Happy New Year

Happy New Year!
Posted on 01/09/2023
Happy New Year!  The start of a new year always brings a refreshed hope for the future, and there’s much at Marquette Area Public Schools to look forward to.  I’m writing to update you on some of the latest happenings at the district level at MAPS.  

Many thanks to our outgoing Board of Education members Dr. Brian Cherry, who served on the Board from 2011 to 2014 and again since 2017, and to James Randall, who served on the Board since 2017.  Their leadership and service to MAPS is much appreciated.  Welcome to our two new Board of Education members, Cherryl Maddox-Smith and Jason Zdunek.  I am grateful to them for their willingness to help provide the future leadership for our District.   

Safety has always been our first priority and I’m very pleased to have recently signed an agreement with NMU for their help to support MAPS’ efforts to upgrade our security camera system, significantly increasing our scale and efficiency of use.  The upgrade should be complete in the next two to three years.  In addition to security cameras, this summer MAPS will undergo a comprehensive safety audit from a third party expert.  This partnership should provide MAPS plenty of ideas for taking further steps to best ensure the safety of our students.

To our families and community, let me begin by again thanking you for supporting our May 3, 2022 sinking fund renewal.  Because of your support, MAPS is able to better focus our general funds on programming rather than regular infrastructure construction or repairs.  This renewal is crucial in light of our aging buildings.  We’ve been working with local architects and engineers to continue exploring methods to make improvements to our vast infrastructure.   We’re currently engaged in planning activities aimed to upgrade our instructional spaces (e.g., MSHS Science labs and MAHS college and career readiness programs).  In addition to recent upgrades (e.g., MSHS/GES Parking Lots, HVAC improvements, etc.), we’re in the process of updating our long-term plan for improved sustainability of our facilities.  

As you’re likely aware, MAPS has been working diligently to address the academic, social and emotional impacts of COVID-19.  I’ve mentioned our efforts to implement a Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) and we’ve identified this initiative as the focus of our newest cycle of Strategic Planning, which began spring of 2022.  Our team has already implemented a new comprehensive assessment system at our elementary and middle schools, many additional classroom supports at all levels, free after-school tutoring, and a free summer enrichment program which we’re excited to provide again -this coming June.  

MAPS is actively engaged in a variety of initiatives in an effort to best meet the needs of our students.  We continue to focus on pedagogical best practice and gather data to better inform our instruction.  We’re designing more effective professional development, addressing curriculum gaps, and implementing interventions aimed at fostering improvement for students who may be struggling and needing enrichment in various areas.  As part of these efforts, this past year MAPS has brought on instructional coaches in every building who are actively working on addressing these and other factors impacting student achievement.

Students' social and emotional learning continues to be a focus at MAPS, and our new SEL screener has helped us gather more comprehensive information on this aspect of student achievement.  This school year, I’m very excited to have brought on staff including a second full-time district-wide social worker to help address student needs.  Also, you may be aware that we’ve partnered with the Marquette County Health Department and our local regional educational service agency (MARESA) to bring full-time social workers to Bothwell Middle School, Marquette Senior High School, and Marquette Alternative High School.  Lastly, MAPS has partnered with MARESA to engage our community in conversations related to student wellness.  We’ve had multiple forums this past year and plan to continue this effort into 2023.  Our large group is divided into smaller task forces, charged with addressing various areas impacting student wellness.  Please let me know if you are interested in joining this effort.  

There is much to be excited about at MAPS and I truly appreciate all of your support as we strive to provide students an excellent education.  If you’re interested in learning more about MAPS’ programs, specific information for any of our outstanding buildings, or would like to view our newest Annual Education Report, then please visit our website at www.mapsnet.org.

Best wishes to you!

Sincerely,

Zack Sedgwick, Superintendent

Marquette Area Public Schools