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School Matters FALL 2011



& the Sweet J Band the PPAC!


lainwell Community Schools Performing Arts Center was host to a special one-night only concert with Kalamazoo’s American Idol alum, Matt Giraud. Matt performed an evening of celebration and song on Saturday, November 12 at 7:00 p.m. in observance of the Performing Arts Center’s one year anniversary. Matt’s band, the Sweet J Band, backed him and Plainwell High School’s Concert Choir joined them on stage for two special songs toward the end of the evening.

Own Kalamazoo’s ol, American Id ! Matt Giraud

The concert was a benefit for Plainwell’s Performing Arts Program.

Backstage @ the Matt Giraud show!

D Y N A M I C P L A N N I N G U P D AT E • F O C U S G R O U P S • D E C . 8 Preparing

Future for our

Dynamic Planning to guide Plainwell Community Schools into the next decade and beyond is underway by Plainwell staff and community members. Focus Groups will be held in order for staff, parents and the community to have an even larger impact on these sessions and to assist with achieving the final goals. All sessions will be held in the High School Media Center.


Future to our

1:00 - Parents & Community Members • 3:00 - PCS Staff Members 4:15 - PCS Staff Members • 5:30 - Parents & Community Members


SUPERINTENDENT’S VIEWPOINT by Susan Wakefield, Superintendent

For Our Future...


e have been working on our Dynamic and efforts for four days in November and Planning process for the past several I am grateful for their willingness to parmonths and it is now well underway. The ticipate. For staff and community mempurpose of this work is to provide the forum bers who are not participating in the large for community members and PCS staff to group, there will be meetings for everyone articulate our community’s educational who wants to be included in this process. goals for the next five years. The entire pro- Kay will be facilitating Focus Groups at our cess has been organized high school library on Deby an impartial facilitator cember 8. Specific times are who will guide our comin this newsletter and We will need to listed munity through this imthere is no need to register portant work. or RSVP. We’re just happy be visionary in There are several comto have you join us. our discussions ponents to this work. Our Dynamic Planning may facilitator, Kay Cornell, seem to be a routine task and make our was hired by the Board of to be done every few years; best projections but that’s an over-simplified Education last spring to guide us through this properspective given all the poas to what our cess. Kay has since met tential possibilities. There is students will with the Board of Educaa wide range of talents and tion twice to discuss the needs among our students, need for their process and most recenta variety of priorities among futures... ly, to listen to the Board constituents, and many demembers’ hopes and fears mands being placed on pubregarding this process and lic education. We will need the possibilities that they believe Dynamic to be visionary in our discussions and make Planning holds. While the Board of Educa- our best projections as to what our students tion plays an important role, Board mem- will need for their futures and how we can bers will not be attending the large group best meet those needs. forum meetings. Their job will be to review I can’t think of a better time to come toand approve what comes forth from this gether as a community and to set our sights work rather than do the actual work. on becoming an extraordinary educational A group of approximately 50 staff and system - one which serves our students well community members have already had a and enriches all of our lives. n couple of meetings. These folks filled out an application last month to be a part of this group. They have committed their time



December 19-30 HOLIDAY RECESS

January 2


February 13


February 20

NO SCHOOL - Teacher Professional Development

March 5


March 6

NO SCHOOL (K-10/12) Grade 11 ACT K-12 Teacher Professional Development

March 14

HALF DAY (K-12) End of 2nd Trimester

March 30

NO SCHOOL SPRING RECESS munity Schools from Plainwell Com 2

W W W. P L A I N W E L L S C H O O L S . O R G

FOCUS ON CURRICULUM by Bob VanDis, Director of Curriculum

Class of 2011 First to Meet Rigorous Michigan Merit Curriculum Graduation Requirements


he recently graduated Class of 2011 was the first group of students in Michigan to have to meet the rigorous Michigan Merit Curriculum (MMC) requirements for a high school diploma. Students are now required to earn 16 credits in the following subjects and courses to graduate from high school: • 4 Credits of English • 4 Credits of Mathematics that must include Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2 • 3 Credits of Social Studies that must include World History and Geography, United States History and Geography, Economics, and Government. Plainwell requires 3.5 credits since our US History and Geography class is a three-trimester 1.5 credit course. • 3 Credits of Science that must include Biology, Chemistry or Physics, and one additional course. Plainwell requires 3.5 credits since our students earn at least .5 credit of both Chemistry and Physics. We also require Earth Science as the required additional course. • 1 Credit of Health and Physical Education • 1 Credit of Visual, Applied, and Performing Arts When this law was first passed in the

spring of 2006, many people feared that the Class of 2011, who would be entering 8th grade that coming fall, would not be able to meet these rigorous requirements and that large numbers of students would drop out of high school. But those people were wrong. We did not see a dramatic increase in drop outs between the Class of 2010 (the last year with low graduation requirements) and

rigorous curriculum “The should now be provided to everyone... “

the Class of 2011 (the first year of the new MMC requirements). Of the few students who did not graduate on time, at least half of them are still in school as 5th year seniors completing their graduation requirements. Also, many people back in 2006, did not believe that almost all students could pass such elite courses as Biology, Algebra 2, Economics, or World History. Again, those people were wrong. This law, which so many people first thought of as unfair, actually was based on a foundation of fairness and equality for all. The rigorous curriculum that we previously provided for only our most able, college bound students should now be provided to everyone. A rigorous high school curriculum prepares students for many college and career opportunities, and those op-

