Schoolcraft receives approval on ESSER III grants

The top ten students from Schoolcraft High School’s 2022 graduating class.

By Travis Smola

The Schoolcraft School District anticipates a $447,000 grant in federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funding for summer learning and maintenance of ventilation systems at the high school.

The pandemic-relief funding is being distributed through three formulas. The district has received ESSER-1 and ESSER-2 grants for hiring a guidance counselor.

Kendra Drewyor, the district’s finance director, told school board members about approval of the ESSER-3 grant at its April meeting.

Another grant through the program is awaiting approval, Drewyor said. It may be used for a category of students including those in low-income families, racial minorities or learning English. Drewyor noted the funds must be fully expended by July of 2024.

In other news, board President Jennifer Gottschalk was finally able to confirm to the village’s 4th of July committee that it may use a portion of school grounds for the fireworks show this year. The board and the committee had been going back and forth for a few months to find a solution. Until this month it wasn’t clear if construction would interfere with the proposed launch site or not.

Gottschalk also briefly discussed upcoming open positions on the board. Gottschalk, and Trustees Jill Hunt, and Randy Blankenship’s terms are expiring in December. Gottschalk and Hill’s seats are six-year terms. Blankenship’s is a two-year term. Hill cleared up some confusion by noting Blankenship’s term is incorrectly showing as ending December 2024 on the district’s website. Gottschalk and Blankenship both plan to run again. Hunt has decided she will not seek re-election to focus more on her career outside the board of education’s duties.

“We’re seeking more candidates,” Gottschalk said. “Rick (Frens) and I are going to discuss how we can get this out to folks in the area. I’ve talked to a few people who might be interested.”

Athletic Director Jeff Clark also briefly highlighted the extremely successful winter sports season that culminated with the boys’ varsity basketball team winning a state title. Clark noted the boys’ basketball team shot 75 percent from the field in the title game for both two and three-pointers.

“You don’t see that with any team, whether it’s pro, college; that was really good,” Clark said. “And the defense was just stifling.”

Clark didn’t have all the individual accolades from the season at the time of the meeting. However, he noted across all sports, the district had seven athletes earn honorable mention all-conference, eight first team all-conference athletes, and won two conference championships, three district championships, and two regional championships.

“All around, a really good effort by all our sports teams this past winter,” Clark said.

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