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Ferndale Students Hit the Streets with School Bond Info

A group of students from Ferndale middle and high schools went door to door Thursday, distributing school bond information as part of a final push by Citizens for Quality Schools to encourage people to vote yes on the proposed bond.

For Ferndale eighth-grader Megan Burke, the  that residents will  is an issue of high importance.

"It's to help the schools get better," said Burke, 13.

As a student at Ferndale Middle School, she knows firsthand what the impact of an improved heating and cooling system — one of the projects in the proposed $22.8 million bond — would be for students.

"It's always either very hot or very cold," said Burke, who said classroom windows can't be opened, even when during hot weather.

She also wants to see the asbestos removed. The bond proposal includes $5.2 million designated to remove asbestos from the ceilings at  and .

"The asbestos issue is really big, and it affects every student," she said.

That's why Burke took part in a literature drop Thursday afternoon, during which about 35 district students went door to door in Ferndale to distribute information about the proposed bond.

"They should vote yes to help the students get a better school and a better education," Burke said.

Her mother, Cindy Burke, helped organize the students Thursday. Included in the group were students from the band, honors society, Cub Scouts and more.

"It was great to see the kids come out during their winter break to help support the bond," Cindy Burke said.

The event was just part of a final push led by pro-bond group . The group, chaired by Ferndale Police Chief Tim Collins, aims to spread the word about what group organizers have called a "no fluff" bond that would fund much-needed school improvements.

Collins said the citizens group will start making reminder phone calls this weekend to people who have expressed interest in the bond issue, and it will continue to spread the word as much as it can in the community.

He said the group feels "cautiously optimistic" about the vote Tuesday.

"The voters in this community have supported these type of issues time and time again," Collins said Thursday. "This is a vote of the people; the people get to say yes or no. We hope that we've gotten the word out and we've made our case."

A fundraiser is planned for 3-5 p.m. Sunday at in Ferndale, where face-painting, bingo and live music will be offered. The ice cream shop will donate 30 percent of all sales proceeds during the event to Citizens for Quality Schools.

Ferndale parent Liz Lisiscki, who was on the committee that determined the most needed upgrades and repairs to include in the bond, helped with the literature drop Thursday.

"I think it's important that the kids are out helping to get the school bond passed, because this is for them," said Lisiscki, a Ferndale grad herself who has a son at FHS and a daughter who graduated high school last year. "Voters can see who this money will help, and the kids can take on the responsibility of helping their school and taking ownership of their school."

Lisiscki also serves as president of the Ferndale PTA council, which oversees all PTA units.

"I remember, when the last bond passed, how proud my daughter was to step out on that new football field with the marching band, knowing she helped make that happen," Lisiscki said.

For more information on Citizens for Quality Schools, visit citizensforqualityschools.org.

