Dear East China School District Family and Community Members,

On behalf of the East China School District and the board of Education, I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you for your support of Bond 2020! I am proud of our efforts, and I am excited for the opportunities that this bond provides for our students, parents, staff, and the community.

The projects approved in this proposal will completely reshape the educational experience delivered at our schools. The School District will now begin to develop a plan for the detailed design process, as well as site, traffic, and engineering studies.  Community and staff members will be invited to participate in the work as we prepare to break ground on all of the exciting projects included in the bond proposal.  Stay tuned for updates.

Thank you again for your support, and, most importantly, thank you for helping us achieve our mission of providing the best educational opportunity for “Every Child, Every Day!”

Sincerely,

Suzanne Cybulla

Small Communities – Big Opportunities

After the May 2019 bond was defeated, the school district set out to understand and listen to what the community felt. A survey was conducted of voters and many conversations with community members took place to listen and truly understand what happened. Using that feedback, the District began the process of redeveloping a bond program that would meet the guiding principles established by our strategic planning committees and our bond steering committees. The guiding principles that the committees developed include:

  • Safety enhancements for our school buildings
  • Upgraded technology district-wide
  • Increased opportunities for our students
  • Infrastructure upgrades leading to operational efficiency
  • Along with respect for community traditions and spirit.

A new bond program proposal was developed that meets the above mentioned guiding principles. Highlights of the new bond proposal include:

  • Two High Schools remain at their current locations
  • Infrastructure, technology, and security upgrades remain a focus of the 2020 program
  • Exciting program opportunities are expanded for students
  • Overall Bond Scope has been reduced by 25%, thus reducing the impact to taxpayers

Review the information posted on this page concerning the upcoming bond election and if you have any questions, please feel free to contact our superintendent.

What is on the March 10, 2020 ballot?

On March 10, 2020 voters in East China Schools will be asked to consider a bond proposal to improve District facilities. The improvements would address declining enrollment,safety, security, energy efficiency, and technology issues within our facilities, and would update learning environments to meet 21st century curriculum and educational goals. Program highlights would include the renovation and upgrading of both Marine City and St. Clair High Schools into separate 6-12 schools, remodeling existing school buildings, and adding flexible learning (Arts, STEM/STEAM, and skilled trades) classrooms and expanding the early childhood education wing at the administration building. Current safety measures at each school will be upgraded and building infrastructure improvements will be addressed. If approved by the voters, projects funded through the bond proposal will positively impact every East China student while addressing the needs of each school building including the Performing Arts Center (PAC) and the East China Stadium. The total program cost is $112.9 million.

What steps did the District take to understand the May 7, 2019 ballot defeat when developing this proposal?

Following the May 2019 bond election, the District took immediate action to understand community sentiments and to lay out a plan for the future. A survey was conducted to gain feedback on the May proposal and to determine the community’s desire to pursue any future initiatives regarding facility, site and technology upgrades. Results of that survey found an overwhelming discomfort with consolidating both high schools and middle schools on one campus and specific concern with the location of the proposed consolidated building. However, the results also showed that the community agreed and understood the District’s immediate need for infrastructure, technology, and security upgrades. The District has met with the area business associations in order to cultivate school and community relationships. We have also worked to secure additional grant funding from our local businesses to support opportunities for our students. In addition we met with PTO and parent groups to understand how they felt the district should address the needs of our school buildings and programming for our students.

Why did the Board of Education feel they needed to go back to voters following the recent May 2019 election?

The issues of declining enrollment, necessary technology upgrades, infrastructure concerns, and the need to put the District on a sustainable budgetary path, creates an imminent need to address our aging facilities. In 2001, ECSD had a student count of 5,766. This school year (2019-2020) our count is 3,982. The projected enrollment numbers and our actual student count numbers show a five to six year continued decline in enrollment. We currently have 100 more seniors graduating each year than we have incoming kindergarten students.

What are the features of the March 10, 2020 bond proposal?