portunities should be open to everyone. There are three groups of heroes in this story of increased rigor and achievement. First, the students who rose to the challenge of working harder and passing these rigorous classes. Second, the parents who supported their students. Third, the teachers who rose to the multiple challenges of redesigning their courses to meet the new requirements, adopting new techniques to teach difficult subjects to all students, and devoting extra time to giving students multiple opportunities to relearn material and to repeat failed courses – thus getting them back on track to graduate. In addition to these MMC requirements, students currently in 8th grade, the Class of 2016, must earn 2 credits of a world language to graduate. We have been building up our middle school language program for the past several years so that students can earn 1 credit of a language in 8th grade, which allows them to get an early start on this additional requirement. Currently, we have 178 students or 79% of our 8th grade class taking Spanish 1 or French 1. Plainwell students will be able to meet this new requirement the same way they met the original MMC requirements: through their own perseverance and hard work; the support of their parents; and the guidance, commitment, and quality instruction of their teachers. n

State Raises Bar for Students to Pass the MEAP


n an effort to fight “test score inflation,” the Michigan Department of Education has recalibrated the MEAP cut scores. The term “cut score” refers to the percent of questions a student needs to get right in order to pass the test. The previous passing score for MEAP tests were set at a very basic level – sufficient for a basic trade in our old manufacturing economy. For example, last year, a 3rd grade student could pass the MEAP Math Test if he got 34% of the questions correct. The result of that was that 95% of Michigan 3rd graders passed the MEAP Math test. The new cut scores are set at a more advanced level to reflect the higher levels of academic proficiency needed for students to thrive in the advanced manufacturing and information economy of today. For example, if the new cut scores were applied to last year’s MEAP Math Test referenced above, a student would need to get 72% of the questions correct to pass. With the new, higher standard applied, only 35% of last year’s 3rd graders in the state would have passed. Before MEAP results are sent home this winter, the district will be sending a letter to parents that will explain the cut score change. This letter will also alert them to the fact that some students who passed MEAP last year may not pass this year due to the new, higher cut scores being applied. More information on this topic may be found in the “What’s New” section at W W W. P L A I N W E L L S C H O O L S . O R G


HIGH SCHOOL NEWS FYI: Plainwell High School Medical Emergency Team

Pictured are, Top row (L to R): Suzanne Tyria, Andrew Hansen, Jeremy Wright, Rich Luczak, Christopher Taylor, Melanie Carpenter. Bottom row (L to R): Samantha Newell, Sarah Boven, Deb Burley, Marilyn Hess and Doug White. Not pictured: Larry Ash and Craig Archer.


he Plainwell High School Medical Emergency Team is on its 3rd year as a group of individuals who assist in any type of medical or safety issue at the high school. The group was developed out of need for helping students who are hurt. “The Medical Emergency team is a very trained, organized and responsive team,” Deb Burley, team member, said of the 12-person team that represents all employee groups at the high school in various physical locations around the school. The group also conducts “lessons learned” meetings after an incident to further hone their skills. n

Plainwell ject Christmas Pro December 16 & ”17 “A Holiday Tradition

Plainwell High School Student Named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist


he National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) has announced the names of approximately 16,000 Semifinalists in the 57th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Plainwell High School’s Ashley Correa is among those selected to compete for some 8,300 scholarships worth more than $34 million that will be offered next spring. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists represent less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors. From these 16,000 Semifinalists, approximately 15,000 are expected to advance to the Finalist level in February and more than half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship. Finalists will be announced in the spring of 2012.

Three Lady Trojans to Play Division One Sports


lainwell Community Schools is proud to announce that three Lady Trojans have committed to play Division 1 sports. Alyssa Davis, daughter of Carolann and Paul Davis, will be playing volleyball at Eastern Michigan University. Lauren Saar, daughter of Rene and Brad Saar, has committed to play volleyball at Georgetown University. Hannah Lewis, daughter of Trish and Bart Lewis, will be golfing and attending Bowling Green State University. These three Lady Trojans are powerful students as well. Each holds a GPA over 4.0 and have scored 30 on the ACT. They are an impressive trio.


W W W. P L A I N W E L L S C H O O L S . O R G


Gary J. Barton Named Interim Plainwell Middle School Principal ncil Student Cou giving shows that back is fun!


lainwell Middle School’s Student Council participated in a new community service project this year, Rake-n-Run. Over twenty Student Council members volunteered their time to give back to the community on Wednesday by raking yards in our community. Eighth grade Student Council member, Elizabeth Miller said, “I felt really good about doing Rake-n-Run because I served my community, even though it was really cold.” A special thanks to all of the students, teachers, and parents that helped make Rake-n-Run a success. n

Plainwell Middle School Science Students Receive Netbooks


lainwell Middle School students were thrilled last week to receive netbooks for use in science class and teachers are excited to have a new way to deliver the science curriculum. Using today’s technology, the netbooks are interactive tools which enable the students to take notes, highlight text, perform online experiments and save their files. Teachers can forward assignments and tasks directly to the students, which they complete and return for credit, without using any paper. Another plus of the netbooks is universal access. The online textbook can read aloud to special needs students while allowing gifted students advancement as they are capable. Utilizing a new wireless network to integrate all the netbooks, students have the freedom to move around the classroom and remain connected. Plainwell Middle School science teacher Marty Green says, “We are up in front of our community with this technology. It keeps the classroom connected to the real world and challenges the students to learn more about earth science and the weather as it happens. We have kids come in saying, ‘Did you hear about the earthquake?’ and I can direct them to open their netbook and go right to the N.O.A.A. (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) or U.S.G.S. (United States Geological Survey) website to find out more information.” W W W. P L A I N W E L L S C H O O L S . O R G

