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  • Bond Update Dec 2020

    Posted by Paul Shimmons on 12/18/2020

    Eagle Update

    Farwell Area Schools
    DECEMBER 2020 Update on the Bond Projects 
     

    (Download a PDF of this Report) 
    Construction is underway! On November 30, 2020, the excavating for the new elementary wing began. This wing will house six new classrooms that will be constructed with an early childhood focus. Contractors have installed fencing to safely isolate the worksite from the elementary playground and school. Soon the foundation will be poured and the walls will begin to rise. This is an exciting next step in our bond project, and one that is clearly visible to our community.

     Dec 2020 FHS Grounds

    The new fence project at the Kerwin Paesens Athletic Complex is wrapping up. This project is also clearly visible to the community. Only the gates remain to be installed. The new 8 foot fence will increase the security of our athletic complex. The new gate locations were designed with input from coaches, athletic department, maintenance department, and the Farwell Sports Boosters. 

    2020 Dec KP Fencing 1

    2020 Dec KP New Fencing 2

    2020 Dec KP New Fencing 3.png

    Another project that kicked off on December 16, 2020 is the resurfacing of the old high school gym floor. This floor will be stripped down all the way to the wood. The new lines and logos will be painted, and finally a new finish will remarkably improve the quality of this playing surface. The new lighter finish will also dramatically improve the lighting in this gym. 

    2020 Dec HS Gym Floor

    2020 Dec HS Gym Floor 2

     

    Other projects that are not as visible, continue within our schools. New card access readers systems that have been installed in all three buildings are in the process of being activated. This will improve the security of all of our buildings. The wires have been run and soon the new security cameras will be hung and activated. We continue to balance and regulate our new HVAC systems in all of our buildings.

    Major projects scheduled for the summer of 2021 include:

    • New Elementary Office
    • New Elementary Parking Lot
    • New Elementary Playground
    • Replace Elementary HVAC units
    • Demolish the 1949 Teachout Wing
    • New Middle School Secure Entrance
    • New High School Secure Entrance
    • New Central Office Secure Entrance

     

    This truly is an exciting time for our district.  While the excitement for all of us is there, we must make a priority to investigate, discuss, design, and THEN purchase/build.  Taxpayers have entrusted us to spend community dollars wisely, so we ask for your patience as we move through this process.  We will continue to communicate with you through our website, our Facebook page, and through email messages.  If you have any questions, feel free to talk with me (Steve Scoville) by phone at (989) 588-9917 or by email at sscoville@farwellschools.net 

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  • Bond Update 10-16-2020

    Posted by Paul Shimmons on 10/20/2020

    Farwell Area Schools

    October 2020

    Update on the Bond Projects

    (Download a PDF of this Bond Update)

    On Monday, October 12, 2020, the Farwell Area Schools broke ground for the New Wing of the Elementary School.

     2020 Oct FHS Ground Breaking

    Left to Right: FAS Board President Joe Maxey, 1st Grader Emmett K., Kindergartener Delainey M., Kindergartener Nelson M., 1st Grader Adalyn H., Representative Jason Wentworth, Superintendent Steve Scoville, and JCI Project Lead Rami Haddad.

     

    This project will set the stage for a busy summer of construction in 2021. The goal is to have the new wing enclosed before the onset of winter allowing construction to continue through the winter. Once the new addition is completed, then the demolition of the 1949 Teachout Wing will begin. With the exception of the new roofs and track, much of this summer’s work was only visible from the inside of our schools.

    2020 Oct New Boilers

    Our new boilers take up dramatically less space and have already qualified us for a $3700 rebate from DTE.

     

     

     

     

    We are looking forward to the operational savings and reliability that our new boilers in Elementary and High School will provide the district.

     

    Major projects completed in the summer of 2020 include:

    • Replaced boilers in High School and Elementary School
    • Replace HVAC units and control systems in Middle School and High School have been completed.
    • Replace old and leaking sections of roof in High School and Middle School
    • Track repairs and replacement at athletic complex.
    • New fencing for the athletic complex is still scheduled for this fall.

