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Superintendent's Corner


Dear North Branch School District Families and Community,

The North Branch Board of Education, administrators, teachers, and support staff are ready and excited to welcome our students and families to the start of what will be another fantastic school year.  School starts for all students on Monday, August 21st.  By now, you should have received specific information from each building in order for your child to successfully begin the school year.   Please check our website at for the most updated school calendar.   

There are so many new things happening in our district that you can read about them in this Back to School issue of School Talk.     Please allow me to highlight a few of the more significant changes to our district:

  1.  Everyone is invited to the ribbon cutting ceremonies on Wednesday, August 16 celebrating the grand opening of our new STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) Labs.   The North Branch Elementary STEAM Lab ceremony will take place at 4:00 p.m. in the Library Media Center and the Ruth Fox Middle School ceremony will take place at 4:30 p.m. in the new lab located just behind the cafeteria with guests being able to enter from the bus mall parking lot area.  Our school district made a significant investment in the new learning labs which will be utilized by all BK-8 students throughout the 23/24 school year. 

  2. We have hired several highly qualified teachers to join an already amazing teaching staff in our elementary school.   Perhaps our most highly anticipated new “employee” is Mickey, our new therapy dog.  Mickey has had the opportunity to interact with our summer school students and has been a huge favorite with the kids.  He will provide much needed emotional support throughout our district.  Please take the opportunity to read all about him as he is highlighted on the front page of this School Talk issue.  Also, Mickey will be attending the open house festivities in the elementary on August 16th to meet and greet our families.   

  3. Elm Creek has been paved from Jefferson Street to Lake Pleasant.   There are many benefits in having this project completed including an area for our student-athletes to safely run during the fall cross country and spring track seasons, saving wear and tear on our buses, and paving the road that most of our visitors from neighboring schools use to attend events at our school.   

  4. School Safety remains a top priority for our school district as we continue to implement safety measures in order to create a learning environment that keeps our staff and students safe.  All of our administrators, teachers, and support staff have undergone Alice Training (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate) and most of our students received age-appropriate training in order to be fully prepared in the unlikely event of an school emergency.  In addition, Lapeer Dispatch now has live access to all of our school cameras and stands ready to respond immediately if needed.   Again this year, we have a partnership with the North Branch Village and a full-time School Resource Officer will be in our district during school hours.   Digital maps of all of our buildings have been shared with local and county authorities in order to familiarize them with North Branch Area Schools.  Finally, North Branch Area Schools is in the second year of utilizing Crisis Alert.  Every district employee will wear a badge that alerts all personnel in their building if there is an emergency and a need to go into lockdown.  Not only will administrators and staff be notified immediately if there is an issue, but so will our school resource officer and local police.  

This fall marks my 38th year in education and recently I read this quote from Michael Altshuler.  He said, “The bad news is time flies.   The good news is you’re the pilot.”   I can assure you that our first year employees and those that have been here for many years will continue to build on the excellence that is North Branch Area Schools.  Our district will continue with its “All In” motto and we are excited to welcome your children back to school on Monday, August 21.   Please feel free to contact my office at 810-688-3570 if I can help you in any way during the upcoming school year.   

In anticipation of an amazing school year!

Jim Fish 
North Branch Superintendent