Bond 2020 proposed upgrades are focused on the following key areas. Details of improvements at each building are included below.

What are the technology features of Bond 2020?

All technology upgrades are designed to support classroom instruction, enhance the learning environment, and ensure student and staff safety. Specifics include:
 Electronic, card reader type controlled entrances for enhanced safety
 Interactive displays (SmartBoards)
 Instructor devices
 LCD displays (video announcements)
 Student devices (computers, Chromebooks, laptops)
 Document cameras
 Infrastructure upgrades to support upgraded Instructional Technology
 Public announcement and clock systems
 Additional security cameras installed at each school building

St. Clair 6-12 School Updates

 Create safe & secure entry vestibule / welcome center
 Install additional security cameras
 Remodel athletic entrance
 Remodel and expand Media Center
 Construct classroom addition to support middle school
 Renovate existing building (ceiling and flooring)
 Replace roof and windows
 Remodel restroom facilities
 Install new fire protection system
 Update HVAC system – boilers/heating/cooling
 Upgrade electrical system for increased efficiency
 Provide flexible/collaborative furniture for enhanced student learning
 Update technology
 Replace public announcement and clock systems
 Construct gym and locker rooms
 Remodel existing locker rooms
 Remodel pool area
 Upgrade softball field
 Install tennis court lights
 Replace drives, parking lots and sidewalks

Belle River Elementary School Updates

 Create safe & secure entry vestibule / welcome center
 Remodel existing building (ceiling and flooring)
 Install new fire protection system
 Update HVAC system – boilers/heating/cooling
 Upgrade electrical system for increased efficiency
 Provide flexible/collaborative furniture for enhanced student learning
 Update technology
 Replace public announcement and clock systems
 Replace drives, parking lots and sidewalks

St. Clair Elementary School Updates

 Create safe & secure entry vestibule / welcome center
 Transform site from a Middle School to Elementary (addressing vehicular, bus and
parent drop off)
 Remodel existing building (ceiling and flooring)
 Install fire protection system
 Update HVAC system – boilers/heating/cooling
 Upgrade electrical system for increased efficiency
 Provide flexible/collaborative furniture for enhanced student learning
 Update technology
 Replace public announcement and clock systems
 Replace drives, parking lots and sidewalks
 Relocate new age appropriate playground equipment

STEAM/STEM and Early Childhood Center Classrooms (Meisner site) Updates

 Create safe & secure entry vestibule / welcome center
 Construct STEM/STEAM classrooms/flexible learning spaces
 Construct two additional Early Childhood classrooms
 Replace roof and windows
 Install new fire protection system
 Update HVAC system – boilers/heating/cooling
 Upgrade electrical system for increased efficiency
 Provide flexible/collaborative furniture for enhanced student learning
 Update technology
 Replace drives, parking lots and sidewalks

Marine City 6-12 School/Riverview East High School Updates

 Create safe & secure entry vestibule / welcome center
 Install additional security cameras
 Remodel athletic entrance
 Partially demolish Middle School wing
 Renovate existing building (ceiling and flooring)
 Replace roof and windows
 Add windows to existing cafeteria
 Provide flexible/collaborative furniture for enhanced student learning
 Update HVAC system – boilers/heating/cooling
 Update technology
 Replace public announcement and clock systems
 Upgrade locker rooms
 Remodel pool area
 Relocate JV baseball field
 Rebuild tennis courts including lighting
 Replace drives, parking lots and sidewalks

East China Stadium Updates

 Renovate team locker rooms
 Remodel ticket/concession building for increased security
 Remodel/refresh current bathrooms
 Create designated entrance area
 Construct new access road to and from King Road

Performing Arts Center Updates

 Upgrade lighting and rigging systems
 Upgrade technology infrastructure

Pine River Elementary School Updates

 Create safe & secure entry vestibule / welcome center
 Remodel existing building (ceiling and flooring)
 Install new fire protection system
 Update HVAC system – boilers/heating/cooling
 Upgrade electrical system for increased efficiency
 Provide flexible/collaborative furniture for enhanced student learning
 Update technology
 Replace public announcement and clock systems
 Replace drives, parking lots and sidewalks

