Isaiah Oliver’s Flint Board of Ed Reflections
President, Flint Community Schools Board of Education
Now that summer is upon us, it’s the perfect time to reflect on the great successes we’ve reached this year and focus on the challenges we’ll be ready to tackle come September. I’ve had the opportunity to see Flint Community Schools undergo many changes over the years.
This year was a standout. We confronted our challenges head on, and I believe our schools and our community will emerge stronger. I started my educational career with Flint Community Schools. In fact, I remember as a kindergartener unclinging myself from my mother’s leg as I started my first year at Garfield Elementary School, eager to open my mind to a whole new world. As I moved through the system, I was encouraged by the teachers and staff at Brownell Elementary School and Holmes Middle School. I recall feeling especially connected to Mrs. Duckett-Jones-Greer, one of my favorite teachers from Brownell. She was my everything and I value our relationship to this day. I had time to reflect on these experiences as I stood in Brownell-Holmes STEM Academy again this past August. I gathered with dozens of community leaders, politicians and teachers for a ribbon-cutting ceremony welcoming a new era of education into FCS with the introduction of one-of-a-kind Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) labs.
It is with these initiatives that we are bringing great changes to FCS. Not only are we offering the innovative STEM curriculum, we’re welcoming a new superintendent who will build upon our reforms and implement a far-reaching realignment plan that will see us through our challenges. We’re also seeing the recommitment to community education in our schools. Our sports programs remain strong and we continue to produce Gates Millennium Scholars.
I’ve also seen partners from all sectors of the community rally around our schools and take a look at what’s happening inside our buildings. Our schools are the centers for innovation, collaboration, creativity and inspiration – and many in our community are noticing.
Flint has always been a special place for me and it’s my hope that this school year, more families choose to be part of the FCS family and take advantage of the programs and special offerings that make our schools special.
We’re realigning and redefining Flint Community Schools to ensure all our students receive a quality education. Some of these changes are painful, but they’re necessary to protect educational programs that are critical for our students to achieve and excel.
To those families who have already committed to FCS, spread the good word—share why you’ve stayed with us, because as we look to the future, we want your brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews and neighbors to be Flint Community School alumni. For the families who have yet to make up their mind—I urge you to look at the fine students we’re producing, all thanks to our capable and committed staff and families.
We’ve had our challenges, but we’ve never stopped fighting. We continue to grow, innovate, realign and meet the needs of our students from those early years through graduation. Join us.