By Tara Cavanaugh, AAPS News Service
A few times a year, libraries clean out their inventories and get rid of excess books. But those books aren’t just tossed into the trash. Instead, materials at the Ann Arbor District Library are finding a new home in the Ann Arbor Public Schools through a book sharing partnership.
A panel presentation is scheduled to offer information to families about how students and children function in an online world.
“Stop, Think Connect: Online Safety & Digital Citizenship” will answer the questions of what students are doing online and discuss the topics of digital citizenship, online privacy, cyberbullying and more. Students are welcome to attend.
The event will take place at 6 p.m. Monday June 6 at the Forsythe Middle School Media Center, 1655 Newport Road, west of Main Street, north of Summit Street. This panel presentation is sponsored by the Ann Arbor Public Schools, the Washtenaw Area Council for Children and the Ann Arbor Police Department.
E-mail Director of Instructional Techbnology Monique Uzelac with any questions.
2 honored with excellence awards
Two Ann Arbor Public Schools staff members received Celebration of Excellence awards at the May 25 Board of Education meeting.
Huron High School business teacher Christy Garrett was nominated by co-worker Diane Stocker-Bendersky and Ann Arbor Open teacher Mike Derhammer was nominated by parents Annie Rubin, Angie Smith and Laurie Krauth. Both were awarded for excellence in outstanding customer service.
Garrett was nominated for her excellence in teaching and her “zest in preparing students to compete and win consistently” in business competition and for bringing the real world to the classroom. “She is the type of teacher that demands excellence and pulls brilliance from each student she works with,” according to her nomination.
Derhammer’s nomination says he is “beyond an exceptional teacher. There are concrete and tangible things we can point to that he does to go above and beyond to create opportunities and build community within the classroom.”
In addition to an after-school math club, he hosts a barbecue to celebrate his graduating sixth-graders, organizes a parent Euchre night and invites former students who are now in middle school to come back to his class to talk to sixth graders about what to expect. He also involves his students in community service projects.
“But there are so many other countless ways that Mike goes above and beyond that are less tangible. There are countless stories from parents and students that summarize the impact Mike has on kid’s learning, self-confidence, their understanding of their place in the world and their responsibility to give back, and simply how they have been inspired by Mike to learn, and to stand at their full height.”
Clemente grads heading for college
The following Roberto Clemente Center seniors have been recognized for their college admission, according to information from Principal Benjamin Edmondson:
- James Kelly (Pioneer). Eastern Arizona College, Owens College
- Kayla Jones (Huron) Alabama A & M University
- Anthony Abrams Hugan (Pioneer) Northwood University, Defiance College
- Serina Johnson (Huron). Eastern Michigan University
- Jeremy Jackson (Pioneer) Ferris State University, Western Michigan University, Eastern Michigan University
- Yasmin Warren (Pioneer) Wayne State University
- Bria Galloway (Huron) Wilberforce University
- Christian Arreola (Huron) Washtenaw Community College
- Nicole Davis (Huron) Jackson Community College
- Tynisha Sharp (Pioneer) Jackson Community College
- Ameen Benin (Pioneer) Ferris State University
- Wilniqua Battle (Pioneer) Wayne State University
- Desmond Bright (Pioneer) Eastern Michigan University
- Ameer Frederick-Toure (Community) Washtenaw Community College
These college-bound seniors represent 14 of the program’s 16 graduating seniors. Clemente students graduate from their home high schools.
Skyline students place in spring Special Olympics
Four Skyline High School students competed in the Spring Games for Special Olympics Track and Field on May 17. Each took home three awards for their competing division:
- Jasper Lindsay brought home second place for the Softball Throw and Wheelchair Obstacle Course and first Place for the Wheelchair Race event.
- Ean Neville brought home third Place for the Softball Throw and 100 M dash and second Place for the Standing Long Jump.
- Grace Pearson took home first Place in the Softball Throw, 50 M Wheelchair dash and Wheelchair Obstacle Course.
- Jared Whitfield took home third place in the 100 M Wheelchair Dash, second Place in the Wheelchair Obstacle Course and first Place in the Softball Throw.
WAY Washtenaw Information Night schedule for June 14
WAY Washtenaw, a program to help high school students achieve their educational goals and earn a high school diploma, is hosting an informational night will on Tuesday, June 14 from 5-6:30 p.m. at the Washtenaw Intermediate School District offices, 1819 S Wagner Road, Scio Township.
WAY Washtenaw uses technology to reinforce learning while working with a qualified teacher and one-on-one mentor, 365 days a year. The program is designed for students who have dropped out of school, are at risk of dropping out of school, or are not on track to graduate.
Details: Call Sarena Shivers 734-994-8100 ext.1257
PTO Thrift Shop continues district support
The Ann Arbor PTO Thrift Shop donated more than $101,000 to the Ann Arbor Public Schools for the Ann Arbor PTO Thrift Shop Transportation Fund in the 2010-11 school year. The shop also supports AAPS Educational Foundation as well as additional end-of-year contributions to the district.
The PTO Thrift Shop is a nonprofit, community-based resale store featuring gently-used everyday items, unique treasures, and more. The shop has a special connection to families and to the district. All shop profits go toward Ann Arbor Public Schools and students.
Visit the store at 2280 S. Industrial Hwy., Ann Arbor or online at www.a2ptothriftshop.org. They can be reached by phone at 734-996-9155.
Library launches reading program
The Ann Arbor District Library will launch its annual Summer Reading Program during the Taste of Ann Arbor event.
The preview launch takes place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, June 5. Visit the Library booth (on Liberty Street between Main Street and Fourth Avenue) at Taste of Ann Arbor as the Ann Arbor District Library spreads the word about the Summer Reading Game.
Featured will be Hula-hoops, bubbles and sidewalk art. For more information on this event call the Library’s Youth Department at 734-327-8301 or visit http://play.aadl.org/
Pioneer student work to be featured in planner
Maggie Lemak, a 15-year-old Pioneer High School freshman, picked up a paintbrush one day during summer vacation and let her happy mood come out in bright‐colored pictures of flowers. Her style caught the eye of Sarah Nicoli, cofounder of dotmine day planners.
