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Skyline High School has received national certification for its Project Lead The Way program that it has offered since 2010. “Rather than sit passively by and listen to a lecture – kids are building, developing and creating,” said teacher Tom Pachera. “It’s the kind of hands-on experience that will engage more students in science, technology, engineering and math.”

Scarlett Middle School eighth-graders got a taste of multiple career choices during the school’s annual Portfolio Day, which teams students up with local professionals who share their expertise about the working world. Also this month, the A2Y Chamber honored the program with its Exemplary Educational Endeavors award.

Nine Ann Arbor Public Schools elementaries will have new principals due to retirements and shifts in personnel and two middle schools will get new assistant principals for the 2011-12 school year. All of the new appointments are internal in the district.

Ann Arbor school officials have given state lawmakers a laundry list of ideas for specific action to assist public schools and the way they are funded. And they have made it clear how angry they are about the state proposal to shift $900 million from the School Aid Fund to higher education. The School Aid Fund has always been used solely for K-12 schools funding, but proposals this year would change that. Trustee Andy Thomas called the matter ‘a gross violation of the public trust,” during a May 6 forum.

Project Healthy Schools, a U-M Health System initiative that started at Clague Middle School four years ago, is now in all Ann Arbor middle schools and has brought a culture of health to sixth-graders. Students in Skyline’s Health & Medicine Magnet host a walk/run on Saturday, May 21 to benefit the program.

Members of the Angell Elementary Ecology Club have the right idea: They’re finding to encourage sustainability, recycling and using fewer resources and spreading the word throughout their elementary school community. And a Burns Park teacher takes her green passion and translates it into a lesson for students.

The district’s new outreach tool, School Messenger, allowed outreach to even more parents and encourage participation. About half considered themselves average technology users, with 38 percent considering themselves an advanced user of technology.

WITH VIDEOS: Rosanna Neuhausler, Ryan Murphy and Jack Wissman received an award in the C-SPAN 2011 StudentCam Competition for their project called “Stadium Bridges,” which details problems along the stretch of roadway that many students travel each day. A C-SPAN official was on hand recently to present awards to the three.

Students in Karla Hitchcock’s economics class recently took the National Financial Capability Challenge, an online test sponsored by the U.S. Treasury Department, designed to test student literacy on the topic of personal finance. The group was helped by volunteers from the nonprofit Personal Finance Education Services.

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