Greetings Plainwell Families, I am honored to serve the students, staff and parents of Plainwell Community Schools as Interim Middle School Principal. My background is in corporate management and educational administration. I started my career in education as a high school and middle school history teacher. I have been the principal of several middle schools and have taught graduate students at the university level. I have a sincere passion for life-long learning and staying current on the latest research and best practices in education, staff development and leadership. I earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Eastern Michigan University. My Master of Arts degree and Specialist in Education degree are from Western Michigan University. I am certified in Michigan as a K-12 principal and central office administrator. My commitment has always been to work enthusiastically to provide a caring, creative and positive learning environment for students and staff. I have an open door policy and look forward to meeting students, staff and parents as soon as possible. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns. I look forward to a great school year at Plainwell Middle School. Sincerely, Gary Barton Interim Principal Plainwell Middle School 5





G I L K E Y • C O O P E R • S TA R R

Plainwell Education Foundation Distributes Mini-Grants


he Plainwell Education Foundation has awarded their yearly mini-grants to 32 Plainwell educators who will use the funds to enhance their students’ classroom learning, extracurricular activities and field trips. Awarding mini-grants is an annual project for the local foundation which is celebrating its 12th year.


t the start of the school year Honeywell had made some

changes that allowed all of the phone numbers used to be pulled from our student information system. The change was made so that parents only had to report a change of phone number to school office personnel and the change would then automatically be made in Honeywell. With that change came some unforeseen issues that made

Front Row (L to R): Pat Guldenzoph, Darlene Kohn, Tammy Glupker, Kristen Fillar, Kelly Thompke, Jackie Warners, Marilyn Hess, AnnaLee VanAtter (Plainwell Education Foundation) Back Row (L to R): Karen Gustafson (Plainwell Education Foundation), John Pettit, Deb Phaneuf, Deb Scooneas, Bill Stouffer, Jackie Vandestreek, Rene Perrin, Melissa Garrett, Steve Cramer

it difficult for many families to modify phone numbers and the times the phone calls were received. We have been discussing these issues with Honeywell and have decided that it worked better for the majority of our families to change back and have the parents register their Honeywell accounts and add their own information. To find directions on how to make those changes, visit our website at plainwellschools. org and click on the Honeywell Info Sheet under “Changes in Honeywell.” This will allow you to go in and register and customize your information to fit your needs. We are sorry for the inconvenience, but we are confident that this change will be a positive change in our communication between school and home.


RENAISSANCE HIGH SCHOOL Tammy Glupker - all school field trip to Shedd Aquarium HIGH SCHOOL Darlene Kohn – math graphic calculators Jason Grubaugh, Steven Cramer – tennis equipment Marilyn Hess – MIPA summer camp at MSU Rick Norey – build a robot advanced design project MIDDLE SCHOOL Anastasia Harnden – world language/ voice CD player Cathy Maurer, Jackie Warners – brown bag book club Maggie McGregor – greenhouse flowerbeds Melissa Garrett – iPad 2 special education independence Nancy Heath – iPad 2 special education independence Terri Norey – Four Bs model flag COOPER ELEMENTARY Deb Phaneuf – listening center Laura Adams – exercise ball chairs Kelly Thompke, Shelly Widman, Deb Phaneuf – Handwriting without Tears W W W. P L A I N W E L L S C H O O L S . O R G

GILKEY ELEMENTARY Deb Agne – Imagine It! Storytime Collection Katie Johnson – listening center Chris Stevens – individual student white boards Tammie Vick – Music Theory Made Fun Jane Schroder, Geri Macklin – bin of books Tanya Miller, Jennifer Stell, Aaron Maybee – Time for Kids Tanya Miller, Jane Schroder, Chris Stevens, Anne Hartman – CD Players for Reading Intervention STARR ELEMENTARY Kristen Fillar – learning blocks rug Pat Guldenzoph – Music Theory Made Fun Natalie Knight – exercise ball chairs John Pettit – mileage club Rene Perrin – drum pads, sticks & stands Jackie VandeStreek – traveling art exhibit


G I L K E Y • C O O P E R • S TA R R

Meet the New Teachers of Plainwell Community Schools MARIE LARSON My name is Marie Larson and I am heading up the Kindergarten Readiness program at Starr Elementary. I am originally from Richland, Michigan and a recent graduate of Western Michigan University. I have had a great first year teaching at Plainwell! I am thankful for a supportive staff and group of intelligent and eager learners! KRISTEN PENNINGTON My name is Kristen Pennington and I am loving my experience here in Plainwell! This is my 5th year teaching, but my first time teaching 4th grade. It is so much fun! I have taught for three years near Grand Rapids, and also for one year in Gobles, Michigan. I graduated from Western Michigan University and am currently working on my Masters at Cornerstone University. I am so thankful to be working with such positive, collaborative and kid-loving people at Starr Elementary! JENNIFER FAZIO Hello, my name is Jennifer Fazio. I have lived in the Cooper/Plainwell area for more than ten years and am a parent of high school and middle school students. I graduated from Hope College. After teaching at a local preschool for almost 10 years, I was thrilled to accept the challenge of teaching reading at a first grade level. I am enjoying every moment! NOEL MUSELIN Hi, my name is Noel Muselin. This is my 5th year teaching. I previously taught 3rd, 4th and 5th grades at Galesburg-Augusta Community Schools. I am thrilled to be teaching at Gilkey Elementary this year and look forward to having fun and exciting learning opportunities with my 4th grade class!