Lemak’s artwork will grace the cover of a 2012 time.mine day planner, according to information from the company. Geared to students in middle school through college, the planner starts this August and goes through December 2012.
After seeing Maggie’s work last summer at the Kids’ Art exhibit of the Ann Arbor Art Fairs, Nicoli and her business partner, Lisa Edwards, knew it had the perfect flair for dotmine. “Maggie is so spirited,” Nicoli said. “Happy Day is full of optimism. It says, ‘Today is the day. Let’s live it well!’ She stole our heart, and we just had to share her with our customers.”
Related information below:
- How to register for Adult Ed and ESL classes
- Washtenaw Literacy seeks volunteer tutors
By Casey Hans
There is a new face to Ann Arbor Public Schools Adult Education and lifelong education around Washtenaw County.
Not only can adult learners take classes in a neighborhood public school, but programs are also coming to them at their workplaces and locations such as Mallets Creek branch of the Ann Arbor District Library.
Students can earn a GED, get tutoring in English as a Second Language and find resources for taking college-level classes and transition to job training and employment. The Ann Arbor Public Schools, the University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers, Washtenaw Community College, the Washtenaw County Jail and Washtenaw Literacy are all major players in this effort.
AAPS Adult Education Director Sharman Spieser said the collaboration has expanded adult education opportunities throughout the county. “It allows us to offer a deeper and broader range of resources,” she said. “It allows us to personalize it and make it more accessible – to really respect the adult learner’s individual needs.”
Bonnie Truhn, adult transitions manager for Washtenaw Community College, said the partnership solidified with a federal AARA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) Grant two years ago, allowing her to serve as a point person to help adults navigate between county resources such as the college, adult education programs and Washtenaw Literacy. Although the grant was not renewed, she has moved into a permanent position with the college and has kept the resources and regional network in place.
Adult students needing assistance with resources throughout the county can still contact her office for referrals and Truhn emphasized the importance of having a countywide presence, since 80 percent of adults served have changed their addresses during the course of their schooling. Truhn said that means students often move from one program to another, depending on their life situation.
Combined resources more efficient
Spieser said the collaboration connects the lines between agencies to offer the best education possible. She said everyone works together to “do more with less,” including Spieser’s role at AAPS, which was moved to part-time this year. The partnerships have helped to keep needed services in place, she said.
For example, classes on popular bus routes, such as those at Stone High School and Mallets Creek Library, and on-site programs at UMHHC and Washtenaw County Jail, allow resources to be efficiently shared.
Washtenaw Literacy and its tutors play an important role in this effort. Executive Director Amy Goodman said the grant coordinated through WCC “was a catalyst for a lot of good things. It really kicked off the partnership and got us a step ahead.”
But the needs continue to grow, Goodman said, making services offered more critical than ever. For example, the waiting list for one-on-one ESL tutoring at WL is 6-9 months and for basic literacy tutoring 3-4 months. “It’s heartbreaking to think that people have to wait this long,” she said.
In addition to the time they devote to one-on-one and group tutoring, Washtenaw Literacy volunteers work with AAPS Adult Ed staff to reinforce instruction with English language and literacy skills at UMHHC and at the county jail.
New grants obtained last year by AAPS Adult Education, with financial support from UMHHC and the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Department, enable AAPS and Washtenaw Literacy to improve education in the county. This also helps hospital employee retention and increase employment opportunities for students when they are released from jail, Spieser said.
U-M Hospitals and Health Centers finds Adult Ed beneficial
Steve Raymond is Director for Leadership & Staff Development in UMHHC’s Operations & Support Services Department. Raymond has been involved with employee training for much of his career, so the partnership with the AAPS Adult Education Department made sense when he looked into it in 2002.
“I knew there was a need there,” he said. The UMHS started by offering employees an opportunity to get their GED then added ESL classes. They eventually expanded to the work skills initiative.
Last year, Spieser obtained funding for a Targeted Work Skills program she and Raymond developed based on a request from the hospital’s Patient Food and Nutrition Services Department. TWS targets learning in the areas of patient service, communication and cultural competency for PFANS staff – those on the front lines of patient contact including food delivery and patient transport.
Several years ago, the Adult Ed programs were opened to all hospital employees and now touch upwards of 16 departments, Raymond said. At any point in time, there are about 200 UMHS employees taking part in the programs, he said.
“If you give people opportunities, they’ll be more loyal to the organization, more productive, more engaged,” he said. “The bottom line is if it adds value, it’s worthwhile.”
Spieser said that making people’s jobs more meaningful decreases costs by reducing turnover. Giving people access to education and professional growth also adds to the economic health of the community, she added.
These principles also apply at the Washtenaw County Jail, another teaching site, where Washtenaw Literacy tutors and AAPS Adult Education teachers help inmates with reading, math and computer literacy. WCC coordinates GED testing here for students; Spieser said the jail program has an 80 percent test-passing rate. Those who do not complete a GED can transfer directly into GED Prep classes upon release, she said.
Carmelita Samuel, correctional services program supervisor for the jail, said the jail program has expanded in the last two years from one of a basic GED class to pre-GED classes in math and reading and tutoring from Washtenaw Literacy. She said at any given time, there are 20-30 residents on a waiting list for classes.
“It was an important thing for us to do,” she said. “A of them go into crime because of lack of opportunity. That is a common factor,” she said. “Offering education helps give students a path of opportunity. We see this as a very valuable program. The Sheriff’s Department is committed to decreasing recidivism.”
For more information about Adult Education programs in Ann Arbor, visit online or call 734-997-1250.
