GLPS Senior Week 2017

The week that all members of the Class of 2017 have been thinking about for the past eight months!

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Board of Education Selects Finalists for Superintendent

As a result of the first round of interviews held last evening, the Godfrey-Lee Board of Education has selected the following candidates as finalists for superintendent:

Kevin Polston, Principal, Grand Haven Lakeshore Middle School

Michael Pascoe, Principal, Grand Rapids City High Middle School and Center for Economicology

The final round of interviews will be held on Wednesday, May 24, in the Godfrey-Lee Administration Building, 1324 Burton Street SW, Wyoming, Michigan. Interviews will begin at 7:00 pm and will be open to the public.

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Superintendent Search Update

The Godfrey-Lee Board of Education is pleased to announce it has selected the following candidates to interview for the position of Superintendent beginning the 2017-18 school year:

Scott Riley, Superintendent, Camden-Frontier Schools, Camden, Michigan

Kevin Polston, Principal, Lakeshore Middle School, Grand Haven, Michigan

Coby Fletcher, Principal, East Lansing High School, East Lansing, Michigan

Michael Pascoe, Principal, City High Middle School and Center for Economicology, Grand Rapids, Michigan

The first round of interviews will be held on Tuesday, May 9, in the Godfrey-Lee Early Childhood Center, 961 Joosten Street SW in Wyoming, Michigan. Interviews will begin at 6:00 pm and will be open to the public. All four candidates will be interviewed that evening.

Godfrey-Lee Board President Eric Mockerman said, “We had thirty candidates, many with excellent credentials. We had to make some tough decisions in narrowing the applicant field. We are excited about interviewing these four (4) candidates to find the best fit for our district and community. We appreciate the great work our current Superintendent, David Britten has done and look forward to continuing the positive direction we are headed.”

Superintendent Britten will retire on June 30, 2017 and pending the results of the search and contract negotiations, the individual selected will start on or shortly after July 1.

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2017-18 School Year Calendar

Below is a parent-friendly version of the 2017-18 school year calendar. If you are unable to print it out, copies are available at the District Administration office. School begins on Monday, August 21 and ends on Friday, June 1.

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Voters head to polls Tuesday to consider whether to approve the Strong Schools, Strong Communities proposal

Tomorrow, voters will consider whether to approve the Strong Schools, Strong Communities proposal, a 10-year, 0.9 mill increase for a regional enhancement millage that will allow local school districts to strengthen our future workforce and develop and attract strong talent right here in West Michigan.

If approved, the proposal will allow local districts like Godfrey-Lee to:

  • Expand career training and technical course offerings that will give students real life, on-the-job training and a head start on their careers.
  • Give students exposure to the world of work and business with partnerships that prepare them for careers.
  • Give students living in poverty a good start, and surround them with the support needed to keep them in school.

What every taxpayer should know:

  • By law, if the proposal is approved, every penny generated from this proposal will be distributed to local school districts to maintain programs and improve services for students
  • If approved, all millage dollars will be publicly reported on our district’s website and an independent audit will be conducted to ensure transparency and accountability.
  • If approved, the proposed rate of 0.9 mills will cost the average home owner in the Kent ISD region approximately $6.70 per month with 100% of funds going to local schools like ours.

Please share this information with your friends and family so they are informed about what’s on the ballot on Tuesday, May 2.

Please remind them this is a critical day for the future of our schools. Ask them what their plan is to get to the polling location to make sure they can vote on TUESDAY, MAY 2.

Learn more at:

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Board of Education sets meeting dates for second round in superintendent search

The Board of Education has set the following open public meeting dates in a second effort to fill the superintendent position, which will be vacant as of July 1.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017
7:00 pm
Administration Building
Review and selection of applicants for interviews; preparation of interview format and questions
This will include a closed session at the request of at least one of the applicants.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017
6:00 pm
Early Childhood Center Multi-Purpose Room
Interview applicants for superintendent

Wednesday, May 24, 2017
7:00 pm
Administration Building
Final selection

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Michigan study affirms the foundational work of our human-centered design

Screen Shot 2017-04-29 at 7.27.49 AMA new report by Lou Glazer’s Michigan Future Inc. has affirmed the excellent work of our Human-Centered Design (HCD) Learner Profile team being led by Dr. Carol Lautenbach with the help of Mr. Dave Koetje and East Lee Campus Principal Jim Jensen.