    2020 Oct Sinking Fund Chart

     

    The chart on the previous page shows the current projections for our bond pay off. The original proposal that voters approved had our millage rate remaining at 3 mils for the first seven years. Current projections are showing our debt levy at the highest rate for only three years. The Farwell Area Schools were very fortunate that our bond sales happened prior to the Pandemic outbreak, our local taxable value has continued to increase above the projected rate. These are the two major contributing factors to faster bond pay down plan than what the voters were asked to approve. The Farwell Area Schools are very pleased with these great results.

     

    Our next steps: The FES playground committee will need to finish site visits and make our vendor and design recommendation to the FAS BOE. JCI and FAS Staff will continue to balance and regulate our heating and air handling systems. Our new door access systems are being completed and will be made active in October or November. Upon the completion of that system, the contractor will switch their efforts to upgrading our camera systems in our schools.

     

    2020 Oct New Track Surface.png

    Major projects scheduled for the summer of 2021 include:

    • New Elementary Office
    • New Elementary Parking Lot
    • New Elementary Playground
    • Replace Elementary HVAC units
    • Demolish the 1949 Teachout Wing.
    • New Middle School Secure Entrance
    • New High School Secure Entrance
    • New Central Office Secure Entrance
    • Resurface the High Schools Old Gym Floor.

     

    This truly is an exciting time for our district.  While the excitement for all of us is there, we must make a priority to investigate, discuss, design, and THEN purchase/build.  Taxpayers have entrusted us to spend community dollars wisely, so we ask for your patience as we move through this process.  We will continue to communicate with you through our website, our Facebook page, and through email messages.  If you have any questions, feel free to talk with me (Steve Scoville) by phone (989) 588-9917 or by email sscoville@farwellschools.net

     

     

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  • Early Release Fridays

    Posted by Paul Shimmons on 10/5/2020

    *All Farwell Parents and Students*

    Dear FAS Family,

    On September 14, 2020, the Farwell Area Schools Board of Education approved an early release for the next three Friday’s. The purpose of this release is to allow our staff time to collaborate regarding on line learning and hold office hours for students. The goal is to continue to improve our on line instruction. This will benefit all students if we were forced to return to phase 3 and 100% remote instruction.

    On September 18, September 25 and October 2 the students of the Farwell Area School will be released at 1 pm. The afternoon bus routes will begin two hours earlier. Our Afternoon CTE buses will still run to and from the CTE classes. The elementary is exploring expanding their day care options, so if this early release causes you a child care hardship, please contact the elementary office.

    On another issue. If you are dropping off your student or picking them up. Please help us to be a good neighbor and don’t block the driveways of the neighboring houses. If you see them attempting to depart their drive way, we ask that you be considerate and give them space to exit.

    Thank you for your cooperation with these issues. We appreciate your patience and support as well continue to strive to educate our Farwell Eagles.

    Thank you and Go Eagles!

    Steve Scoville

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  • Eagle Update from Superintendent Scoville

    Posted by Steve Scoville on 7/23/2020

    The Eagle Update
    From Superintendent Steve Scoville
    July 23, 2020

    IMPORTANT INFO ABOUT THE UPCOMING SCHOOL YEAR 

    Download Letter from Superintendent Scoville 

    Farwell Area Schools are committed to developing a plan for this fall that keeps our staff and students safe, as well as provides the best education options for our families.  Many day-to-day details are still not known, because we won't know what phase we will be in at the start of school.  What we do know is that we are working in partnership with our local health officials and the Clare-Gladwin RESD to develop the best plan for safely reopening. 

    We are offering multiple options, so that families can be part of the decision of what is best for their student/family.  Superintendent Scoville has shared the available options in a letter that is posted on the top of this information.  The letter includes a link to sign up for online education, if that is what the family desires. We ask that if you are choosing online learning, please sign up by August 14, 2020 for planning purposes.  

    Click here and Use this link to sign up for the online option

    This is not a one-size-fits-all situation, and we understand there are many different factors to be considered.  Please reach out to us if you have questions! (Phones are still not working - either send a fb message, or email kvanbuskirk@farwellschools.net and Kate will get your message to the appropriate administrator.)