ESL and Adult Ed enrollment under way
Ann Arbor Public Schools residency is not required to take AAPS Adult Education classes. Details: 734-997-1250 or visit www.aaps.k12.mi.us/adulted.home/home
Registration for the Adult Ed ESL (English As A Second Language) program is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Jan. 3, Jan. 4 and Jan. 5 in Room 206 at Stone High School, 2800 Stone School Road (at the southwest intersection of Packard and Stone School Road.) There are a limited number of spaces and registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Registrants must be 19 years old and have a passport with a visa, green card or Social Security card. Do not bring children; there is no childcare available. Visit the district’s ESL website for details.
AAPS Adult Education’s GED (General Educational Development) Preparation program has ongoing open enrollment and registration from 4-6 p.m. Mondays in Room 206 at Stone School when school is in session. The registration process includes assessment and takes two full hours. Classes are free but registrants must be at least 18 years old to enroll.
Washtenaw Literacy tutors sought
Washtenaw Literacy seeks volunteers to work with adults who need help learning to read. Volunteers are asked to attend a one-hour “ABCs of Washtenaw Literacy” information session. Upcoming sessions are scheduled for Jan. 6, Jan. 10 and Jan. 27 in the evening. Washtenaw Literacy is located in the Ypsilanti District Library at 5577 Whittaker Road. Register for sessions online at www.washtenawliteracy.org or call 734-879-1320.
8th Annual Thurston School Chess Tournament
The Thurston Chess Tournament is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 22, 2011 at Thurston Elementary School, 2300 Prairie Street, Ann Arbor. Ann Arbor students in grades K-8 are invited to play; students from other schools including those taking the classes of Ray Garrison, our tournament director, may also be invited to play if there is space. Visit www.thurstonchess.com/ for information and registration form.
The Thurston Elementary School PTO sponsors the only annual, local K-8 chess tournament, directed by Garrison, who has had chess classes in Ann Arbor schools for many years. It is an opportunity for families to experience their child’s first chess tournament, and a timely warm-up for those who want to play in the upcoming statewide competitions.
There are four sections based on age and chess level, with afternoon-only sessions for newer players (including one section dedicated to K-1 players) and all-day sessions for more experienced players. The tournament typically draws between 80-100 students, and all players receive a participation certificate. Fees range from $6-15, with all proceeds going to the Thurston PTO.
Early registration deadline is Jan. 7, 2011 and pre-registration is required. Space is limited. For more information, call Gene Darnell, Thurston parent, at 734- 913-0657 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Community High 2011 orientations scheduled
Five parent and student orientation sessions have been announced for families interested in applying for Community High School’s freshmen slots for school year 2011-2012. The sessions will be held at the school located at 401 North Division Street and are scheduled from 7-8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 6, Monday, Jan. 10, Tuesday, Feb. 1, Monday, Feb. 7 and Thursday, Feb. 10.
Application deadline is 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 11. Application packets will be available Jan. 4 at all Ann Arbor Public School middle schools, the Balas Administration Building, 2555 South State St., and Community High School, 401 N. Division St.. Applications may also be downloaded from the website at: http://www.a2community.org.
To be eligible for one of 114 open freshman slots, applicants must be current 8th graders, meet the district’s residency requirements at the time of application, attend an orientation meeting with parent/guardian, and submit a completed application to the Main Office, CHS, by 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 11. The school’s random selection will be on Feb. 16, 2011.
Internal phone change planned for 2011
In order to eliminate confusion that sometimes occurs using “9” to dial out from the district’s phone system, the Ann Arbor Public Schools will begin using “8” to access outside lines starting in February.
According to Randy Trent, executive director for physical properties, the use of “9” can cause confusion and erroneous calls to 911 and the change would stop those problems. Both the dialing of “8” and “9” will be functioning until Feb. 2 when the dial “8” will take effect. The “8” will not be needed to access emergency 911 from school buildings.
Home building students compete in Oakland
Six students from the Ann Arbor Student Building Industry Program and their teacher John Birko, attended the Oakland County Holiday Invitational Construction Competition on Dec. 9. The three-person carpentry team was one of only two teams to complete the project and took home the first-place prize. The three-person masonry team placed third.
Birko said the students worked well together, especially considering they are from different classes, met for the first time for the competition and the only practice the students had was their on-site work in building the program’s house.
The first-place carpentry team included Huron High School senior captain Brian Ziemba, Huron High senior Jose’ Tavarez and Pioneer High School senior Christopher Champagne. Third Place Masonry Team included Huron High School senior captain Aaron Wyse, Huron High senior Dillon Davis and Pioneer High School senior Amjad Imran.
Skyline juniors earn Optimist award
Skyline juniors Juliet Rutledge and Nathan Edmunds, both 16, have earned the “Harold Eastman Outstanding Youth Achievement Award” from the Breakfast Optimist Club of Ann Arbor. The award is giving for academic achievement, leadership, industry and community service.
Rutledge is the daughter of Shelley and Bonnie Billups and Edmunds is the son of Chris and Cynthia Warren.
Library offers tutoring and homework help
Students can receive free tutoring and homework help at the Ann Arbor District Library, downtown branch at Fifth and LIberty from 4-8 p.m. Mondays, Jan. 10, Jan. 24 and Jan. 31 and Wednesdays Jan. 12, Jan. 19 and Jan. 26.
The tutoring is for students in grades K-12 and is conducted by college students from the University of Michigan Circle K Chapter. It takes place in the Youth Story Corner.
Online homework help is also available through the library’s online tutor, Brainfuse (http://aadl.org/homework), for grades three through adult. Brainfuse may be accessed from home or through library computers. Online tutors are available from 2-11 p.m. daily in math, English/language arts, science, and social studies. The service is available in English and Spanish at no charge but requires an AADL library card.
For more information about in-person or online tutoring, call the Youth Department at 734-327-8301.
UMS book discussion for teachers scheduled
A facilitated book discussion for teachers on “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” by Sherman Alexie will take place from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 11 at the downtown branch of the Ann Arbor District Library, Fifth at Liberty, in the multi-purpose room.