PETE CAMPBELL My name is Pete Campbell and I am off to a fantastic start in my first year teaching at Starr Elementary. I recently graduated from Western Michigan University’s Special Education program in April 2011. Teaching 4th grade at Starr Elementary has been amazing! It has wonderful students, staff and administrators that have made my first year teaching both memorable and effective! CRAIG ARCHER My name is Craig Archer and I come to Plainwell Community Schools after graduating from Concordia University as an Academic All-American basketball player. I teach Social Studies at the High School. I am immensely loving my time at Plainwell and find the staff, students and community to be wonderful. I was just married on August 5th of this year and I and my wife, Kelly, expect to be very involved within the school and community. MARIE TEITGEN I am Marie Teitgen. I am a graduate of Plainwell Community Schools. I came up through Starr Elementary and graduated in 1995. I am teaching in one of the same middle school classrooms where I was a student. I am teaching 8th grade Spanish and English, as well as 7th grade Zon/Chinese. I have been enjoying the students immensely and am looking forward to a great year! KATIE JOHNSON My name is Katie Johnson and I taught previously for 11 years at Brandon Elementary in Martin. I left Martin as a first grade teacher and joined the Plainwell staff teaching first grade at Gilkey Elementary. I am settling in nicely with my new “family” here in Plainwell. The staff, students and parents have made the transition an easy one. I look forward to a great future here in Plainwell!

CHRISTOPHER STEVENS Hello, my name is Christopher Stevens and this is my 5th year teaching and my first year teaching 5th grade at Gilkey Elementary. I went to Grand Valley and I come from the east side of the state. My wife and I have been married for 4 years and we have 1 daughter. I previously taught 4th grade at Steeby Elementary in Wayland. I love teaching here and the start of my first year is going great. ANNA HOZAK My name is Anna Hozak and I am from Battle Creek, Michigan. I went to Michigan State...GO GREEN! I taught in Battle Creek Public for 15 years...5 years at 3rd grade, 5 years at 6th grade and the last 5 years 5th and 6th. I had my only child at 40 and stopped teaching to stay at home with him. He is in 9th grade at Plainwell and I am teaching 2nd grade in the same classroom my son was in when he was in the 2nd grade. MARCELLE MARCELLETTI Hello! My name is Marcelle Marcelletti and I like to play board games with my husband and friends in Holland. I play string bass in the Holland Symphony Orchestra and sing in my church choir. I graduated with a B.S. in Physics from DePaul University and have an M.Ed from GVSU. I am teaching Physics and Math in the High School. Before coming to Plainwell, I taught in Grand Rapids Public Schools for five years. Before teaching, I was a quality engineer in the plastics industry.

We’d also like to welcome Anna Kruizenga, Michael Woodward and Bill Stouffer to Plainwell Community Schools! W W W. P L A I N W E L L S C H O O L S . O R G



Sponsored by Plainwell Community Schools and Gun Plain Township

YOUTH recreation


wrigo Photos/Becky Ho

Plainwell’s First Triathlon was a huge success!




The 2011 Plainwell Triathlon

he 2011 Plainwell Triathlon was a sprint level triathlon. Racers swam 500 yards, biked 11 miles and ran a 5k. There were 26 participants, most as individuals, and a few relay teams. Some were triathlon veterans, and others were first-timers. Funds raised will go toward equipment and scholarships for Community Recreation. Many people hear that I like to do triathlons and tell me “I’d like to do that some day.” One of my goals as Community Recreation Director is to get adults in the community, not just kids, up and moving! I thought by hosting a small, informal triathlon here we could introduce people to multi-sort racing and raise some money for a great cause at the same time. One woman who had some health issues felt that she’d never be able to do something this physically demanding, but she signed up anyway. Through the course of her training, she lost over 40 pounds and completed the triathlon with a huge smile on her face! Another gentleman lost over 30 pounds during training. Tyler White, a very successful varsity athlete here in Plainwell told me, “I really feel like I accomplished something today.” Scott Evans, a High School teacher and Track/Cross Country coach won the entire event. Next year, Tristan Comerford, another successful varsity athlete promises to not get lost and win! All in all it was a great success! – Jason Herbert

Plainwell Community Education & Recreation

Gift Certificates & Recreation

Education ell Community


Perfect for Everyone on your Holiday List! Contact the Community Education Office today at 685-9531.