Palms Elementary School Updates

 Create safe & secure entry vestibule / welcome center
 Remodel existing building (ceiling and flooring)
 Install new fire protection system
 Update HVAC system – boilers/heating/cooling
 Upgrade electrical system for increased efficiency
 Provide flexible/collaborative furniture for enhanced student learning
 Update technology
 Replace public announcement and clock systems
 Replace drives, parking lots and sidewalks

How does the bond proposal impact students and the community?

It is the District’s goal to continue to provide facilities that support modern teaching and to advance learning conditions and methods of instruction to better prepare students for meeting the expectations and demands of employers and colleges/universities in the future. Additionally, the Board of Education believes that the upgrades that have been identified in the assessment process, and given high priority by the professional team, support proper stewardship of the community’s investment in our schools.

Why is the design of this building program not complete?

Conceptual plans for the projects have been developed in order to estimate construction costs. The detailed design of a building program is an in-depth, comprehensive process and will not be completed for practical/financial reasons unless the bond issue is approved by
the community. These details will take the architects several months of work with input from staff, community members, and other professionals. The cost of this work is included in the bond estimate.

How are neighboring districts addressing the aging condition of their school buildings?

Neighboring districts have experienced the same issue of aging buildings. Bond programs have been approved and implemented all around us. In November 2019, voters in the Richmond School District approved a bond proposal to upgrade and update existing facilities in their community. Also, in neighboring Port Huron Area School District, a $105 million bond program has just been completed. In today’s competitive environment, districts seek every advantage. The chart on the next page includes our neighboring districts’ current bond and sinking fund millage rates.

What is “collaborative space” and why is it important in schools today?

Collaborative space within a school allows students to learn effectively in groups, encouraging each other to ask questions, explain and justify their opinions, articulate their reasoning, and elaborate and reflect upon their knowledge. The teacher acts as a facilitator, helping students with their research and guiding them through the learning process. Studies have shown that collaborative learning is beneficial in helping students learn effectively and efficiently versus more traditional independent learning alone. Positive results from collaborative learning activities include:

 students are able to learn more material by engaging with one another and making sure everyone understands
 students retain more information from thoughtful discussion
 students have a more positive attitude about learning and about each other by working together

In order to create collaborative space, we would need to provide the resources for information processing, collaboration, assistance, and management of the learning activities. These include technology, furniture that allows for different configurations, appropriate lighting, and finishes.

What is the plan to keep facility improvement disruptions to a minimum?

Construction at our school facilities would be scheduled so it does not interfere with dayto-day operations or pedestrian safety. As the program commences, the construction schedule would be reviewed and coordinated, on a regular basis, with the superintendent and key building leaders. While the summer construction season would be utilized for a majority of the work, if work is done during the school day, there would be clear separation between construction and ongoing operations through barricades and fencing. Safety is paramount and would be the key factor in determine the construction sequencing.

What happens if the bond does not pass?

Due to East China School District’s aging facilities and significant declining enrollment, we would need to assess our school buildings each year to determine if changes need to be made either due to declining enrollment and/or the condition of the buildings. The building infrastructure will only worsen as time goes on. In addition, construction costs recently have been rising after hitting very low points a few years ago. Delaying these improvements may result in higher construction costs in the future.

Click to see more frequently asked questions & answers

Questions? Send a Message to the Superintendent

11 + 6 =

Days until the March 10th Bond Vote

Day(s)

:

Hour(s)

:

Minute(s)

:

Second(s)

Office 365
Skyward
Helpdesk
Illuminate DnA
NWEA - Testing Administration & Reports
NWEA - Prof Online Learning
Pivot
WillSub
Order Staff Meal
Transparency Reporting Logo
Staff ResourcesStudent ResourcesParent ResourcesDistrict NewsCalendars & EventsPrint This Page