The discussion is part of the monthly University Musical Society “Reading Culture” Book Club for educators that expands and builds upon ideas within the UMS season of events using relevant works of literature. The first 30 registrants receive a free copy of the book; registration is required.
To register, call the University Musical Society at 734-615-0122 or e-mail email@example.com.
Health lecture on dyslexia help offered Jan. 12
Joanne Marttila Pierson will lecture on “Dyslexia Help, Dyslexia Hope” from 7-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 12 at the downtown branch of the Ann Arbor District Library in the multipurpose room.
Dyslexia is a language-based learning disability that affects between 5-10 percent of the population and affects reading, spelling and writing. Marttila Pierson discusses this learning disability and introduces the University of Michigan Center for the Development of Language and Literacy (UCLL)’s new dyslexia web-based curriculum and resource center www.dyslexiahelp.umich.edu of which she is the associate director. She will also discuss strategies to help navigate the school years and build a strong foundation for success.
This event is co-sponsored by the Institute For Human Adjustment at the University of Michigan. Details: 327-4555 or visit our website at aadl.org.
Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads discussion Jan. 15, author event Jan. 22
An open discussion of the book “Life is So Good,” the autobiography of George Dawson, co-authored by Richard Glaubman, will take place from 2-3 p.m. Jan. 15 at the Traverwood Branch of the Ann Arbor District Library program room. The branch is at 3333 Traverwood Drive, on the southwest corner of Traverwood and Huron Parkway.
This book, published in 2000, is the focus of this year’s Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads. The discussion will be led by Ann Arbor District Library staff and will examine this award-winning book which is the true story of a man who learned to read at the age of 98. He enrolled in a literacy program, becoming a celebrated student.
Copies of the book are available at the Ann Arbor District Library, the Ypsilanti District Library and area bookstores. For more information on Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads 2011, visit aaypsireads.org. For more information on this event, call the Library at 327-4555 or visit our website at http://aadl.org.
Also, on Saturday, Jan. 22, from 1:30-3 p.m., Glaubman will make a special appearance at the Washtenaw Community College Morris Lawrence Building. Glaubman will discuss this book and his friendship with George Dawson, the co-author and subject of the book. A book signing will follow and books will be on sale at this event, courtesy of Borders.
Asian-themed evening at Logan
On Thursday, Nov. 18 Logan Elementary School hosted its annual “Taste of Asia” dinner. The school’s PTSO put on the event, which featured food made and donated; an estimated 200 were served dinner during the event. The evening also included a book fair, which was also a fundraiser for the school’s PTSO. See a short slide show of the evening above.
Fit & Fun: Community High students run through Hell
Thirty eight Community High School students participated in the annual Halloween Run Thru Hell 5k and 10K races in Hell, Mich.
According to physical education and health teacher Robbie Stapleton, all of the students participating were from the Personal Fitness classes at Community. Most ran the 5K, but about 10 did the 10K, she said.
“Every semester, the Personal Fitness students run a race together, after training hard for the first nine weeks of the semester. There’s nothing quite like crossing a finish line!”
Early College Alliance information meeting is Dec. 2
Eastern Michigan University is hosting an information meeting about the Early College Alliance program for interested students (current ninth- and 10th-graders) and their parents. The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 2, from 7-8:30pm in the Little Theater at Pioneer High School. For full details, visit http://www.emich.edu/eca.
49 represent Ann Arbor at MSVMA Regional honors event
On Saturday, Oct. 23, 49 seventh-, eighth- and ninth-grade singers from the Ann Arbor Public Schools traveled to Monroe to participate in the Michigan School Vocal Music Association Regional JH/MS Honors Choir.
The students rehearsed and performed in a large choir with other select singers from the southern half of the state, and also auditioned for the State level Honors Choir by singing in small ensembles, one on a part, a required audition piece
Huron students earn national music honors
Huron High School seniors Danny Clegg and Kris Shin were selected from applicants across the country for the 2011 American High School Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall where they will be a part of the honors orchestra as violinists. Participation is limited to the highest-rated high school performers from across North America.
The two were nominated and auditioned individually and were accepted after a review by the Selection Board committee. They will join other performers from the United States and Canada for a special performance at Carnegie Hall.
Clegg studies violin with Kimberly Kaloyanides Kennedy. Shin has studied violin since early elementary school. Both are members of the Huron High School Symphony Orchestra and several chamber ensembles. They both volunteer their time in mentoring string students at Clague Middle School.
Finalists will spend five days in February in New York City learning from conductor Charles Peltz, working with other finalists, and getting a taste of the Big Apple. The Saturday, Feb. 19 performance is available to the public and specially invited representatives from collegiate music programs.
Community High publication earns top Pacemaker award
The National Scholastic Press Association has named Community High School’s “The Communicator” one of five award winners in its Pacemaker 2010 in the newsmagazine category. In scholastic journalism, this award is referred to as the Pulitzer Prize for student newspapers. In addition, “The Communicator” and “The Communicator Online” placed in the Best of Show competition.
The publication’s editors are Kyle Aaronson, Julia Kortberg and Katie O’Brien.
The following student journalists received awards in the Write-Off competitions: Kyle Aaronson for Newswriting; Oriol Burgos-Tsoffar for Editorial; Acer Xu for Copy Editing; and Shadi Ahmadmehrabi for Podcasting. Teacher Tracy Rosewarne is the staff adviser.
Abbot works to set shared reading record
Abbot Elementary School students joined others from across the U.S. in Octobert to participate in “Read for the Record,” an attempt to set the record for the largest shared reading experience in one day.
Students in Annette Stojcevich’s fourth grade class read “The Snowy Day” by Ezra Jack Keats and then drew a picture describing the words in the book. Last year, more than 2 million students participated in the event which is sponsored by JumpStart, a literacy advocacy group that promotes reading to young people.
New Zealand visitors come to Mitchell
Mitchell Elementary School hosted special visitors from New Zealand in October. Professor Deborah Fraser of the University of Waikato and primary teacher Whakarongo Tauranga observed Mitchell teachers in the area of arts integration.