Amy Osborne Condit February 24, 2012 at 11:33 PM
Ferndale 1986, did you seriously imply that the students and teachers don't deserve to have air conditioning in the schools? I bet that if your place of work didn't have air conditioning, you would complain big-time. It is miserable being without air conditioning for hours, and it makes a difference in the level of comfort for the students and teachers. They should not have to suffer and sweat all day long, and I bet it makes a difference in how they function, the amount of work they can get done, and how well they are able to focus.
Andrew Lawrence February 24, 2012 at 11:50 PM
Either way.... This is not about ACT Scores..... This is about us getting upgrades to things that need to be upgraded. Like the auditorium that I basically live in. Wer need the school to be safer for us students. The air conditioning is only going into the places we need it at like the auditorium. So why is everyone bashing about the ACT Scores, this is about something bigger. Andrew Lawrence, Senior at FHS, President of Student Enterprise Theatre
Barb Marohn-Landry February 24, 2012 at 11:55 PM
I am so sorry that you feel this way Ferndale Resident. I can tell you that both of my children took part in the literature drop yesterday and I was a VERY proud parent. I feel that we need to educate our kids on issues that are going on in our community, THEY ARE OUR FUTURE! I also truly feel that that if we want change and want to make OUR DISTRICT AND COMMUNITY the BEST; we have to do everything in our powers to do that. This is all accomplished by INVOLVEMENT. It is very sad that I too often see and hear people make comments on issues, but they NEVER get involved in making a change. We have many ways for community members to be involved with our schools, please check the district website and you will find many types of groups (ranging from district, school board or school specific committees). This is why I will vote YES on Tuesday! GO FERNDALE SCHOOLS!
Liz Lisiscki February 25, 2012 at 12:04 AM
Let's be clear about the air conditioning. The boilers in the high school are original. When they break down there are no parts available to replace them and they have to be made. The bond calls for an upgrade to the whole HVAC system and it only makes sense to include air conditioning.
Ferndale_1986 February 25, 2012 at 12:07 AM
@Jean Bokram I advocate closing and selling both Wilson and Taft. You have told us about the present use of Wilson, and it's not core to the purpose or mission of the Ferndale Schools in my opinion. Now, why don't you tell us what Taft is being used for presently?
Michelle Foster February 25, 2012 at 12:08 AM
Tom - Maybe you should put your kids in Ferndale schools, that would up the count. Maybe if you stopped talking so much smack about the district it would increase retention. The schools aren't bad, they just need some upgrades. That's why I'll be voting YES.
Ferndale_1986 February 25, 2012 at 12:14 AM
@Jean Bokram Why do you assume I don't know what Wilson is being used for today? Because I have the gall to advocate closing and selling a building that is not being used to educate students who live in Ferndale? Excuse me, do I have something to apologize for in this my position? " ... University High School, which is working in conjunction with Lawrence Tech to turn out college-prepared students, quite successfully." Who says University High School is a success, you? I've seen the ACT scores of University High School; I'm not impressed, and is the State impressed with University High School? I wonder if those residents "resent" having to provide schools for Ferndale kids? They probably do, why don't you get your head out of the clouds and ask them. "... the goal of this bond is to bring our school facilities up to the standards that our residents expect ..." Says who? Says you? Maybe the residents don't agree with YOUR standards for the schools, e.g. artificial turf football fields, air conditioning, and auditoriums.
Andrew Lawrence February 25, 2012 at 12:15 AM
When the Fine Arts Deparment carries the Ferndale School District. You're basically saying screw the fine arts..... just classy.
Sue Talley February 25, 2012 at 12:31 AM
Both my kids are ferndale grads -2005 & 2007. When they were in elementary school many told us to make sure they went elsewhere for middlescho0l, don't let them go - we stayed. Then it was "you certainly won't let them go to the high school" we did. Now one has 2 degrees from U of M and the other just graduated from MIT. Both say they are very glad they stayed in the Ferndale Schools. How do you work to keep your/our school district, and our kids, striving for excellence - VOTE YES and send your kids to your public schools.
Ferndale Resident February 25, 2012 at 12:54 AM
I have to agree that the auditorium and air conditioning are valid things to spend money on. Ferndale's Fine Arts programs are state-renowned and deserve to be improved to keep that up. As far as air conditioning goes, I know if that or heating goes out at my job, we want it fixed right away. The students deserve that as well. I'll post in regards to the other issues a bit later.
Ardy February 25, 2012 at 01:40 AM
FACEPALM! Are you really bring BAMN into this, Tom? You're equating what the pro-bond people are doing to what BAMN did? Are you seriously going down that road? Tom Gagne = Perpetual FAIL
Ardy February 25, 2012 at 01:44 AM
