APPLEGATE: New school year, new developments underway at Niles Community Schools

Published 8:50 am Monday, September 23, 2019

At Niles Community Schools, we’re continuing to keep the back to school enthusiasm alive, with many exciting happenings to look forward to this year. I want to thank our hardworking staff for a successful start to the school year in all of our buildings, and the students for their continuing desire to learn.

The district has a strong commitment to health and wellness as we work to promote getting students to eat healthy and be active. We are dedicated to educating children emotionally, mentally, physically and socially. As a result, our very own Ring Lardner Middle School was selected as one of three schools in the state of Michigan to receive a $100,000 Don’t Quit Fitness Center from the National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils. We have been looking forward to the completion and opening of the fitness center since the initial announcement last spring.

Ring Lardner’s fitness center’s ribbon cutting at 9 a.m. on Oct. 4. Actor and fitness guru Jake Steinfeld will be leading the ceremony and demonstrations. The circuit offers students the opportunity to use equipment, such as weights, bars, benches, elliptical trainers and bikes, and incorporate them into their daily routines. We are incredibly grateful to be one of three Michigan recipients, and one of nine nationwide, to receive the donation. Our administration, staff and students are excited to see the center come to life.

The district was eager to welcome Viking alumni back at homecoming on Friday for a football game against Mattawan High School. Our alumni are an inspiration to us all, and we are always happy to see them.

Homecoming festivities included float building, dress-up days and a parade featuring our fall sports teams, as well as our award-winning marching band.

We also introduced the new 1:1 computing initiative this year. Students in grades six and nine will all be assigned a new Chromebook device. The ultimate goal over the next four years is to become 1:1 in grades five through 12. Teachers took advantage of professional development focused on teaching with technology, offered this summer, to prepare for this year’s rollout.

As the leaves begin to change, the district remains devoted to meeting the current needs of our students. The programming we offer allows our students to enhance their education and take it to the next level. We look forward and are dedicated to continuing to bring innovative and creative learning opportunities to our students.