Visitors shared their own experiences with Mitchell teachers during a book study group on the teaching of ELL students, and a luncheon at the school, sponsored by the University of Michigan. A collaborative effort between the University Musical Society and the U-M School of Education, these visitors also presented a workshop for teachers entitled “Mantle of Experts” at the Washtenaw Intermediate School District, sharing a unique model for integrating the arts. Cathy Reischl of the U-M School of Education arranged for the visit.
Dec. 6 workshop for teachers builds on UMS season
The University Musical Society hosts a Monday, Dec. 6 discussion for teachers on “Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art” by Stephen Nachmanovitch and will be led by the author The event takes place from 4:30-7:30 p.m. at the downtown Branch of the Ann Arbor District Library in the multi-purpose room, 343 S. Fifth Ave., Ann Arbor.
The series encourages educators to expand and build upon ideas within the UMS season of events using relevant works of literature. In these facilitated sessions, teachers learn strategies for leading classroom book discussions. Registration is required. Call the University Musical Society at 734-615-0122 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Details: 734-327-4555.
Michigan author to teach writing seminar nonprofit
826michigan, a local writing and tutoring nonprofit, hosts author Adam Schuitema in a writing seminar for adults. Proceeds from the series benefit the nonprofit’s free literacy programming for students ages 6-18, which serve Ann Arbor students and those from the surrounding areas.
The workshiop “Beyond ‘Show, Don’t Tell’: The Visual Aspects of Good Fiction” is part of 826michigan’s “How To Write Like I Do” program, a series of workshops for adults taught by professional writers. Schuitema and workshop attendees will discuss what writers can learn from visual arts such as photography and film in order to enhance everything from a story’s settings to its characters to its development of scenes.
The event is Saturday, Dec. 4, from 1-4 p.m. at 826michigan’s downtown Ann Arbor location, Liberty Street Robot Supply and Repair. Tickets are $25. Details: (734) 761-3463 or visit www.826michigan.org/
Logan plans storytime marathon
A free storytime marathon is being planned for Logan Elementary School on Wednesday, Dec 15 at 5 p.m. at the Barnes & Noble Booksellers, 3235 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor. Teachers and special guests will provide a storytelling experience for children of all ages. Details 734-973-1618
Staff in the Spotlight:
• Forsythe English/Language Arts teacher and Curriculum Leader Jennifer Walsh, has been appointed to the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Book Award committee given out by the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents with the National Council of Teachers of English (ALAN). Her appointment is for two years.
• Pioneer social studies teacher and U.S. Department of Education Fellow, Tracey Van Dusen had her blog posted on the front page of the ed.gov website about the day she spent in Columbus. Entitled, “Columbus, Creativity, and Cunningham,” it can be found at: http://www.ed.gov/
• Logan Elementary School teachers Katy LaCroix, Amy Patrosh and Heather Gray were selected to have Environmental Educators from the Ecology Center teach lessons to their students regarding the importance of preserving the environment. Last year Logan earned Emerald status as a ‘Michigan Green School’ and continues to seek environmental learning opportunities for students.
Click below for slides of Saturday’s full-scale emergency readiness event at Ann Arbor Open @ Mack. The simulated event involved parents, students, staff and area emergency agencies:
General Election is Tuesday, Nov. 2
On Nov. 2, residents of The Ann Arbor Public Schools will go to the polls to cast ballots on a number of key state, judicial and local races and proposals, including electing five members to The Ann Arbor Board of Education.
Five incumbents are running unopposed for open seats this year. They include: Susan Baskett and Christine Stead, who are both running for open four-year terms; Deb Mexicotte who is running for a partial two-year term; and Simone Lightfoot and Andy Thomas who are running for open one-year terms.
Information on all races can be found at the website of the Washtenaw County Clerk under the Nov. 2, 2010 category.
At Michigan’s Voter Information Center, residents can view a sample ballot for the upcoming election, request an absentee voter ballot, get polling precinct locations or find links to the Michigan Candidate Information Guide.
Bookstore hosts events involving Ann Arbor schools
Barnes & Noble, 3235 Washtenaw Ave (at Huron Parkway) is hosting a number of events related to The Ann Arbor Public Schools during November. Details 734-973-0846. The events include:
- Saturday, Nov 6 from 6-8 p.m. – Book fair for Community High School. Theatre students perform a reading from “Little House of Horrors” and the award-winning school jazz band will play.
- Wednesday, Nov 17 at 9:30 a.m. – Coffee with the principal. Terra Webster, Principal of Logan Elementary School invites residents to a discussion and question-and-answer session. Complimentary coffee and tea.
- Saturday, Nov 27 – All Day Book fair. Ann Arbor Community Education & Recreation Department is at the store to share readings and stories written during summer camp. The kids of camp tell tales and share their talents.
Library offers programs of interest to Ann Arbor families
The Ann Arbor District Library hosts a number of events of interest for Ann Arbor Public Schools families in the month of November. Below are a sampling. Visit http://www.aadl.org/ for more listings:
- English as a Second Language Conversation Groups – AADL, in partnership with Washtenaw Literacy, hosts weekly ESL conversation groups at several branches. Sessions at Pittsfield Branch are on Mondays from 1-2:30 p.m. (November 1, 8, 15, 22 & 29) at Traverwood Branch on Wednesdays from 7-8:30 p.m. (November 3, 10 & 17, no session on Wednesday, Nov. 24) and at Malletts Creek Branch on Fridays from 1:00 to 2:30 pm (November 5, 12, 19 & 26). Details: 734-327-4555.
- In-Person Tutoring – Students from The University of Michigan’s Circle K chapter provide homework help to school-aged children and teens at no charge. No appointment necessary Downtown Library Youth Department on Mondays (November 1, 8, 15, 22 & 29) from 4-8 p.m. and on Wednesdays, (November 3, 10 & 17 – no session on Wednesday, Nov. 24) from 4-8 p.m.
- Online Homework Help for grades 3 and older – Visit http://aadl.org/homework. Online tutor Brainfuse may be accessed from home or by computer at library locations. Online tutors are available from 2-11 p.m. daily to assist students in math, English/language arts, science, and social studies. Service is available in English and Spanish at no charge, but requires an AADL library card. Details: 734-327-8301.
- Saturday, Nov. 20 from 10:30-11:30 a.m. – Parenting Lecture: “Raising a Bilingual Child” at Traverwood Branch Program Room. Learn how to support the language acquisition of children whose native language is not English. Young children are welcome; toys will be available. Details: 734-327-8301.
Branch locations: Downtown Library, 343 S. Fifth Avenue, 734-327-8301 (Youth Department) 734-327-4555 (Information Desk); Traverwood Branch, 3333 Traverwood Drive; West Branch, 2503 Jackson Avenue; Pittsfield Branch, 2359 Oak Valley Drive; and Malletts Creek Branch, 3090 East Eisenhower Parkway.
The Ann Arbor Public Schools Educational Foundation is working to raise $1 million to support The Ann Arbor Public Schools for the 2010-2011 academic year.
The foundation has set a July 31 deadline for the One Million Reasons fundraising campaign so that the nonprofit’s board can make decisions about how to bolster programs that may be lost in the current budget crisis. Click here for more information or to donate.
Donors can also mail a check to: AAPSEF, 2555 S. State St., Ann Arbor, MI 48104 or call (734) 994-1969 to set up monthly installments on a debit or credit card.
The AAPSEF is also offering Tribute Funds to be set up in a retiring staff member’s name. Visit the Web page for information about how to set one up or contribute to one that has already been established.
Teacher and Media Center receive Target grant
The Carpenter Elementary School Media Center and media specialist Sharyl Burau were the recipients of a $500 Target Stores grant for new books.
In addition, Target employees visited the Media Center this spring to help number and shelve the library inventory and the carpet will also soon be cleaned.
“Target and Target team members will be offering ongoing support throughout the school year, not only in the media center, but throughout the school,” Burau said. “They are really interested in partnering with us on any and all projects we can come up with.”
Carpenter parent walking in 3-Day for the Cure
Carpenter Elementary School parent Anne Marshall Harrell will walk in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure walk this August, according to information from the school. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in the summer of 2008 just prior to her son John’s first grade year and is seeking support in her upcoming walk.
“I’ll walk 60 miles over the course of three days with thousands of other women and men. Net proceeds from the Komen 3-Day for the Cure are invested in breast cancer research and community programs,” she wrote to the Carpenter community. She must raise at least $2,300 in donations to participate in the 3-Day for the Cure.
Those interested can call 800-996-3DAY to donate over the phone or make a donation online to her cause.
“One in eight women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. That’s why I’m walking so far,” she said. “To do something bold about breast cancer. I hope that you’ll share this incredible adventure with me.”
Teacher grant applications available through AAPSEF
Applications are available for the fall 2010 teacher grant program through the Ann Arbor Public Schools Educational Foundation.
The foundation board has allocated at least $30,000 for the program.
The 2010-11 application is available here.
The same Web page offers frequently asked questions about the process, the matrix used by the review committee to score the applications and the final report form. Final reports in PowerPoint format are also available from programs funded this year. Information on grants awarded in prior years can be found on the “Initiatives” page of the Web site.
Application deadline is Friday, Oct. 1 at 4 p.m.
College writing the topic of seminar
Ann Arbor teens are invited to a seminar to prepare them for the rigors of college writing. The event, for teens in grades 9-12, will be at the Traverwood Branch of The Ann Arbor District Library on Monday, June 28 from 7-8:30 p.m.
“Preparing For College Writing: A Workshop For Teens” will be taught by Eastern Michigan University first-year writing instructor.s They will explore what it takes to be a successful writer in college by looking more closely at the writer’s craft and a variety of genres. The Traverwood Branch is at 3333 Traverwood Drive in Ann Arbor. Details: 734-327-4200.
Family concert at Ark kicks off library summer reading
A family concert with Billy Jonas on Wednesday, June 23 at The Ark will launch the Ann Arbor District Library’s Summer Reading Program. Families with youths in preschool through grade 5 are invited to the concert from 7-8:30 p.m. The Ark is at 316 S. Main St., downtown Ann Arbor.
Signup for summer reading for adults, teens and youth will also take place at this event; doors will open at 6:30 p.m. for registration. The Jonas performance will feature singalongs, bangalongs, whisperalongs, as well as improvised songs. His primary instrument is his audience. Details: 734-327-8301.
Click here for more student and staff achievements in Superintendent Todd Roberts’ “This Week in the Ann Arbor Public Schools.” An archive of past achievements is also at this site.
UPDATED: The Ann Arbor Public Schools PTO Council Advocacy Committee has rescheduled a meeting originally set for Thursday morning. The group will now meet on Tuesday, April 20 at 10:30 a.m. at the Balas Administration Building, 2555 S. State St., Ann Arbor.
The committee continues its work, preparing for communitywide activities to raise awareness about decreasing school funding as well as organizing meetings with key players who can make a difference at the state level.
The next meeting of the group will be Thursday, April 15 from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the Balas Administration building, 2555 S. State St. Any parent or community member interested in advocating for better school funding is invited to attend.
The agenda includes: finalizing talking points for the group, setting a schedule for talking with current legislators and rolling out first district advocacy activity.
Details: Contact Donna Lasinski at email@example.com or call her at 734-997-7265.
Ann Arbor PTO Council
Ann Arbor Parents for Schools
Michigan Parents for Schools
2 community budget meetings this week
Two community budget meetings have been scheduled to discuss the proposed 2010-11 budget for The Ann Arbor Public Schools. Members of the community are invited to attend these meetings. The new fiscal year begins July 1 for the district. The Ann Arbor Board of Education must adopt a balanced budget by June 30, 2010.
• What: Discussions about The Ann Arbor Public Schools 2010-11 budget proposals.