A Gift for Program From Date INWE ET • PLA RN STRE 422 ACO



9531 N • 685-


ion & Recrea

munity Educat

Plainwell Com

W W W. P L A I N W E L L S C H O O L S . O R G

This program is open to students K-6th grade. Each Saturday, the same pool of players will be divided up differently. Phone call reminders will not be made. Please attend the practice on March 5th at the assigned time for your grade level. March 3 - April 21, 2012 • Saturdays (No camp on April 2 and April 9, due to Spring Break) K, 1st & 2nd Grade • 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. 3rd & 4th Grade • 10:30 a.m. to Noon 5th & 6th Grade • 12:30 to 2:00 p.m. Location: Plainwell High School Cost: $55.00 $40.00 Gun Plain Township residents ONLY Instructors: Larry Ash / John Pettit You must preregister, NO sign-ups at Camp. Registration Deadline is Monday, February 20, 2012. $15 late fee will be added to any late registrations. Late registrations will not be accepted after February 27, 2012


This fun filled, hands-on Mad Science after school program is sure to amaze all! Children aren’t the only ones with the energy to play, their toys are packed with it, too! Children will discover the science behind some of their favorite toys in this fun-packed program! Oh and did we mention Magic? They’ll learn the secrets behind famous magic that they can recreate for themselves! Mother Nature has some tricks of her own, and we’d like to show them what’s up her sleeve! Grades: K - 5 Cooper: Feb. 3 – Mar. 17, 2012 (Thurs.) *no class Mar. 3 Time: 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Location: Room #A130 (Science Room) Gilkey: Feb. 2 – Mar. 16, 2012 (Wed.) *no class Mar. 2 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Location: Room #100 (Science Room) Starr: Feb. 1 - Mar. 15, 2012 (Tues.) *no class Mar. 1 3:40 p.m. to 4:40 p.m. Location: Room #111 (Science Room) Cost: $75.00 Registration can be done on-line at www.madscience. org/kalamazoo or call (269) 978-8543 or mail registration form to Mad Science, P.O. Box 331, Oshtemo, MI 49077. Registration Deadline is Monday, January 30, 2012

FATHER/DAUGHTER VALENTINE DANCE The date is Saturday, Feb. 4th from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Plainwell Middle School. Watch for fliers coming home in January; or information on the website www. or feel free to call us at (269) 685-9531.


This program is for the beginner to intermediate photographers. Topics will include the following; (Beginners) camera functions, terminology, and composition. (Intermediate) work flow, image editing, lighting, and discussions for all on what is the right equipment for you. We will talk about how to utilize social networking sites, online print labs, and proper storage of your files, including how to keep them safe. In this digital age, it is easy to get left behind! We will get you up to speed. Please bring your gear, your camera manual (if you have them) and an open mind. This course will be taught by Sean Newton. Sean works as a freelance photographer who specializes in action sports, nature, and photo manipulation. If you are looking to get more out of your photos and you want to find the best ways of sharing them with your family, friends and the world, this is the class for you. Date: January 30 – February 8, 2012 (Mon. & Wed.) Time: 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Location: Plainwell High School Cost: $55.00 Instructor: Sean Newton Registration deadline is Monday, January 23, 2012.


CPR / First Aid Certification offered with an American Heart Association certified instructor. Participants will work on adult, child, and infant mannequins to meet the MIOSHA regulations. We can only take 10 participants so sign up early. Date: January 14 & 21, 2012 (Saturdays) 2 weeks Time: 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Location: Plainwell Community Education, 422 Acorn St. in the Industrial Park Cost: $20.00 Renewing License, $30.00 First Time Instructor: Dave Kuitert Registration Deadline is January 6, 2012.


A different type of well being! Participants will be able to use the information presented to discern their best career fit in this ever-changing time of career decisions and options. You will learn to explore your individual interests, values, traits and abilities and provide tools to determine your career pathway. For this student/parent workshop; the fees include both participants as the resources will be used by the student and shared with the parent. Date: Jan. 16 – Jan. 23, 2012 (Mondays) 2 Weeks Time: 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Location: Plainwell Community Education, 422 Acorn St. in the Industrial Park Cost: $50 per participant CHECKS MUST BE MADE OUT TO: RIVERWOODS CONSULTING (this includes student & parent as one participant. Also includes one Career Pointer Book, additional books will be available for $10.00) Instructor: Liz Jones Registration Deadline is January 9, 2012.


Do you ever feel that you have an interesting story bouncing around your cranium just dying to get out? Maybe you just need a creative outlet at the end of a long work day? Whatever your reason(s), come join the Tuesday night Plainwell Community Writers Group. We would love to have you. Using “Open Office Software” you will learn computer basics,word processing, power-point, formatting, importing clip art and other tricks of the trade: all levels of experience accepted, beginners encouraged. Date: Jan. 10 – Jan. 31, 2012 (Tuesdays) 4 Weeks Time: 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Location: Plainwell Community Education, 422 Acorn St. in the Industrial Park Cost: $ 30.00 Instructor: Stephen Sission Registration Deadline is January 5, 2012.



Welcome to Silver Hoop Groove Fitness/Dance – the hottest new fitness trend – incorporating FUN, technique, and weightloss. Hooping is a fat-burning workout that incredibly strengthens your core, and calms your mind. Hooping is a no impact exercise using a larger custom made hoop that weighs about 1½ lbs. You can burn between 300 to 600 calories an hour. It has fantastic emotional and physical benefits. It is a total body workout. It reshapes your entire body. You cannot be in a hoop without feeling good and smiling. Each move you learn, builds a sense of accomplishment and confidence. Level One and Level Two is being offered together (Level Two is incorporating upper body). Please feel free to read Lisa’s blog at or Facebook page at Silver Hoop Groove. Time: 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. Cost: $45 per Session (hoops available to use at no charge) Hoops available to purchase for $20 at class 1st Session Jan. 9 – Feb. 6 - Mondays 2nd Session Feb. 20 – Mar. 26 - Mondays (not meeting on Mar. 5th) Instructor: Lisa Silver, Certified Hoopnotica Instructor Registration Deadline is January 5, 2012.

