School begins Tuesday for Morenci students 8.27

Written by David Green.

With the Labor Day holiday coming up this weekend, all Michigan school districts will welcome students back to the classroom next week.

Morenci classes will begin at 7:50 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 2.

HIGH SCHOOL—The biggest changes are the at high school with three new teachers.

Two years ago the high school switched to a trimester system, said principal Nate Parker, and last year brought curriculum changes due to new state graduation requirements. This year, he said, new teachers mark the change, with veterans Char-Lene Wilkins and Amy Philp retiring and Kim Mohr moving to the middle school.

Brandi Boswell will teach tenth and twelfth grade English classes. Twelfth grade English is a new class offered to meet state standards and will replace electives such as mythology.

Barb Bernath is serving as a part-time teacher, with classes in ninth and eleventh grade English and a new social studies class, global issues.

Jason Austgen joins the school district to teach science classes and algebra II.

Agriculture classes are not on the schedule this year, Parker said, after one class was scheduled each trimester last year.

That doesn’t mean students won’t have the opportunity to take part in FFA activities. Although LISD Tech Center classes are offered only to juniors and seniors, any high school student can enroll in an ag science course taught one night a week at the center and this will allow participation in the Tech Center’s FFA chapter.

For more information, call the high school office at 458-7502.

Morenci started using the Honeywell Instant Alert system during the last school year, but a new feature will be added for the coming school year.

If requested, parents can be alerted any time their student is not in school.

To take advantage of the alert, Parker said, a parent must make the request on-line at the Honeywell Instant Alert website.

Notification of an absence, or other messages such as school delays and sports event cancelations, can be sent to a parent’s telephone or computer.

High school students are encouraged to pick up their schedules at the school office before Sept. 2.

MIDDLE SCHOOL—Middle school class schedules are also available before the start of school, between 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Orientation for fifth graders and other students new to Morenci Middle School is scheduled at 6 p.m. Thursday.

Principal Kay Johnson has given a lot of building tours in recent days. So far, there are 22 children enrolled who are new to Morenci schools. An average year is closer to 15, she said.

Morenci’s sixth and eighth grade students will have mathematics classes with Kim Mohr who formerly worked at the high school. Mike McDowell, who retired last June, has agreed to come back to teach seventh grade mathematics on a part-time basis.

Before too long into the new school year, Morenci’s fifth grade class will travel to Camp Mich-Ind-Oh for the annual camping experience. This year’s camp is scheduled Sept. 9-12.

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL—At the elementary school, students will soon meet a new music teacher, Keith Filipek, who replaces the retiring KC Carter.

School information packets are available at the elementary office, but they must be picked up by a parent or an adult representative.

Information forms should be returned to the school no later than the first day of classes.

An open house is planned at 10 a.m. Thursday for developmental kindergarten and kindergarten students. Completed documents for enrollment should be returned at the open house.

All other students and parents are invited to an open house from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday. It’s also a chance for students to bring in school supplies and turn in registration information.

HEAD START—For information about the Head Start classroom at Morenci Elementary School, call 517/263-1118.

The federal program is free for families who meet income eligibility. Students must be at least three years old by Dec. 1.

  • Front.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

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