The report’s conclusions, titled and available to read or download at A Path to Good-paying Careers for all Michiganders: A 21st Century state policy agenda, are built on the premise that Michigan for the first time in recorded history is a state with low prosperity, despite a strong auto industry.

The report goes into great detail as to the state’s problems, how technology is changing the nature of work, and a number of suggested policy solutions. I highly encourage everyone to read it. Beginning on page 15, the report focuses on education and is critical of the current outdated and ineffective school model we all seem to hang on to. It goes on to highlight a set of critical skills called the“6Cs” taken from an excellent book every educator and parent should read, titled “Becoming Brilliant: What Science Tells Us About Raising Successful Children.”

Our district HCD work this past year has been expanding on what we learned in the first year of our Steelcase Foundation grant and developing a Learner Profile built on those 6Cs. This past Monday, our Board of Education, administrative team, and leaders of both employee associations began laying in a foundation for a strategic design that brings the 6Cs and human-centered design to the forefront of our plan for transforming our traditional school system into one that prepares learners for a rapidly changing 21st century. We’ll be sharing this work with everyone in the community in the coming weeks and months asking for your input as well.

Here’s an excerpt taken from pp. 15-17 of the Michigan Future Inc. report that focuses on the transformation all schools should engage in to be relevant:

Preparing people for one job, and one job only, creates a temporary and rigid work force. … Your education must prepare you for a long career that meets constant changes in the job market, and supports your own growth. The only constant during a life-long career is that you’ll need to adapt. (emphasis added)  The important question for our education system: Are you prepared for all the changes that may come in the future? (Ann Arbor software entrepreneur Bill Wagner)

To thrive in the new economy, workers have to be adaptable, have a broad base of knowledge, be creative problem solvers and be able to communicate and work well with others. In other words, workers need to be really good at all of the non-algorithmic skills computers aren’t good at yet.

The best definition we’ve found for this complex set of skills comes from the book Becoming Brilliant, by learning scientists Roberta Michnick Golinkoff and Kathy
Hirsh-Pasek, who label these skills the six Cs:

1. Collaboration, the ability to work and play well with others, which encompasses a wide range of soft skills necessary for success in the modern workplace.

2. Communication, the ability to effectively get your point across and back it up with evidence, both verbally and in writing, and the ability to listen and be empathetic.

3. Content, deep understanding and a broad base of knowledge in a range of subject areas, rather than simply surface knowledge of reading and math skills.

4. Critical thinking, the ability to sift through mountains of information and get a sense of what’s valuable and not and to solve unanticipated and unpredictable problems.

5. Creativity, the ability to put information together in new ways.

6. Confidence, which encompasses capacity such as grit, perseverance and a willingness to take risk.

Becoming Brilliant

Source: Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, Ph.D., and Kathy Hirsh-Pasek Ph.D.

These are the skills students will need to complement rather than be replaced by machines, solve today’s problems, and create new solutions to problems we can’t yet envision. (emphasis added)

If Michigan is going to be a place with a broad middle class, if employers are going to have the supply of skilled workers they need and if Michigan is going to be a place once again where kids regularly do better than their parents, it will happen because the state made a commitment to provide an education system for all from birth through higher education that builds rigorous broad skills that are the foundation of successful 40 year careers.

It is great to know that our Godfrey-Lee district’s leading-edge work is being affirmed by others, that we’re on the right track in redesigning and transforming learning in our schools and classrooms, that our Board of Education is supportive of this transformation through the HCD process, and that we have strong leadership to keep that momentum going. Great things are happening throughout Godfrey-Lee and you can be proud to be a part of it.

You can read more about our HCD work at Godfrey-Lee in these and other posts: