TALK SUP’T. November 18, 2011 Superintendent’s Weekly Blog
The latest issue of the Laker should have arrived in your mailbox tucked inside the Beacon newspaper, on either Wednesday or Thursday. Make sure you see it and check out all that has been happening in our district since school started in September! For those who do not receive the Beacon, you can read the entire Laker online at:
SAVE THE DATES!MARK O’CONNOR
On Thursday, December 15th at 7:00 PM, New York city based violinist/fiddler, composer and multi-Grammy winning recording artist Mark O’Connor will join West Bloomfield School District Orchestras for “An American Festival” concert. The event will be led by Lynn Brosnan, Orchestra Director at Abbott Middle School, and Linda Trotter, Director of Orchestras at West Bloomfield High School and Orchard Lake Middle School. Sponsored by internationally famous violin company, SHAR Music, and Mr. O’Connor, the concert will be held at West Bloomfield High School Auditorium, located at 4925 Orchard Lake Road.
The program will feature favorite tunes from the popular new O’Connor Orchestra Method, in addition to solo works played by Mr. O’Connor. The public is invited to attend this major event. Tickets can be purchased at www.ShowTix4u.com or by calling 1-866-967-8167; ticket prices: $10.00 Adults, $5.00 Students.Lynn and Linda both envisioned the positive effect that such a concert would have on their students and the String Program in the West Bloomfield School District. Encouraging students’ involvement in writing essays to be submitted to SHAR Music, they were ecstatic when Abbott Middle School emerged as one of four national winners of the Mark O’Connor Concert, out of hundreds of schools that entered.
CHIPWRECKED!The West Bloomfield Educational Foundation is sponsoring another movie night on Saturday, December 17, 2011 to see the new Alvin and the Chipmunks film. It will be held at 11:00 am at the Emagine Theater – Novi. The Cost is just $10 and all seats are general seating. A limited number of tickets will be sold, so be sure and save this date and get your tickets early through the Community Education office.
THANK YOUA big thank you goes out to Jeff Sakwa and Kevin Goldman for donating tickets to a Cody Simpson Concert. Singer Cody Simpson helps to promote Defeat the Label, our anti-bullying campaign in the district. All ticket proceeds benefit Abbott Middle School. Thanks for your support of the West Bloomfield School District.
GABE & IZZYGabrielle Ford, A Voice for the Bullied made a presentation at both middle schools yesterday, and moved many students to tears. West Bloomfield Youth Assistance and Optimist Club of West Bloomfield sponsored the speaker and author to speak to our students about bullying. Gabrielle never dreamed that a long-eared coonhound could change her life. But that’s just what happened when she cared for her ailing pet Izzy and found the voice to help others in need as a nationally-known motivational speaker. Speaking out for the voiceless Izzy gave her the courage to speak out for another voiceless group: the thousands of children bullied in American schools every day. Through countless personal trials, Gabe found her way back to the stage as an outspoken advocate against school bullying. In addition to her school visits, she has also been a keynote speaker at conferences and conventions. Her dedication earned her the 2011 Communications & Leadership Award from Toastmasters International as well as the Community Hero Award in 2008 from the Fenton Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Over 100 students lined up to speak with Gabe afterwards, pet her dog, hug her and ask her questions, and sometimes share a story about themselves. This was a great presentation and we thank the Optimist Club and Youth Assistance for helping to bring the program to our schools!
SNOWMAN PINSDon’t forget to purchase a Snowman Pin for $10 each to benefit Our Children’s Fund.
Proceeds are used to purchase gift certificates for less fortunate children and their families in
the West Bloomfield School District. Contributions of checks, cash, and store gift cards in any amount will gladly be accepted to help us meet our goal this year of helping as many families as possible. These can be dropped off at any school office through December 16th. You can see the new Snowman Pin designed by Claire Forhan in this week’s Laker on page 11.
Also, Our Children’s Fund Tribute Cards are available individually for $5 and are a wonderful way to thank your child’s teachers or other staff members at the Holidays as well as throughout the year.
All contributions are tax-deductible. And as always, thank you for your support!!
Pins are available at all school offices and the Administrative Community Services building.
Strategic VisioningCommunity and staff that has worked on the Strategic Visioning since last spring met again on Monday evening to bring closure to the Budget Prioritization process. We looked at long range planning for our district. Many items have been put into operation or have been completed, and others were explored to determine what the next steps will be. The core of our mission is teaching and learning, and how we look in 3-5 years will be filtered through that very core.
PCN (Parent Communication Network)Yesterday, we had a really good, informative PCN meeting at Scotch Elementary our host this month for our Parent Communication Network. This month we had a special two part meeting consisting of a presentation by Dr. Robert Martin who explained the MEAP/MME Cut Scores and a Q & A forum on the topic: “Why You Should Attend West Bloomfield Schools”. A panel consisting of Amy Hughes, Principal of Abbott, Sonja James, Principal of OLMS, Parent Ellen Simmons, Dr. Robert Martin, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, Tom Shelton, Principal of WBHS, Parent Sheryl Lederman, and WBHS Senior Ryan Eaton, answered parents’ questions, concerns and issues regarding our middle and high schools.
We had a very good turnout, with a lot of questions that seemed to inspire even more questions, as our meeting ran over time. I got a lot of positive feedback from those that I spoke with after the meeting, and from emails that I received later. Parents seem to feel more settled once some of their personal questions were addressed from those at every level, from administrators to students.Please join us at any of our Parent Communication Network meeting, as all are invited to attend each month to learn about what is happening in our schools. Next month we will meet on January 19 at Abbott at 7:00 PM. For future meeting dates, go to wbsd.org and click on PCN in the Quicklinks on the left side.
DISTRICT WIDE OPEN HOUSETuesday night’s Open House was incredibly impressive!
People who came in with pre-conceived ideas left informed after talking to teachers and administrators and seeing the outstanding displays that were arranged in a new format this year. WBHS held its Curriculum Fair at the same time showcasing the best of our district, with an overview of our unique offerings and programs. Linda Trotter’s strings orchestra played lightly in the center of the room, which energized the entire event!
All Parents were invited to attend whether they were looking ahead to high school, middle school or kindergarten – the theme was All Roads Lead to West Bloomfield High School!
Although the Open House is but one night, if you were unable to attend, you still have the opportunity to see what is happening in our schools. Contact our principals for a tour or information on shadowing at the high school. Principals can answer any unresolved issues or questions that you might have.
Have a safe weekend and a wonderful and Happy Thanksgiving!