March 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.
Because of Spring Break, this will be the last weekly newsletter until April 9, Easter Sunday. I thought I would do something a little different. Over the course of this year, I have heard from numerous people that they really appreciate these email updates. The idea is that every seven days, a new informative missive is sent out concerning an interesting topic surrounding the district and its machinations. However, all of these communique topics are devised by me.
Rather than continue this pattern over the break, I want to take a page out of Reddit's book and create our own version of AMA -- Ask Me Anything. With more than 20 days between now and the next correspondence, I should have enough time to answer a series of questions posed by you all.
So, let us begin the first (hopefully) annual Spring Break AMA or, as we will call it, ATSA -- Ask The Superintendent Anything. The rules are simple; please email me (or just reply to the newsletter) any question you have always wanted to ask the Superintendent. Please try to send your questions by March 26 so I have time to respond.
I can't promise I will answer all (depending on how many questions come in), but I will certainly do my best. Also, I have a feeling some of the questions will be similar, and thus, I might group similar emails together and answer those collectively. Of course, I won't answer anything that would break FERPA or HIPAA rules or other legal limitations. But, there is very little that ATSA won't cover.
I believe to be a true public servant means to be as open and transparent as possible. This is one small way I can help fulfill that obligation. Let the questions begin.
Have a great spring break. I look forward to hearing from you.
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!
Naomi Johnson, Everett High School
Naomi knows what she wants in life and will be graduating from Everett High School holding a list of achievements that will help her see that she reaches those goals. Currently she holds the Valedictorian title for Everett's Class of 2023, and though there are still a few months left before the end of the year and anything can happen.
Her drive to excel in academics is only matched by her drive to help others. When she isn't focused on her education, she focuses her efforts on finding ways to give back to the community that helped raise her. She is a member of the Youth Advisory Committee which donates thousands of dollars to nonprofits that help better the community, but her goodwill doesn't stop there.
She also gives back by serving as the president of the Lansing School District Junior Board, representing her alma mater during Superintendent Advisory meetings, serving as the Everett student council secretary, and also serving as president of Everett's chapter of the National Honor Society. She does an excellent job representing her peers and is always working to do what is in their best interest in each of those organizations.
Ultimately, she intends to use her intelligence and kind heart to help support those in the community who most need it, earning first her bachelor's degree in political science and then a degree in law. She already has a strong start on the political science end of her goal, having been an intern during Sarah Anthony's winning State Senate campaign. Her ultimate goal is to become a corporate lawyer, with her own firm that supports small businesses in the community that brought her up because giving back feels like a way she can thank those who gave her better opportunities. She also wants to give future youth better opportunities just like someone gave her.
"Being the junior board president has been one of the highlights of my senior year. Hearing from peer leaders who are interested in building this school district up and finding solutions shows that Lansing has a bright future. The junior board has taught me to think of others' needs in each school and it led me last year to push the mental health agenda through our junior board. Now we are finding mental health resources for students to use when they need an outlet to talk to someone or methods to use to calm down. It has been a great honor to serve as this year's junior board president, I hope in the future to come back and contribute in some way."
We are so happy to have Naomi, to just as a viking, but as an integral part of the Lansing School District family and have no doubt that she will go far!
Staff Feature of the Week
Troy Maran, Technology Department
Troy Maran has been serving the District as a member of the Technology Department for over 6 years now. In his role as a Technology Support Technician, Troy has shown himself to be an incredible asset to the department and the District. Troy is much beloved by his schools and is often complimented for his professionalism, demeanor, and thoroughness in resolving problems, but Troy's best attribute is his excellent customer service. Troy gives that extra effort to make sure that not only is the technology working, but also that our teachers, staff, and students understand the technology and that all their questions are answered before he leaves.
Troy currently supports Attwood, Cavanaugh, Everett, Gardner and assists at all our schools as needed. We are so glad Troy is part of the Technology Team and a part of the District.
A Trip to Japan — Three Years in the Making
Imagine this: it is your senior year in high school, and you are excited because you have the opportunity to visit Japan. You paid for your seat and accommodations, and the stops on your itinerary sound incredible. It is going to be the trip of a lifetime!
Little did you know when you scheduled the trip that a pandemic would break out the year you were slated to leave. All but the most essential businesses were shuttered temporarily - and unfortunately sometimes permanently. Once bustling streets now resembled a scene from "I Am Legend," and the world collectively reeled in the aftermath, struggling to find a "new normal." And, yeah, you guessed it, international travel was shut down, dashing your hopes of making it to Japan anytime soon.
That was the scenario district students and staff chaperones found themselves in when COVID-19 swept the globe. When refunds were offered, many, if not most of those who were originally signed up, collected their funds for one reason or another, accepting the loss as best as they could. However, a small group held out in the hopes that the trip would move forward... eventually. And it did — nearly three years later.
That group, chaperoned by Christine Kelley and T.C. Mingus, are currently enjoying day five of their seven day trip even though the weather wasn't quite cooperative this morning obscuring a direct view of Mt. Fuji. So far, they have visited several Shinto Shrines to see classic and timeless Japanese woodworking and learn of their spiritual significance; Harajuku's Fashion District for a shopping trip and cultural learning; and Minato Science Museum to explore the line between androids, robots, and humanity. They have also paid a visit to a theme park called "Joypolis" where they got to play state of the art 3D and immersive video games before getting a brief look at the giant statue of Gundam - a popular anime in Japan - that actually transforms!
They have experienced a wide variety of traditional Japanese foods, stayed in a variety of accommodations, and have even experienced several different modes of travel in their stay. Cherry blossom season even started early this year, filling the air with its sweet perfume and lovely spring blooms.
The group created a short video feature and were also able to arrange for a live feed during Thursday's meeting of the Board of Education! If you missed it, you can check that out here. The group still has a couple days left on its sojourn, and TC has been posting photos to the district Facebook page daily so stop by and check out all of the beautiful sights!
Student Development Program
Would you like to improve your game on the court - or in the classroom? Check out the Lansing School District’s Student Development Program.
In the Student Development Program, 6-12th grade Lansing School District students of all academic and athletic skill levels will benefit from judgment-free sessions designed to help them grow in the areas of academics, athletics, and wellness.
Sign up now for a free session with our Scheduling Assistant!
Introducing the Care Closet
We are pleased to announce the opening of the BIPOC Care Closet.Please see the below flyer with information regarding the Care Closet. You can scan the QR code or click below.
We look forward to sharing our closet with you!
If you prefer to enroll in person, the staff at the Dr. Eva L. Evans Welcome Center will be happy to answer any questions you may have and guide you through the enrollment process.
Dr. Eva L. Evans Welcome Center
2400 Pattengill Ave.
Lansing, MI 48910
Questions About Enrollment?
Call us at (517)755-2820