters. Fourth graders sort and deliver the letters twice a week, and they share letter writing etiquette at school assemblies. Everyone enjoys receiving mail!



Learning to Inspire New Kinds of Support (LINKS) Program

Through the Pine River LINKS Program introduced by school social worker Lisa Koehn, Mrs. Nikki LaParl’s class has peer buddies coming in daily to support socialization and independence. Research indicates that the most successful model for teaching these skills in through peer to peer interactions. Peer-to-peer support programs can increase opportunities for students to access general education settings and curriculum, create a credible source of help with their peers, and empower students to help themselves. Twenty second grade students are lunch buddies and thirteen third and fourth grade students come into Mrs. LaParl’s classroom to support gross motor activities, academics, and turn taking activities. All of the students benefit from these partnerships!


Pollution Solutions

Sheri Faust, from the St. Clair County Health Department, presented Pollution Solutions in December at Pine River. The program is a hands-on presentation that helps students relate the water cycle and pollution sources to their daily lives. Our third grade students “polluted” a miniature watershed model of St. Clair County, watched the effects of a homemade rainstorm, and discussed water quality problems and solutions. Other topics covered included the connection between the health of the environment and our everyday actions. This presentation ties together concepts learned in our social studies and science lessons. The students really enjoyed themselves as they learned valuable lessons!


Cooking in Mrs. VanderMeulen’s Class

Every Friday, Mrs. VanderMeulen’s students at Pine River prepare their own lunch. Many of the dishes are made from recipes using fresh ingredients, with the students chopping vegetables, mixing ingredients, and cooking or baking the final product. The Pine River PTO supports the cooking program through a monthly school-wide spirit day on which donations are accepted to pay for groceries. Through preparing food and enjoying it with their classmates, students develop both cooking and social skills to further their independence.



Pine River STARS Assembly

The first Pine River STARS Assembly of the year showcased student success, spirit, and leadership. At the student-led assembly, the Pioneers recognized the September and October Pioneers of the Month, Student Council members, Kindergarten Safety Patrol members, new Pioneers, Mrs. VanderMeulen’s class’s participation in Community Roofsit, and students who met the summer reading challenge. Also, several Student Council members performed a skit about kindness, and some of our fourth graders performed skits about Pine River Post Office etiquette. At the STARS Assembly, students, staff, and parents celebrated positive achievements and focused on making the second quarter even better!



Pine River STEAM Challenges

Pine River second, third, fourth, and fifth graders work in cross grade level STEAM team challenges each month. In November’s Mayflower challenge, the students competed to create the ship that would hold the most Pilgrims (marbles) and supplies (wooden cubes). In December, they created Santa sleighs with accompanying slopes made with different materials to increase speed. These monthly challenges reward students for completing regular class work, enrich their understanding of science and math concepts, and foster their skills in creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and communication.



Kindergarten Writing Collaboration

Ms. Gabrielle Duda is partnering with Jennifer Evans, St. Clair County RESA literacy consultant, to implement writing partnership strategies with students. Kindergarteners are setting their own writing goals, practicing skills to reach their goals, and giving each other feedback about their progress toward goals. Students are learning to self evaluate through this process, and they are taking ownership of their writing in order to improve!
Pine River Elementary students, staff and families also collected, donated, hosted a fun family night and were entertained by the Anderson Piano Trio. Thank you Pine River for sharing the great things that are happening!

SCHS Business Students visit Ford Field

St. Clair High School students in Mrs. Kathy Vojnovski's Business Essentials II class took a field trip to Ford Field for The Detroit Lions Student Business Fair on December 11th. Students got a peek behind the curtain from the Detroit Lions employees and heard from different departments about their day-to-day roles and what it takes to run an NFL organization. Students are invited back on December 23rd to watch the Detroit Lions against the Minnesota Vikings to see how it all comes together in a game.

Try it Tuesday

Chartwells host another successful Try it Tuesday at East China School Distrcit. Students tried corn & pineapple salsa. Chartwells Food Service would like to thank the amazing parent volunteers that help make Try it Tuesday possible.
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mother daughter team write sweet story

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ECSD's very own Literacy Specialist at Eddy and Palms Elementary, Jennie Sharrow, has paired up with her mother to author their first children's book, a colorful story of the special bond between grandparents and grandchildren.


The story "My Grandma and Grandpa Ice Cream" is a celebration of the relationship between children and their grandparents, a focus that has made it popular as a gift for families to share together. "My Grandma and Grandpa Ice Cream" is suitable for early elementary children and is available at The Sweet Tooth in Marine City and online at amazon.com.

SCC TEC Open House

Thursday, Feb. 21st 2019 at 5:30-8pm

499 Range Rd., Marysville, MI 48040

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A big thank you to some of the Chili Heart 5K run/walk 2019 sponsors.