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GHAPS - Thank you for YOUR SUPPORT! | Community Spirit

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GHAPS - Thank you for YOUR SUPPORT!
GHAPS - Thank you for YOUR SUPPORT!

By: Keith Konarska, Superintendent
From: http://www.ghaps.org


A special thanks to our incredible community for helping to support our continued success despite the economic challenges that swirl around us. Highlights of the year include the successful implementation of a new K-5 reading program; installation of interactive whiteboards and "smart carts" which hold and organize the key instructional components for staff in all district classrooms; implementation of the Capturing Kids' Hearts program at the secondary level; completion of Safe Harbor training to do a better job of supporting all students who feel discriminated against or bullied in any way; and realization of cost savings due to energy bond improvements in four buildings.

Achievement levels continued to demonstrate a five-year trend of improvement, placing our students well above county, state and national averages. New components developed this year included an elementary Spanish program that has been very positively received and a new robotics team at the high school. Our arts programs shone once again, gaining superior ratings in band, choir and orchestra, along with wonderful theatre productions. Athletic accomplishments have never been better, with several conference, district, regional and state titles recorded, reflecting not only high achievement in the classroom, but on the field and court as well. Science Olympiad teams dominated the regional and state competitions, with three of the four teams representing our state from one school district (Grand Haven) at the national competition. Unprecedented, YES! Unusual, NO!

 Support from our community has never been better. Our community and school foundations and a variety of service organizations have stepped up in every way possible to fill gaps in key program areas. Our chamber of commerce has partnered with us to support community and county-wide initiatives to assure that our students are prepared for the future. City, township and school district leaders from around the area have collaborated on the sharing of positions and resources to bring down each other's costs during these challenging economic times, while numerous agencies are serving on a multi-agency team to support families in need.

Yes, we have much to be thankful for and to celebrate, but we also need to be open to change that can assist in our continued growth and improvement. During our recent board of education work session, members very much supported ramping up expectations and goals for further integrating technology into our instructional program, expanding and enhancing the implementation plan of the Capturing Kids' Hearts program across the district, and expanding the teacher skill-set necessary to maximize the benefit of our updated reading and writing programs. The board also supported the formation of a task force to consider the realignment/reconfiguration of buildings and grades to create efficiencies, increase elementary space (needed for kindergarten / early childhood programming), and to continue to maximize opportunities for improved achievement.

Additional focus is also planned to expand current initiatives that work to continually improve school climate, including very specific strategies for preventing harassment or prejudice of any type. Our vision of "Success for All" cannot be realized without ongoing improvement in this area. Please take time to review the many successes experienced by our students this year in this edition of Spotlight. Have a great summer!