• Meetings are scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at these locations:
Monday, April 12 at Pioneer High School’s Little Theater, 601 W. Stadium Blvd.
Tuesday, April 13 at Huron High School’s Little Theater, 2727 Fuller.
Allen students raise dollars for reading project
On March 25, Allen Elementary School hosted a Pasta Dinner for students and families serving more than 600 people, thanks to the Pioneer High School kitchen and to Zingerman’s and Panera for their bread donations. A subset of the “Big Ten” Jazz combo from Community High School provided complimentary entertainment and student writing was on display for families to enjoy. The event also celebrated the all-school goal of reading 500,000 minutes during March is Reading Month with the theme of “Read to Feed.” Students raised enough money to purchase a heifer for a family in need through Heifer International.
Community High team wins at mock trial state tourney
On Saturday, March 27, Community High School’s Mock Trial Team A won the state championship in the Michigan High School Mock Trial Tournament. Ten teams competed in the state finals. Team A had finished in first place during the Michigan High School Mock Trial Eastern Regional Tournament on March 13.Community’s team defeated the defending state champions, Kalamazoo Central in the final round. They now advance to the National High School Mock Trial tournament in Philadelphia, May 6-9.
“A” team members include: Shadi Ahmadmehrabi, Savannah Dix, Mira Fishman, Jacob Garber, Michelle Grifka, Jack Kausch, Max Lewis, Michael Savage, Elise Wander and Garrett Wood.
Community High School’s Team B also participated in the state finals, having placed third in the Eastern Regionals. Team “B” members are: Zack Bayoff, Sara Burakoff, Cooper DePriest, Isaac Fink, Rianna Johnson-Levy, Julia Karr, Leah Penner, Eli Sugerman and Kelsey Teribery.
Alternates are: Josh Fendrick, Sonya Kotov, Nikila Lakshmanan and Matt Morehouse. Coaches are: Cheryl Grace, Griffith Dick (attorney coach) and Billie Ochberg (drama coach).
Huron BPA chapter takes 44 awards at state
Huron’s Business Professionals of America Chapter won 10 state championships and brought home 44 awards – including 20 first-place honors – from the 2010 BPA State Leadership Conference, held in Grand Rapids, Michigan, March 18-21. Twenty-four Huron students qualified for the National Leadership Conference to be held in Anaheim, California May 5-9.
Staff members Diane Stocker-Bendersky, Christy Garrett, Scott Hunter, Dorothea Bryant, and student teacher Jonathan Cook led 41 Huron students through the BPA State Leadership Conference. Chapter Adviser Karen Eisley was recognized for her 25 years of dedication and service to the BPA Organization. Scott Hunter was recognized for 10 years of service and dedication.
A list of all the winners and their winning contest can be found at the Huron BPA Web site.
The Web page design team of Tom Tang, Maria Chen, Amy Liu and Bruno Postigo created a Web site advertising next year’s NLC in Washington, D.C. See it here.
Huron student team wins 4th in Web design competition
The two-man team of Bruno Postigo and Zubin Kan won fourth place in the Web Design competition on March 27, 2010 at the University of Michigan Dearborn campus in the Engineering/Computer Science Experience competition.
Teacher/adviser Diane Stocker-Bendersky and pre-student teacher David Rogggennbuck (Eastern Michigan) took four teams to participated in the day-long competitions in Engineering, Web design, and Programming. Other Huron teams and their events included:
Team No. 1 – Victoria Wu and Renee Philson participated in the Engineering Competition where students designed, built, tested and raced a small ‘robotic’ vehicle. Team No. 2 – Maria Chen and Heemyung Hwang also participated in the Engineering Competition.
Team No. 3 – Daniel Yang and Tom Tang participated in the Computer Programming
Competition where they focused public attention on the next generation of computing professionals as they pursue
Art exhibit features the work of Ann Arbor students
Artwork from Ann Arbor Public Schools students in grades kindergarten through five will be showcased at the Ann Arbor District Library this spring. Both two-dimensional and three-dimensional art in many mediums will fill the display cases and cover the walls of the library’s art display areas from April 17 through May 26. Details: 734-327-4555.
Community High jazz combo wins at invitational
Maxed Out!, a Community High School Advanced Jazz Combo was one of three combo winners at the Western Michigan University 30th Jazz Invitational in Kalamazoo on March 13. The Community High combo is made up of students Max Bowen, Max Hully, Jud Branam, Aidan Cafferty, and Spencer Johnson. All five of these students also won outstanding soloist awards at the invitation. Bowen, who plays guitar, was named runner-up for the top soloist of the entire festival.
Other CHS jazz students who won outstanding soloist awards were Kyle Morrison, Alex Patten, Ken Ball, Josh Fendrick, Will Smith, Leif Gearhart-Hall, Paul Smith, Sophie Tulip, Jake Johengen, John Schneider, Catrin Dowd, Erez Levin, Don Gozzard, Adam Olshewski, Milan Griffes, and Ben Pernick.
The Jazz Ensemble Program is under the direction of CHS faculty member Jack Wagner.
Library hosts College Night
The Ann Arbor District Library hosts College Night on April 15 at the Traverwood Branch. A special evening with three college application experts will take place from 7-8:30 p.m. Community High School counselor John Boshoven is joined by Deb Merion, founder of Essay Coaching, and Geraldine Markel who specializes in helping students attain academic success on tests and in the classroom. The three have co-authored the book “College Admissions: From Chaos to Control.” This event will include a book signing. The Traverwood Branch is at 3333 Traverwood Drive, Ann Arbor. Details: 734- 327-4200.
From AAPSNews Service
Librarians at The University of Michigan and the Ann Arbor District Library have taken students at Skyline High School under wing, showing them the ins and outs of library use which, these days, is heavy on technology.
The partnership involves Lead Teacher for Media and Technology Sara Duvall, and Instructional Technologist Pete Pasque who are working with the libraries to teach their students the best practices of library research and use.