LOVE & LOGIC (Parenting Classes)

Love and Logic is a philosophy founded by Jim Fay and Foster W. Cline, M.D., and based on the experience of a combined total of over 75 years working with and raising kids. Many parents want their kids to be well prepared for life, and they know this means kids will make mistakes and must be held accountable for those mistakes. Love and Logic provides simple and easy to use techniques to help parents have more fun and less stress while raising responsible kids of all ages. Date: Jan. 19 – Mar. 1, 2012 (Thursdays) 6 weeks There will not be any classes the week of Feb. 9th Time: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Location: Plainwell Community Education, 422 Acorn St. in the Industrial Park Cost: $ 45.00 (this will include the workbook) Instructor: Martha Hymer Registration Deadline is January 10, 2012.


It’s a new year and it’s time to get in the best shape of your life. Whether you are looking to tone up, bulk up, beast up or just push yourself physically, CrossFit is the program for you.

Sponsored by Plainwell Community Schools and Gun Plain Township

CrossFit provides a challenging, high-intensity, high-energy workout that uses functional, whole-body movement to give you the best workout you’ve ever had. No matter what your current shape is, every workout is modifiable and scaled so everyone is challenged safely.  Our community of fitness will help motivate and congratulate your success.  So, come guarantee yourself of that New Year’s resolution and join a truly unique fitness program. Date: Jan. 3 – Feb. 9, 2012 (Tues. & Thurs.) 6 weeks Time: 6:00p.m. - 7:00p.m. Location: Plainwell High School Weight Room (park in the back of PHS) Cost: $ 35.00 Instructor: Chase Mielke Registration Deadline is December 12 , 2011.


Do you sometimes feel like all the technological devices, programs, and toys have left you in the last century?!? In this workshop, you can learn how to: text, Facebook, use MP3 players and digital music, e-mail (with attachments and pictures!) and use various computer software programs. The class can be designed around you...the participants! Date: Jan. 30 – Feb. 8, 2012 (Mon. & Wed.) 2 weeks Time: 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. Location: Starr Elementary – Computer Lab Cost: $ 30.00 Instructor: Meggin Verduzco Registration Deadline is January 23, 2012.


If Plainwell Community Schools are closed for any reason this program will be canceled that day. (Class will be running on time if the school system has a fog delay) Indoor walking will go through May 23, 2012. Location: Hicks Street Gym Cost: FREE Adults Only – Monday, Wednesday & Friday Time: 10:00 to 10:45 a.m. Family – Tuesday & Thursday Time: 9:00 to 10:00 a.m.


Enhanced Fitness Class: Monday, Wednesday, & Friday, 9:00 - 9:45 a.m. at Hicks Gym, located at 311 Hicks St. Call Kathy Russell at 685-0700. Euchre, Singles or Doubles: Tuesdays, 6:45 p.m., Plainwell Community Center, 798 Bridge St. Donations appreciated.

Registration can be made by phone, using your Master Card or Visa, in person at the Community Education Office or by mailing the registration form below to Plainwell Community Education. One registration per person. Name ___________________________________________________ Township ____________________ Address _______________________________________ City ______________________ Zip __________ Child’s Age _________________

Grade student will be going into


Parents Name ________________________________________ Phone ____________________________ Email ________________________________________________________________________________ Activity _______________________________________ Session # __________________ Time ________ Activity _______________________________________ Session # __________________ Time ________ Activity _______________________________________ Session # __________________ Time ________ Master Card/Visa # _________________________________________________ Exp. _____/ _____/____ Please make checks payable to Plainwell Community Education. Mail registration form or stop by: Plainwell Community Education, 422 Acorn Street Plainwell, MI 49080. Office Hours are: Monday through Thursday 7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Closed on Friday


Community Ed. & Recreation Pool Information Renaissance High School

685-9531 685-2425 685-1573

W W W. P L A I N W E L L S C H O O L S . O R G

Tammy Glupker, Director Jason Herbert, Recreation

685-1573 685-9531




2011-12 Wolverine All-Conference and Fall Sports Team Honors WOLVERINE ALL-CONFERENCE • 2011-2012 SPORT

1st Team

2nd Team


Lauren Saar Alyssa Davis Kerry Swain Carly Nieboer Megan Schneider

Melanie Hyames Hannah Varley

Boys Soccer

Zach Rush Elliot Loftus

Brandon Kik Ryan Pell Nick Jones

Girls Cross Country

Makenzie Evers Chloe Thiel Haley Betts Oriana Benincasa Cara Minto

Girls Golf

Hannah Lewis Erika Havenaar Darby Wagner


Jack Conklin CJ Hillstead

Girls Swimming

Lindsay Wiederhold Mallory Comerford Kim Jones Blair Cornell Audrey Vanderboon Teresa Thiel Aaryn Jewell

Honorable Mention

Coach of the Year: Carolann Davis

JD Nord

Coach of the Year: Glenn Beier

Hadley Harrison Coach of the Year: Bart Lewis Jason McCauslin Pete Gonzalez

Chance Terry Joey VandenBerg Riley Horton Caleb VanGoeye Trever Predum

FALL TEAM HONORS Volleyball Conference Champions MHSAA Class B District Champions MHSAA Class B Regional Champions Girls Golf Conference Champions MHSAA Division 3 Regional Champions MHSAA State Qualifiers (finished 9th at state) MIGCA Academic All-State Team (GPA 3.77) Boys Soccer MHSAA District Champions Girls Swimming Conference Champions MHSAA Division III - 3rd Place Girls Cross Country Conference Champions MHSAA State Finals – Team Qualifier Football MHSAA Division 4 Playoff Qualifier MHSAA Division 4 District Finalist

