All the Buzz
News and Info from HCS -- September 1, 2022
Our first two weeks of school have been filled with learning, excitement, and joy (many pictures are included below). The energy in our schools fills my bucket, and I have spent as much time with students and staff as my schedule permitted. Here are a few points of pride I noticed over the last two weeks:
- Our students are amazing young people who try their best every day.
- Our teachers and support staff greet students with big smiles each day, and set a welcoming, warm tone for the day.
- Our principals are in the hallways, classrooms, and cafeterias on a regular basis, interacting with students and staff.
- Our food service staff are feeding kids delicious and healthy breakfasts and lunches.
- Our maintenance crew has responded very quickly to locker issues, assembling late-arriving furniture, and fixing many odds and ends.
- Our schools are clean; in fact, I have never been in cleaner schools - a big shout-out to our custodians!
- Our bus drivers navigated Street Fair and other obstacles with grace and humor.
- Our families exhibited grace and patience as we worked through traffic/transportation items, new student enrollments, and scheduling details at the secondary level.
If you have noticed other points of pride, please feel free to share them with me!
As we head into the four-day Labor Day weekend, we wish your family fun, relaxation, and safe travels if you will be on the road. Thank you for continuing to choose Harrison Community Schools, and on behalf of all of us, thank you for your continued partnership and trust.
Your child may have already experienced a safety drill in these first two weeks; if not, they will likely experience one or more soon. Please know that Michigan's Fire Prevention Code requires us to conduct at least 10 fire, tornado, and lockdown drills (5 fire, 2 tornado, 3 lockdown) over the course of the school year. Some are required to take place by December 1, and others later in the school year. At least one must be conducted during lunch, recess, or another time where students are gathered but not in a classroom. Each of our school's administrators are working closely with Deputy David Aldrich, our resource officer, in planning, implementing, and debriefing drills.
MS: The Morning Buzz
Upcoming Varsity Athletic Events
Thursday, September 1
- Cross Country at Ogemaw Heights (4pm)
- Volleyball at Evart (6pm)
- Football vs Gladwin (7pm)
Wednesday, September 7
- Cross Country at Shepherd (4pm)
- Volleyball at Farwell (6pm)
Friday, September 9
- Football vs Pinconning (7pm)
Board of Education Meeting
The Pledge of Allegiance will be led by students from Larson Elementary, and Principal Andrea Andera will present an instructional highlight.
Mon, Sep 12, 2022, 05:30 PM
Hillside Elementary School, North 4th Street, Harrison, MI, USA
Non-Homestead Millage Renewal
Funding for schools in our state fundamentally changed with the adoption of the 1978 Headlee Amendment and Proposal A in 1994. School districts became limited in what and how they could seek money from their local community.
Currently, the state taxes all real estate at a uniform rate of 6 mills (1 mill = $1.00 for every $1,000 in value) and collects those funds for a more equal distribution per pupil across the state. Michigan law also requires local communities to ask voters for 18 mills ($18.00 on every $1,000 in value) on non-homestead property (basically, all real estate that is not your primary home, such as vacation homes, commercial real estate, etc.). The money collected goes toward the total dollar amount per pupil that the state pledges to us.
As an example, this year the state is pledging $9,150 per pupil across the state. However, a portion of that dollar amount comes from our local 18 mills. If voters choose not to approve the renewal, we will get less money per pupil from the state and our budget is impacted.
The Headlee Amendment also requires us to reduce our 18 mills by fractional amounts when annual growth on property is greater than the rate of inflation. This is called a “roll back.” A “Headlee override” is a vote by the electors to return the millage to the amount originally authorized to counteract the roll back. On the ballot this November, voters in the Harrison Community Schools district will be asked to renew the non-homestead millage at the rate of 17.6524, and through the override, to restore 0.3476 for a total of 18 mills.
What might this mean for property owners of real estate that is not their primary residence? Let's say there is a vacation home in Harrison valued at $200,000, and the owners have their primary residence somewhere else in Michigan. In addition to the 6 mills the state collects from all real estate for schools ($1,200 on this property), the impact of the renewal of 17.6524 mills ($3,530.48 on this property) and an override for 0.3476 mills ($69.52 on this property) amounts to a total of $3,600.00 from the vacation home owners in this example.
We are at the point in the pandemic where public health officials are viewing COVID-19 much in the same way as other communicable diseases. Therefore, we will be starting our school year with the following protocol for positive cases, staff or student:
- With a positive case, the person must isolate for 5 days and not attend or be in school. In counting those days, the first date of symptoms (or the test, if no symptoms) is day 0.
- The COVID-positive person may return to school on Day 6, assuming symptoms are subsiding. We recommend, but do not require, masking for days 6-10 in school.
We are also attaching a handy resource from public health officials that provides guidance on when to keep a child home from school in a variety of illness-related situations.