By Stiles Simmons BCS Superintendent I am certain that many parents and community members would agree with the headline. For those who might disagree please let me explain. As may know, schools across the State of Michigan and nation are having to slash programs and staff because of budget cuts. Yes, we have had to tighten our belt as well, but we have not been forced to layoff staff or slash programs. In fact, we have added a few new staff positions, again while other districts have been forced to make cuts. We have also added and maintained a number of programs for all students to enjoy. Students at Baldwin Community Schools have the option to participate in a wide variety of educational, enrichment, and athletic programs. We have phenomenal after school programs at every level (elementary to high school) to help students with homework, ACT test prep, and class work. These after school programs also allow students to learn in different ways through Art and Drama. There is even something for adults. Our PACE program has plans to hold Ballroom dance lessons for parents, staff, and community members. We just recently held Christmas concerts at the Elementary and Secondary schools. The programs led by Mrs. Sherlock and Mr. Parent were dynamic. As expected, our students did their very best to entertain and educate everyone in attendance. We are so very proud of them. Our students can also take part in sports at every level. We have Elementary sports as well Junior High and High School programs. To our satisfaction, many students have come out to take advantage of these wonderful opportunities and have done quite well. In fact, our Junior High Ladies Volleyball team finished the season as champions. The Junior High Boys and Varsity football teams did an outstanding job as well. Now, we are just beginning Winter Sports and the teams are off to a great start. Let’s be sure to cheer them on. The Baldwin Promise has added another layer of activities and opportunities for our students. The Promise Zone Coordinator, Ms. Ayana Richardson, has put together many college visits for elementary and secondary students, alike. These visits have helped our students to broaden their horizons and envision a brighter future for themselves. In addition, she and our high school counselor, Mr. Nasson, worked together to hold College Nights for our parents and students to learn more about the college admissions process. Needless to say, these activities have been extremely beneficial. As the school year continues, we have plans to continue our current programming and to add a few new programs, because we believe that our children deserve the BEST! These are just a few examples of some of the amazing programs and activities that help to make Baldwin Community Schools such a great place for kids. As you know, none of this would be possible without the efforts of the School Board, teachers, staff, parents, and community members. I would like to commend you all for all that you do to make our schools the very best.