Plainwell Celebrates 2011 Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees

Plainwell High School Taking Nominations for 2012 Athletic Hall of Fame

N Photo/Walt Kaechele


n Wednesday, October 12th, the 2011 Hall of Fame induction banquet was held at Lake Doster Country Club. This year’s inductees include four former athletes, one Trojan teacher/staffer and a former Trojan teacher/coach. The inductees were also introduced at the October 14th football game during the pre-game ceremonies. The 2011 Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees are (from L): athlete Edwin “Bill” Carpenter, teacher/staffer Darlene (Shivley) Kohn, athlete Kristie (Tien) Manning, teacher/ coach Irv Figel, athlete John “Jock” Streidl and athlete Bill Astle.


W W W. P L A I N W E L L S C H O O L S . O R G

ominations are now being accepted from staff, alumni, fans and community members for selection and induction into the Plainwell High School Athletic Hall of Fame, Class of 2012. Criteria and categories for nominees are: Plainwell High School Student Athlete, Plainwell High School Coach, and Plainwell High School Community Member. Please mail nominations and supporting materials by Friday, March 16, 2012 to: Dave Price, Director of Athletics, Plainwell High School, 684 Starr Road, Plainwell, Michigan, 49080.


SAFE and Plainwell Corners Preschool We are off to a great start! Are you trying to decide how to balance an awesome preschool experience for your child at a terrific daycare while you work? Are you a parent needing just a few hours a week? Plainwell Corners has the answer for you. Whether you want to enroll your child for the school calendar year or for the whole year we can meet your needs. Check us out!

Plainwell Corners Preschool & Daycare: Prepares your child for success! A preschool offering a developmentally appropriate and fun curriculum (which includes Handwriting Without Tears) designed for toliettrained children who are 3 or four years old. Open Monday-Friday from 6:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. at the Early Childhood Education Center at 307 E. Plainwell Street (next to Hicks Gym) for a $135 weekly rate or $37 daily rate. Now offering a half day (9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.) rate. Half day sessions for 3-year-olds are offered on Mondays and Wednesdays for $125/ monthly. Half day sessions for 4-year-olds are offered on Tuesdays, Thursdays, & Fridays for $180/monthly. Licensed under Hicks SAFE. SAFE: A before and after school program providing a place

to make friends and enjoy recreational activities, available for children from all 3 Plainwell Elementary schools. Open weekdays from 6:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Cooper SAFE will be held at Cooper. Gilkey and Starr SAFE meet at their own schools in the morning and are combined at Starr in the afternoon. Rates are posted online.

Check us out on the Plainwell Schools website and click the Parents section. or call 269.685.3103 for more information. We accept DHS payments and are approved for Flex reimbursement.

Photo/Becky Howrigon

2011 Trojan Homecoming King & Queen The Plainwell student body selected Jack Conklin, the son of Darren Conklin and Jennifer Conklin and Megan Zimont, the daughter of Ben and Kathy Zimont, to rule over the 2011 Homecoming festivities on Friday, October 7th.

Congratulations to our Trojan Marching Band on a Great Season! Otsego Band Invitational: 1st Place and Best Music Cedar Springs Band Invitational: 4th Place Tie and Best Color Guard MSBOA District XI Band Festival: Division I (Superior) Rating Grandville Band Invitational: 2nd Place and Best Color Guard Jenison Band Invitational: 1st Place and Best Marching, Best Color Guard, Best Percussion W W W. P L A I N W E L L S C H O O L S . O R G


Board of Education

Amy Blades.......................................................................... President Jennifer Loftus.............................................................. Vice President Kevin Blue............................................................................ Treasurer John Nyberg......................................................................... Secretary Al Moeller..................................................................................Trustee Kim Shafer................................................................................Trustee Christine VanDenBerg..............................................................Trustee



Plainwell, Michigan Permit No. 37

Plainwell Community Schools 600 School Drive Plainwell, MI 49080-1595


Susan Wakefield......................................................Superintendent Bob Van Dis.............................Director of Curriculum & Instruction Patricia Carr.......................................................Director of Finance Jeff McNutt.................................................. Director of Technology Greg Smith....................... Director of Operations & Transportation

** ECRWSS **

Postal Customer

The public is invited to attend all Board of Education meetings. Business meetings are held the third Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m. in the Administration Building and workshop meetings are held on the first Monday, beginning 6:30 p.m. at various locations. The times and places of workshops and special meetings are posted at the entrances of the Administration Building which is located off Gladys St. between Starr Elementary and Plainwell Middle School. Published by the Plainwell Board of Education, Plainwell, Michigan 49080

PLAINWELL HIGH SCHOOL 2011-2012 WINTER SPORTS SCHEDULE WRESTLING DEC. 7 10 10 14 17 29 JAN. 4 7 11 14 14 18 21 25 28 FEB. 4 8 11

Hopkins Quad Sturgis Invite Coloma Invite (JV) Plainwell Quad. Travis Pickett Memorial Tournament Comstock Tourn. Allegan Quad. Comstock Tourn. (JV) Otsego Dual Bangor Invite (V) Three Rivers (JV) Comstock Quad. Caledonia Invite Otsego Quad. Jenison Tournament Wolverine Conference @ Paw Paw Team Districts Individual Districts @ Hamilton

