Big changes may be coming to Mason Public Schools, if voters are willing to foot the bill

By Griffin Wasik
Ingham County Chronicle Staff Reporter

The Mason Public Schools Board of Education voted unanimously to accept the recommendation of the Facilities Improvement Steering Committee to place a $79,845,000 bond on the May 3, ballot, according to a school board meeting. If approved, the bond would fund facility improvements, security upgrades, and new technology at all school buildings in the district, according to discussions at meeting. Money from the bond would buy new computers and tablets for students to use for educational purposes, according to meeting officials. “This has a $4.5 million investment in technology over nine years,” Mason Public Schools District Superintendent Ronald Drzewicki said. “It will allow us to provide more 21st century environments technology driven.

Mason superintendent presents bond proposal to City Council

The Mason Times
By Nadia Lorencz

Mason Public Schools superintendent Ronald Drzewicki proposed a $79,000,000 bond and a site sinking fund renewal at the March 21 City Council meeting. The site sinking fund is a current fund with a term of 10 years. It allows districts to provide funding on a pay as you go basis. Currently the fund provides about $665,000 annually and has provided for roof repairs, parking lot repaving, well repairs, door and window replacements and other facility updates. “We want to invest in our students,” said Drzewicki.

Counting on an increase in revenue

By Emily Hummel
Mason Times

With a overall trend of decreased enrollment in Michigan public schools, count day considered one of the most critical days of the year by Michigan educators, has gone much better than in recent years in Mason, which has seen increased enrollment. Count day is when students attending each school within a district are counted and the number is reported to the state. From these reports, the state determines how much money to give to each school district and can mean a difference of several thousand dollars. On this day attendance in school is stressed to parents, and some schools even give incentives to their students to encourage maximum attendance. Mason schools inform parents and trust them to understand the importance of the day.

Mason’s population is growing and changing

By Amanda Cowherd
Mason Times staff writer
Mason’s population increased almost 23 percent from 2000 to 2010, according to the census, and growth continues. By 2020, there will be 10,000 people living in Mason, compared to the 8,252 recorded in the last census, predicted Chamber of Commerce Director Douglas Klein. Klein said that Dart Container Corporation’s acquisition of Solo Cup Company in 2012 has brought the largest influx of residents—especially to the western part of Mason. Dart built a large warehouse in the past six months and will finish building a new administration building by the end of the summer. Klein said Dart hired 300 employees for its Mason facilities.

Mason High School misses state target on school performance

By Abbie Newton
Mason Times staff writer

The Michigan Department of Education reported that Mason High School did not meet 50 percent of the state requirements, said the director of curriculum for Mason public schools. Executive Director of Curriculum Chris Kamenski told the Mason School Board on Sept. 9 that the new Accountability Scorecard graded each school in the state. It graded each on student participation and proficiency on state exams, graduation rates, attendance rates, teaching, and school improvement. Kamenski said the Accountability Scorecard uses a color system to grade school performance.

Non-profit foundation enhances schools through pizza sales

Story by Noriah Williams
Mason Times staff writer

MASON – Mothers and fathers of Mason could feel good ordering a pizza Wednesday, April 4, knowing a dollar of their purchase went to the Mason Public School Foundation. Founded in 1984 by a group of community volunteers and business leaders, the non-profit foundation is separate from the district, and provides funds for the school system. Beth Gorishek, president of the Mason Public School Foundation, understands the value in tending to the needs of the youth. The organization’s main goal is to enhance educational opportunities for young students in Mason. “People understand that without extra help, public education can’t be top of the line,” said Gorishek.