2018-05-13 / News

Chesaning Union Schools

Big Rock Elementary School students enjoy the large play structure at the school. Big Rock Elementary School students enjoy the large play structure at the school. The Chesaning Union School District continues to bring out the best in students by giving them the strong foundation needed to succeed. In addition to providing a solid foundation for lifelong learning, Chesaning Union Schools offers enhanced learning opportunities for students such as advanced placement and honors courses, online learning, robotics, agriculture, automotive and skilled trades, and college dual enrollment. The school band, FFA, and drama programs consistently compete at the state level and have received numerous awards and accolades.

Chesaning Schools are consistently ranked among the top schools in both Shiawassee and Saginaw counties in achievement. Big Rock Elementary and Chesaning Middle School were the only two conventional schools in Saginaw County to receive an “A” in the latest Mackinac Center’s school quality report. Chesaning High School was recently listed among the top ranked high schools in Michigan by U.S. News & World Report. The quality staff uses best practices in instruction and strives to ensure that all students are career and college ready. Thanks to the bus and technology bond, Chesaning students have access to the latest educational technology, as well as safe transportation to and from school. In addition to exceptional educational and extracurricular opportunities, Chesaning Union Schools provides quality preschool, latchkey and daycare programs.

Chesaning Middle School students participate in a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) activity. Chesaning Middle School students participate in a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) activity. A recent bond issue has allowed Chesaning Schools to realize major improvements in facilities. Each building has updates and enhancements that provide a quality learning environment. The school athletic facilities have been updated and are among the finest in Mid-Michigan. The new auxiliary gym, with an indoor track, has been recently completed and has received frequent use from both students and members of the community. The swimming pool at Chesaning Middle School, hosts events geared toward all members of the community, including swim lessons and water aerobics. Families seeking a quality education in a great community, need look no further than Chesaning.

The Chesaning High School Marching Band flourishes under the direction of Alex Floury, front right. The Chesaning High School Marching Band flourishes under the direction of Alex Floury, front right. Big Rock Elementary School

Big Rock Elementary is proud to be the number one elementary school in Saginaw County. Big Rock received an A on the Mackinac Center for Public Policy’s report card, being identified as one of the top-performing public schools in the state. It is also the highest achieving conventional school in Saginaw County. Big Rock Elementary School Principal Jill Nieman said, “Students did very well on the 2017 M-STEP assessment. We scored well above state average in all areas, scoring in the top three for math, English language arts and science. Our students and staff work very hard, and we could not be more proud of their accomplishments.”

Students at Big Rock are provided with many enrichment opportunities beyond basic instruction. This includes Spanish, art, music, physical education, health education and character building. Nieman said, “We use the Great Expectations model that emphasizes a climate of mutual respect and academic excellence. We also offer a Multi-tiered System of Supports (MTSS) which involves different tiers of support being available to students who may be struggling in academic or behavioral areas. We focus on addressing concerns when they first begin in the classroom, so that possible interventions can be implemented in a timely manner.”

Big Rock is also committed to the young learner, providing programs for both 3 and 4 year olds. The program continues to earn a five-star rating on the Preschool Program Quality Assessment, which is a rating designed to evaluate the quality of early childhood programs. As a result, Big Rock’s preschool program continues to grow; it currently has seven preschool classes.

Nieman explained that the staff works hard to smooth the transition for children moving from preschool to kindergarten by offering three fun-filled days of kindergarten camp. Students meet the kindergarten teachers, explore the school, take a short bus ride and eat lunch in the cafeteria.

Big Rock also provides a latchkey program both before and after school, along with all-day daycare for children ages 3 years old through kindergarten age. Students that attend the preschool program are released for class and are then brought back to the daycare. The Big Rock daycare runs from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Big Rock also offers a latchkey summer camp program from June through August for youth ages 3 years - 12 years old. Nieman said, “It is a fun and enriching camp program that features a variety of activities such as swimming, tennis, arts and crafts, as well as field trips.”

Chesaning Middle School

Chesaning Middle School (CMS) recently earned an “A” rating from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. In this study, school performance is measured by adjusting the standardized test scores to account for student background (socio-economic status). Additionally, the Michigan Department of Education has implemented a new system for ranking schools (on a scale of 0 to 100) throughout the state. In this ranking, CMS earned a score of 91 out of 100.

Chesaning Middle School Principal Melinda Soule said, “These accomplishments are a true reflection of our staff’s commitment to high expectations for all students and our focus on ensuring that every student receives the highest quality middle school education possible. We are able to make this assurance through the use of a multi-tiered system of support, the use of research based instructional strategies, and continuous parent and community support.”

In addition to strong academics, Chesaning Middle School offers a variety of extracurricular opportunities including: art, band, physical education, career and science technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) exploration, fine arts, FFA and a wide range of athletic opportunities. The local Kiwanis Club supports a middle school Kiwanis Builders Club for students to become involved in volunteer work and community service projects.

Soule said, “Through continuous support from our families and community, Chesaning Middle School is able to offer a safe and inviting learning environment for all students.” With the recent renovations, CMS boasts new finishes throughout the entire building, new furniture in classrooms, an updated auditorium, a pool for the community and school, and many more amenities to enhance the learning experience at Chesaning Middle School.

Chesaning High School

Chesaning High School students continue to reap the benefits of having a renovated school building, beautiful athletic facilities, and continued additions to technology, thanks to a very generous community, explained Chesaning High School (CHS) Principal Kim Vincke. With its ever-growing agricultural program, the school has a new Ag barn currently being constructed.

“The high school has a dedicated and caring staff that works diligently for the education of all students,” Vincke said. Curriculum and classroom activities continue to be enhanced in preparation for M-STEP, SAT, and PSAT testing. With the continued emphasis placed on career/work/college readiness, educational development plans are now in place for every student. In addition, the number of students taking advanced placement (AP) classes and participating in the enhanced dual enrollment program have increased. Vincke said, “CHS is also very proud to say that we have been recognized in the U.S. News & World Report with a Best High Schools ranking that warranted bronze level recognition.”

Committed to forward thinking in education, course offerings are constantly being evaluated. New to this year’s curriculum guide is AP computer science. CHS continues to offer trades classes that include welding, skilled trades and auto shop; as well as classes that meet other student interests and career pathways, such as forensic science, human anatomy, and personal finance.

Vincke said, “With a salute to Indian pride, our CHS students never cease to amaze. They proudly participate in the annual national anthem sing-along, are involved in Student Council leadership activities, donate time to help others in Key Club, are part of Chesaning’s Elite Nerd Association (CENA) Book Club, Chess Club, National Honor Society, Chesaning Association of Performing Arts (CAPA), robotics, FFA, and media; as well as, band, choir and athletics. Our students represent us well, as many have competed at state level competitions and brought home medals, trophies, and State championships.”

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