COMPETITIVE CHEER DEC. 3 10 14 JAN. 7 11 12 18 21 25 28 FEB. 4 8 11 17 25 Mar. 3

Plainwell Cheer Fest CCCAM Invitational Vicksburg Jamboree Grandville Plainwell Jamboree Think Pink at Northview HS Otsego Jamboree (JV) Lakewood Invitational Allegan Jamboree Lake Orion Invite Greater Kalamazoo Wolverine Conference Delta Plex Invite Districts Regionals MHSAA State Finals


BOYS SWIM AND DIVE DEC. 8 13 15 JAN. 7 10 17 19 24 28 31 FEB. 7 14 24 25 MAR. 6 9 10

East Grand Rapids and GR Catholic Central Harper Creek Mattawan South Haven Invite Portage Northern Sturgis Albion Battle Creek Lakeview Tri @ Allegan w/Alma South Haven Otsego Allegan Conf. Finals @ Allegan Conf. Finals @ Allegan Diving Reg. @ East GR State Finals State Finals

A/6:00 H/6:00 A/6:00 A/12:00 H/6:00 H/6:00 A/6:00 H/6:00 A/12:00 H/6:00 A/6:00 A/6:00 A/6:00 A/3:00 A/5:00 A/12:00 A/12:00

VARSITY BOYS BASKETBALL DEC. 6 Coloma 9 South Haven 13 Dowagiac 16 Allegan 20 Wayland 22 Middleville Thornapple-Kellogg JAN. 3 Gull Lake 6 Comstock 10 Vicksburg 17 Three Rivers 20 Otsego 24 Paw Paw 27 South Haven FEB. 3 Allegan 7 Dowagiac 10 Comstock 14 Vicksburg 21 Three Rivers 24 Otsego MAR. 1 Paw Paw Districts: March 5th, 7th, and 9th


H/7:15 H/7:15 H/7:15 A/7:15 A/7:15

H/2:00 A/7:15 H/7:15 A/7:15 H/7:15 H/7:15 H/7:15 A/7:15 H/7:15 A/7:15 A/7:15 H/7:15 A/7:15 A/7:15 A/7:15

FRESHMAN & JV BOYS BASKETBALL DEC. 6 8 13 15 20 22 JAN. 3 5 10 17 19 24 26 FEB. 2 7 9 14 21 23 MAR. 1

Coloma South Haven Dowagiac Allegan Wayland Middleville Thornapple-Kellogg Gull Lake Comstock Vicksburg Three Rivers Otsego Paw Paw South Haven Allegan Dowagiac Comstock Vicksburg Three Rivers Otsego Paw Paw

H/4:15 A/5:00 H/4:15 H/5:00 A/4:30 H/11:00 A/4:15 A/5:00 A/4:15 H/4:15 A/5:00 H/4:15 H/5:00 A/5:00 A/4:15 H/5:00 H/4:15 A/4:15 H/5:00 A/4:30

BOYS AND GIRLS BOWLING DEC. 3 10 17 JAN. 7 14 21 28 FEB. 4 11 18

Eastland Bowl Continental Lanes Rainbow Lanes Plainwell Lanes Continental Lanes Plainwell Lanes Eastland Bowl Airway Lanes Holiday Lanes Snow Date/Baker Tour.

A/12:00 A/12:00 A/3:00 H/12:00 A/12:00 H/12:00 A/12:00 A/12:00 A/12:00 A/TBA


Galesburg-Augusta Paw Paw South Haven Dowagiac Allegan Middleville Gull Lake

A/7:15 H/7:15 H/6:00 A/7:15 A/6:00 A/2:00 H/7:15

6 Comstock H/6:00 10 Vicksburg H/7:15 17 Three Rivers A/7:15 20 Otsego H/6:00 24 Paw Paw A/7:15 27 South Haven A/6:00 31 Edwardsburg H/7:15 FEB. 3 Allegan H/6:00 7 Dowagiac H/7:15 10 Comstock A/6:00 14 Vicksburg A/7:15 21 Three Rivers H/7:15 24 Otsego A/6:00 Districts: Feb. 27th, 29th, and March 2nd

FRESHMAN & JV GIRLS BASKETBALL NOV. 29 DEC. 2 8 13 15 22 JAN. 3 5 10 17 19 23 24 27 31 31 FEB. 2 7 7 9 14 21 23

Galesburg-Augusta (JV only) Paw Paw South Haven (JV) Dowagiac (JV) Allegan Middleville Gull Lake Comstock (9 only) Vicksburg Three Rivers Otsego Hopkins (9 only) Paw Paw South Haven Hackett (9 only) Edwardsburg (JV) Allegan Hackett (9) Dowagiac (JV) Comstock Vicksburg Three Rivers Otsego

A/5:30 H/4:15 H/5:00 A/5:45 A/5:00 A/11:00 H/4:15 H/5:00 H/4:15 A/4:15 H/5:00 A/4:15 A/4:15 A/4:15 A/4:30 H/5:30 H/5:00 H/4:15 H/5:30 A/5:00 A/4:15 H/4:15 A/5:00

**The Varsity Basketball schedules are different from the Freshman and JV schedules.


School Matters Fall 2011  
School Matters Fall 2011  

This is the Fall 2011 edition of Plainwell Community Schools quarterly newsletter, School Matters.