Superintendent's Scoop

May 2019

Dear Parents/Guardians/Community Members:

It's an exciting time to be a Bobcat! With spring in full force, the anticipation of the end of the school year brings excitement with spring assessments, end of year activities, and celebrating the accomplishments of our students! The end of the 2018-2019 school year also brings great anticipation for the 2019-2020 school year.

Snow Day Make-Up Update: The state legislature continues to consider adjusting the day/time requirements for the school year. At this time, the school district is required to make up 8 school days. Please note the following dates and changes to the end of the year calendar:

Monday, May 1st 1/2 Day of School; 11:00 AM Dismissal

Monday, May 1st Kindergarten Round-Up; Collins Elementary, 6:00 PM

Thursday, May 9th Transition Night for next year's 3rd/4th grade; Middle School; 6:00 PM

Friday, May 24 1/2 Day of School; 11:15 AM Dismissal

Monday, May 27 No School

Saturday, June 1 Houghton Lake Community Education Graduation; 11:00 AM

Sunday, June 2 Houghton Lake High School Graduation; 2:00 PM

Friday, June 7th Full Day of School

Wednesday, June 19th Last day of school and a half day

Houghton Lake Community School District's plans for the grade level reconfiguration and Kindergarten-6th grade Balanced Calendar schedule is in full swing (see link below to learn more about a balanced calendar schedule(. Forums at both the middle school and high school will be held in May to provide families and community members with final planning information. Balanced Calendar sign-ups are open, with a few seats still available in various grade levels. Please visit to register for the balanced calendar schedule. The next step for balanced calendar planning is developing a robust intersession program available to balanced calendar students during breaks. The intersession programs will provide students with enrichment activities that extend academic programmings in each grade level.

For the 2019-2020 school year, Collins Elementary and Houghton Lake Middle School will become Collins Elementary, unifying our PreK-6th grade staff, students and families. We will maintain two offices, the lower elementary and the upper elementary wings. Mrs. Peterson will serve as the PreK-6th grade principal with Mr. Williams and Mr. Barnes serving as the elementary assistant principals.

This summer, construction will be buzzing on the campuses of Collins Elementary and Community Education. The district was awarded a grant from the Michigan Department of Education to upgrade heating/cooling/ventilation systems in buildings that moved to a balanced calendar schedule. The facilities study during the planning phase determined that the best use of the grant monies was to keep the current heating systems and add chilling units. The units will be installed to cool the balanced calendar classrooms and the common areas such as the gymnasiums, libraries, etc. We look forward to sharing the additions with families at the fall open houses!

It's an exciting time to be a Bobcat! The Houghton Lake Community School District will continue to partner with families and the communities that make up the school district to assure excellence for our students.

Balanced Calendar

Combating Summer Slide - How does operating on a Balanced Calendar support students?

Welding Program Coming to HLHS!

For the 2019-2020 school year, Houghton Lake High School will be the county site for the COOR Welding program! With a lot of planning, discussions, and negotiations, COOR ISD will move equipment in and provide the vocationally certified welding instructor to run the much needed welding program. Students will be in the program for two years and walk away with certifications in AWS, OSHA, ad First Aid/CPR. More information will be shared!

Frequently Asked Questions: Balanced Calendar

The following questions and answers are compiled from feedback by families and staff at Balanced Calendar presentations given at various times throughout the school year. They represent the most frequently asked.

1. Does a Balanced Calendar mean my child will have to attend school year round?

No. If Houghton Lake Community Schools implements a balanced calendar, students would follow a calendar that has a six-week summer break and the traditional holiday breaks. The difference would be that students would being school in August, have extra weeks in June and have intersession breaks throughout the school year. Whether on a balanced calendar or a traditional calendar, students are in school for 180 days.

2. What are intersessions? Intersessions are the breaks in-between instructional days. During intersessions, staff and students on the balanced calendar are on break. However, during the intersessions, the school district will provide activities and enrichment experiences for students. Families will have the opportunity to sign their children up for intersession experiences and keep them active ruing the break time. Transportation to and from school, breakfast and lunch will be offered during intersessions.

3. Is a balanced calendar good for kids? The educational research indicates that students on a balanced school calendar show improved academic achievement over students on a traditional calendar. The balanced calendar has a shortened summer break which combats what educators refer to as “summer slide.” The YouTube video, Summer Learning, illustrates the impact of summer breaks on student achievement. In addition to academic improvement, students on a balanced calendar have improved attendance and behaviors issues decline.

4. Is the whole district moving to a balanced calendar? The balanced calendar will be offered for students in Kindergarten through sixth grade. Families in those grades will be able to choose whether their children will be on a traditional calendar or a balanced calendar. More information about signing up for the 2019-2020 balanced calendar is coming soon.

5. Is transportation provided? Transportation will be provided for students who are on a balanced calendar. Depending on the number of students needing transportation for the August and late June balanced calendar days, bus routes may be adjusted.

6. Will students be fed breakfast and lunch?Yes, students on a balanced calendar will receive breakfast and lunch each day they are in session. In fact, with intersessions, students on a balanced calendar will be fed for additional da

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