"I advocate closing and selling both Wilson and Taft." Advocate away, fella. In this economic climate I'm sure you're going to have people just beating down the doors biding all over that land. Why, just look at what the braniacs in Royal Oak did; through their brilliance they did the same thing .... hmmm ... an bunch of years ago and only now are they having any kind of development on those parcels. Keep hangin' with Mr. Gagne -- you fail, too.
Robert Bokram February 25, 2012 at 03:51 AM
Wilson is home to UHS and Taft is teaching adults who want to change their lives. Are you calling these students surplus? Apparently you also missed the restructuring that occurred in 2002 that right-sized the schools for the existing population. Finally, I don't see how Detroit schools have any bearing on Ferndale education. We welcome all students and it is these students that contribute to the cultural diversity that make Ferndale a truly educational environment; not just for academia, but for real life.
Debi February 25, 2012 at 10:54 PM
It is time for Ferndale to say NO!!! ENOUGH ALREADY!!! Some of us have lived here a very long time, possibly longer than some of you have been alive. As far as HVAC replacements/upgrades, asbestos removal, latest technology, building upgrades - these same issues were part of the large $$$ millage passed back in the 1990's! Again,MORE $$$ were allocated in this CURRENT millage, that WON'T EVEN BE PAID FOR UNTIL 2023! It is quite evident that money put into hands that don't know how to use it has not accomplished the stated goals! WHY give the same amount of OUR $$$ for AN ADDITIONAL 18 YEARS to the same people who have PROVEN not to be able to do the job with the money that they already have???
Jim Pfleger February 26, 2012 at 04:07 AM
For some reason there are people that insist (without any facts or any accuracy) that prior Bond projects were not done, so they must have been mismanaged. Let me try to clear up some of these mistaken notions. First, the assertion from Mr. Gagne that "the asbestos can't be that urgent an issue. The asbestos was supposed to be removed with money from the 2004 bond. Now in 2012 we're supposed to believe they're serious about it. How do we know they won't decide to spend the money elsewhere? After all, they decided to spend the 2004 money elsewhere." is just not true. The asbestos abatement in that bond was to remove the asbestos wraps from the heating units and ductwork that were part of the 2004 projects and for the "Hall of Fame" ceiling. Guess what - that got done! The asbestos abatement in this Bond if for the ceilings that will be removed so new, energy efficient lighting can be installed in the classrooms, hallways, Commons, and auditorium, As for the claim that "these same issues were part of the large $$$ millage passed back in the 1990's!", true in the sense that we needed maintenance and technology upgrades back then and, surprise, in 2012 we need more maintenace and technology upgrades. Anyone not do maintenance on your house since the 1990's? Anyone still using a 20 year old computer? Please - review the information on the District's website about this issue, think about what we as adults owe our children and grandchildren, and VOTE YES.
Debi February 26, 2012 at 07:04 AM
Interesting...... "If we don't have after school activities, we'll be out doing drugs etc.".....Oh really?
Debi February 26, 2012 at 07:14 AM
How do you suppose the generations before you, before your parents, and even before your grandparents learned? They weren't "given the proper environment to conduce the most amount of learning", and yet they learned because they wanted to learn. The truth is everybody will learn what they want to learn, pleasant environment or not!
Debi February 26, 2012 at 07:28 AM
I'm thrilled that you and the other students care about your schools, and are being active in putting forth your ideas! Again, it's not the surroundings/environment that control the learning potential - it's the desire of the students to do great things!
Debi February 26, 2012 at 07:51 AM
@" It is miserable being without air conditioning for hours, and it makes a difference in the level of comfort for the students and teachers. They should not have to suffer and sweat all day long, and I bet it makes a difference in how they function, the amount of work they can get done, and how well they are able to focus." Welcome to the real world! There are many who live, learn, and/or work in environments that are not air conditioned & yet they succeed!
Amy Osborne Condit February 26, 2012 at 12:27 PM
Debi, you are a selfish, uncaring ----. How would you feel if your place of work had no air conditioning, AND you were not allowed to open any windows, which is the case at FHS??? And in the winter, had to freeze your butt off? I really doubt you would be fine with that. It's not the 1800's anymore. The students and teachers deserve to be comfortable and not miserably hot or cold. They may be able to learn, but should they really have to be miserable while they are doing it? Is that really fair? Have some compassion!!
Amy Osborne Condit February 26, 2012 at 12:47 PM
Um, YEAH, Debi, why don't you get your head out of your butt and wake up! Some of the kids WOULD be doing drugs, drinking, or getting into some kind of trouble if it weren't for after-school activities. Things like music and sports not only give them something constructive to do, they give the kids confidence and self-worth, and make them aspire to be better people--better musicians, better athletes. They also are great ways for the students to make friends and feel like they are part of a "family" of kids their age. They feel more accepted and actually ENJOY coming to school because of these activities! I remember being in choir in high school--that was the best part of my high school experience, and I looked forward to it every day. It's obvious that you don't have any kids at FHS because you don't give a darn about what goes on there. But these kids deserve to have a good learning experience to be better prepared for the real world, we owe it to them. And that includes after-school activities, proper heating and cooling, and many other things.
