NICE board OKs partnership with NMU

ISHPEMING – The NICE school board has approved a partnership between NICE Community Schools and Northern Michigan University to offer NMU classes at Westwood High School beginning early in 2014.

NICE Superintendent Bryan DeAugustine said he began working last year with Joe Lubig, NMU’s associate dean for teacher education and director of education, to bring some college courses to Westwood.

“Joe and I wanted to create a partnership between NICE Community Schools and NMU that was beneficial for the kids in the western part of Marquette County,” DeAugustine said.

DeAugustine said NMU will offer a 100-level statistics course and a freshman English course taught at WHS. In other action, the board voted to accept a grant from Cliffs Natural Resources to build a trail through NICE wetlands and forest.

“It’s an outdoor pathway with science lab stations on our campus – it covers about six acres – and they’re putting forward a little over $14,000 to do that for us,” DeAugustine said.

DeAugustine said the district is fortunate having those nature areas for students to study at.

“We are pretty lucky here,” he said. “We have wetlands on our campus and some nice forests, so the walking trail will have different stations cut out where the students can go and do some biology and natural resource management investigations out in our woods and wetlands.”

The board also ratified and signed a contract with AFSCME support staff, giving them a 2 percent raise this year, with 1.5 percent raises each of the next two years.

In addition, the board voted to accept a $31,990 bid from Ishpeming’s South Shore Services Inc. to install security cameras at Westwood and Aspen Ridge schools. DeAugustine said the money will come from the district’s sinking fund.

Zach Jay can be reached at 906-486-4401.