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  • VFW Donation to Band Boosters

    Posted by Paul Shimmons on 7/21/2020

    VFW Makes a Donation - 

    Today, July 21, 2020,  the members of Sparta-Esterline VFW Post 3039 presented Paul Shimmons, Farwell High School Band Director with a check for the Band Boosters. This comes as a way to say thank you to the many times the band members have supported their community by providing music for various functions. The band students always makes every attempt to have buglers for ceremonies the VFW hold. The full band also performs for events such as this past Veterans Day - even though it was snowing and cold out the kids marched down to the local park to share their talents in support of their community. The Marching Band is in progress of preparing as best as they can for this fall and this donation will help support that preparation.

    Present were Floyd Schmid, Denny Wissinger and Bill Geyer from he VFW, Steve Scoville Farwell Superintendent, April Frost Band Booster President, and Paul Shimmons Band Director.

     

    VFW Donation

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  • Covid 19 Preparedness and Response Plan

    Posted by Paul Shimmons on 7/2/2020

    July 2nd, 2020

    COVID 19 Preparedness and Response Plan

    The Farwell Area Schools are using the Governor’s Return to Learn Plan as a starting point. We are working closely with our local Health Department, the CG-RESD, and the schools in our region to develop a plan that focuses on the safety of students and staff as our first priority. Education and Flexibility will also be key tenants to our plan. We hope to have our plan approved by our Board of Education and published by early August. I am attaching a link of a survey for parents, I welcome your input regarding your child’s education in the 2020-2021 school year

    ( https://forms.gle/UtWr9FPgAybM7uer9 ).

    Bond Update

    The work on the Farwell Area Schools Bond Project continues despite the cancelation of in person instruction. Some projects like the boiler/heating/ventilation projects for all three schools are well ahead of schedule. The two new boilers in the elementary replace 11 boilers that were 32 years of age. The two new boilers in the high school replace 8 aged boilers. All of the piping and wiring for these system have been completed in the hallways. The new boilers are far more efficient and much easier to maintain and operate. The individual room unit ventilators are being replaced as they arrive. Due to COVID -19, we are experiencing some delays in their arrival.

    Boiler ES Boiler HS

    Our Administrative team and board committees have meet several times to review plans for secure entrances of all buildings, work that is planned for the summer of 2021. The roof projects for the high school and middle school are also started and progressing on schedule.

    Construction1 Construction2

    The project at our athletic complex that were scheduled for the summer of 2020 remain in question. Due to Michigan’s restrictive polices related to COVID-19, the contractors who were lined up to repair and resurface the track have moved on to projects in other states. This has moved our project that was scheduled for early May to the back of the list. We will know by early August if this project will be able to be done yet this summer.

    Budget Uncertainty

    The Farwell Area Schools continue to operate with major questions regarding our school funding. Although progress continues, it is slow and way overdue. The Leadership in Lansing is still wrestling with the funding for the 2019-2020 school year, while we are trying to determine our staffing needs for the 2020-2021 school year. Decisions that were made at the end of June could have and should have been made prior to the end of May.

    Boards of Education are required to pass budgets by the end of June. The FAS BOE did this while they had many unknown details for the coming year. We are being told that the cost to educate a student in the new COVID-19 norm will increase by $500 per student / per year. Meanwhile, we are being told to anticipate funding cuts of $600 to $1000 per student for the 2020-2021 school year. The Farwell Area Schools were on track to end the 2019-2020 School year with a 10% fund balance prior to the COVID-19 Shutdown. We will continue to keep the focus on educating our students and providing them a safe and quality learning opportunity.

    Schools can only make good plans if they have good facts on which to base these plans. We know the COVID-19 Pandemic will cause us to remain flexible on how we educate our students going forward. The unknowns of this virus do not excuse the leaders in Lansing and Washington from making budget decisions by the deadlines. Schools need answers regarding funding and pupil accounting. Without these details we cannot make good plans. Stakeholders of the Farwell Area Schools are encouraged to communicate your concerns to the leadership in Lansing and Washington. Schools and families need to make plans for the fall.

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  • Test Blog - News

    Posted by Paul Shimmons on 7/1/2020

    This is just a test Blog post to see what things look like in these Blackboard Blogs....

    FAS News

    Comments (-1)