Ferndale_1986 February 26, 2012 at 02:24 PM
nice try to put a spin on it. why don't you tell us how much was spent on football and track and sports in the last bond?
Ferndale_1986 February 26, 2012 at 02:29 PM
I wonder how much they spend on football and theatre and band and air conditioning in China and India while they turn out students who are kicking out butts in the world economy ....
Andrew Lawrence February 26, 2012 at 02:45 PM
When you have ther stage lights in the theatre fall on you during a performance... Thanks for supporting the arts.....
Ferndale Resident February 26, 2012 at 04:41 PM
Apologies on the delay for the rest of my post, it's been a crazy weekend. @Andrew- I totally agree that the performing arts programs deserve the best. They're lauded around the state as being the best and deserve to have funding. I'm not familiar with the football team's stats, but I have to wonder if they deserved that field. @Debi- Try going to work on a hot summer's day without air conditioning and see if you work at your best capacity. @Barb- It's an unfortunate reality that people on both sides of politics will use whatever they can to win- sometimes this includes using children to further their agenda, should they have one. I would have felt the exact same if anti-bond folks had sent children out. It's important to question things like this. Not saying this is the case, mind, but it does happen. @Troy- I can't agree with you enough. I remember when I was in school, I hated testing of any kind. I studied hard, but I always got nervous. Unfortunately, standardized testing is- and likely will remain- the way districts are judged. Even though I'm undecided, I'll still vote (I'll have a decision by then... I hope!) and I urge everyone else to do the same. Agree or disagree, it matters little unless you place your vote.
Andrew Lawrence February 26, 2012 at 04:59 PM
Thank you! The thing about the football field, not only does the football team use it but the marching band, and the soccer teams use it. The two out of the three I just named has great state records.
Debi February 27, 2012 at 09:11 AM
My husband & I have always voted in favor of millage increases/bond passages. I firmly believe that our first priority is to the educational excellence of our students. Standardized tests clearly show that this has not been the focus. The safety & health issues in the buildings must be addressed, as all of the improvements should have been finished by now with the $$$ of the last 2 bond passages. As a community, we need to ask why these necessary improvements have not been accomplished yet, after recieving the following: ~ $47 million, 1995 ~ $15.5 million, 2004 * With $62.5 million already recieved, it seems like all of the improvements should have been completed by now. * The district is now asking us for another $22.6 MILLION of taxpayer $$$$. * $62.5 MILLION + $22.6 MILLION = $85.1 MILLION * It's time to ask the really hard question: How will an ADDITIONAL $22.6 MILLION get the job done, if $62.5 million couldn't? A TOTAL OF $85.1 MILLION IS A LOT OF HARDWORKING TAXPAYER $$$, PUT INTO SCHOOLS THAT ARE NOT FOCUSED ON PROVIDING AN ACCEPTABLE ACADEMIC EDUCATION! For this reason I ask everyone to VOTE NO!
Joe Milobar February 29, 2012 at 05:20 AM
Hello my name is Joseph Milobar and I am a student at Ferndale High School. I love my community and everyone in it. As a student at Ferndale I understand the concern of spending "hardworking" money on a bond that is going to be "not focused on providing an acceptable academic education", so says Debi. If the money hasn't cleaned up our schools she says we should basically not support a school that is not providing an even mildly acceptable education. Well congratulations on not supporting the working class that will graduate from the school year after year after year because a self implemented voter doesn't understand where their money is going. Bonds before have improved our gyms, our athletic field, the computers we use, and many other things. However, this bond is supporting the removal of material that causes major health problems, asbestos, heating and cooling, which in my enrollment at the school has been a serious issue due to the fact that we don't have a cooling system, a thing standardized in many buildings including the buissness you work at and the home you live in, for comfort. Studies show students don't work as well in a hot, very hot environment in fact, very well. Debi, as a student and a resident who's family has resided in way before you I know this community supports its school way more then the self intended matters you've indicated above and I would love for this community to vote yes not for my class but class's after it.
Joe Milobar February 29, 2012 at 05:20 AM
We need to realize the problems we have in our schools and we need to fix them. I am a key witness to the poor nature of our facilities and all I am asking for is the chance to breath air without asbestos in it while I further my education. When voting comes around please vote yes for this bond. Thank you.
Maggie Isabella May 23, 2012 at 06:23 PM
Good job Joe! Maggie & Isabella. (:

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