By Rosemary K. Otzman
Keystone Academy middle school band members are planning to perform their Spring Concert on May 13 at The Village Theater at Cherry Hill in Canton Township.
“It’s something special for the students and parents for the end of the year,” said band director Eric Zeuty during the Keystone Academy school board’s regular meeting Nov. 13.
The students are in grades 5-8 and there are about 25 band members. Seating at the theater is 400 and he figured around four people per student will attend the concert.
Keystone Academy is on Bemis Road in Sumpter Township, but Zeuty said he thinks people will be willing to drive to Canton for this special treat.
He said the price is $1,156 for a four-hour block and rather than pay for another room for warmup, they will warm up on stage.
Zeuty said last year he started looking for a different venue for his musicians to perform in. He said the Keystone gymnasium is a gym, with poor acoustics. He said he looked around the area for another place and the only other one that turned up was a church, but that “didn’t happen.”
He said Keystone Principal Keturah Godfrey suggested Cherry Hill. He checked it out and found a beautiful facility with amazing acoustics.
He said he learned the talented man who designed that facility, also designed a huge performing arts facility in Dearborn and the Thurston and Skyline high school auditoriums.
“We already paid the deposit,” Godfrey said, noting, “It’s a professional facility.”
Zeuty didn’t have funds in his budget, so he was at the board meeting to ask the board to use some of its discretionary funds for the project.
Board president Vesta Losen put the proposal on the agenda for the Dec. 11 meeting.
In other business at the hour-long meeting, the board:
• Accepted the 2013-14 audit report from Plante Moran for the $6 million budget. The audit had an “unmodified opinion.” Treasurer Carol Manley pointed out the board had a fund balance of $54,586 and there was another decline in food service sales, by $8,000. Principal Godfrey said the students do not care for the lunches mandated by the federal government;
• Approved the amended budget for 2014-15. The budget was constructed with the assumption of 774 students for fall 2014 and there were 768. Also, per pupil funding was expected to be $7,356 and it was $7,415;
• Approved $2,500 for use by the school store from the board’s discretionary fund. Principal Godfrey said they can’t sell candy any more, but prizes for work are motivators and students will be able to go to the store to redeem their prizes;
• Approved $2,000 from the discretionary fund for Christmas marketing and $2,000 for teacher appreciation;
• Made plans for Christmas presents for the Keystone staff and for the annual board Christmas breakfast for the staff on Dec. 17;
• Heard Principal Godfrey report that she signed up for the Book-it Challenge where she brought a recliner and her robe to school and sat in the hall and read from first bell to last bell. Sometimes she read to students and sometimes to herself;
• Heard Godfrey report that the national Bully Prevention Day was a success with everyone wearing orange and students tying orange ribbons on the back fence to pledge not to bully. Also, the Book Fair sold $7,500 worth of books and the school gets back $4,400 to buy books for the library;
• Noted the NWEA rates of growth for grades 2-8 were all over 100% for reading and math for the third year in a row, with 100% indicating one year of growth; and
• Discussed the ThinkStretch summer learning program and tests that showed the loss that comes over the summer when students are away from classes was reduced by the program.
By Rosemary K. Otzman