It’s a partnership that proves that today’s school media center is not your daddy’s library.
“It’s not about how many dusty old books we keep on the shelves, or who returns what,” Duvall explained, noting that today’s library has fewer items on shelves and more resources devoted to teaching online research techniques.
In fact, in the Skyline media center, students manage physical items that are checked out. “It’s a complete honor system. They take care of it. I spend most of my time teaching them how to use online resources,” Duvall added. Pasque teaches and also spends his time helping students and teachers accomplish their tasks with technology.
And part of their instruction has moved out of the Skyline building onto the U-M campus.
Gabriel Duque, undergraduate learning librarian at U-M’s Shapiro Library, said the library hosted a group of advance placement history students from Skyline in December over three consecutive days, helping them learn the ropes and teaching them research techniques.
Skyline is one of only two schools the U-M library has worked with to date on such a partnership. As part of the visit, Duque set up a Skyline Web information page, giving students basic information they would need during their library visit and offering resources they can use for follow up.
“We threw a lot at them and they stayed with us,” Duque said. “I don’t think the goal is for them to be experts. It’s really important for them, fundamentally, to see the difference between the high school and a big research library.”
A second group of Skyline students is scheduled to visit the Shapiro Library in March, he said.
In addition to a library tour, students learned about the university’s Web page, how to access the library’s catalog system and then had to search for a book for a specific project. They worked with the library’s CQ Supreme Court collection and the ProQuest Historical Newspapers, among others. Duque said it was set up as an “ ‘Amazing Race’ kind of activity” for students.
“This was a great experience,” Duque said of the Skyline visit. “I was glad they were pleased with it.”
Skyline students also learned about resources at their local public library this fall. Sherlonya Turner, youth services manager at the Ann Arbor District Library’s main branch, was invited to visit the Skyline media center and said she was pleased that many students had AADL library cards. But, she had more to share.
“We went out and showed them what was available,” she said. “We pointed out that the library’s a lot more than a physical space you can visit.”
But just because young people are growing up immersed in technology doesn’t mean they know it all, she explained. “They’re aware they can go online and Google,” she said. “But they need to use verified sources. We can help with that.”
She said the AADL also can be helpful in specific areas for students, including when they are researching local history. “We are totally flexible to different users and different needs,” she said of the students. “It’s part of what we do. We want to support kids – their job is school.”
Turner said the library also provides students live tutoring services, both online and on site, depending on the hours. Members of the Circle K Kiwanis group from the University of Michigan are on site Mondays and Wednesdays from 4-8 pm. at the downtown branch. Through their online tutoring program, Brainfuse, Turner said Ann Arbor students in grades 3 to 12 can get help from 2-11 p.m. daily.
Options Magnet information Jan. 7 at WISD
An information session is planned for 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 7 at the Washtenaw Intermediate School District Teaching and Learning Center for students and families from Washtenaw County interested in learning more about the Options Magnet Program in The Ann Arbor Public Schools.
Students from Ann Arbor as well as throughout Washtenaw County can enroll in the program, which allows customized instruction and leads to a high school diploma.
It features alternative scheduling for students who need flexibility or want to select a variety of class types including online classes, a combination of online and face-to-face classes, small group seminars and one-on-one instruction.
The WISD offices are at 1819 South Wagner Road, between Liberty and Scio Church Road in Scio Township. Details: E-mail Susette Jaquette at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 734-994-2026.
District chosen as state nominee for national award
ArtServe Michigan has selected The Ann Arbor Public Schools as its nominee to the Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network for the group’s National School Boards Association Award. Only one state school district is submitted from those nominated to represent the state.
The nomination was submitted by the district’s Fine and Performing Arts Coordinator Robin Bailey. The award recognizes outstanding support of the arts in education. The winning district from among the national nominees receives a plaque and a cash award of $10,000 to use for arts education programs. The recipient of the award will be announced at the 2010 National School Board Associations Conference and Exposition.
KCAAEN works in partnership with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to support policies, practices, programs, and partnerships that ensure the arts are an essential part of American K-12 education. Details: www.artservemichigan.org.
Clague students learn about differing abilities
On Dec. 9, Clague Middle School sixth-graders participated in Abilities Awareness Day. Clague support staff and Washtenaw Intermediate School DIstrict consultants coordinated six stations – physical, hearing, visual, cognitive, learning disabled/ADHD and autism – to simulate for students what it would feel like to have a different ability.
The following day, the students were given a post-survey and had a debriefing meeting to talk about what they had learned.
Carpenter, Pioneer students involved with concert
Twenty third-, fourth- and fifth-graders from the Carpenter Elementary School Chorus sang “We Are The World” under the direction of their music teacher, Laura Machida, at the 13th Annual Sacred Song Concert which raised almost $3,000 for the Washtenaw Interfaith Council for Immigrant Rights last month at Genesis-Temple Beth Emeth/St. Clare’s Episcopal Church. Pioneer High School senior Sam Deschamps accompanied the concert on percussion.
Preschool hosts Food Gatherers distribution
The Pre-School and Family Center recently hosted a Food Gatherers distribution. Chef Neil Murphy of Chartwell’s Food Service, the district’s food vendor, was on hand giving a cooking demonstration for families who came by to pick up their produce. He developed a dinner menu of easy, inexpensive ingredients and distributed recipes for homemade chicken strips, carrots cut and baked to resemble french fries and sauteed potatoes. In addition, he chatted with each parent, explaining how to choose kid-friendly foods that are healthy and easy supporting the district’s wellness efforts to encourage healthy eating.
Chartwells also is supporting a food backpack pilot at Mitchell Elementary School. The company contributed backpacks and staff time to pack the food and deliver it to Mitchell to make the project possible. According to Principal Kathy Scarnecchia, the first distribution went well and the school community is looking forward to the next one.
Homework help available at library
Free drop-in homework tutoring is available in the Ann Arbor District Library Downtown Branch Youth Department from 4-8 p.m. on Mondays, Jan. 11 and Jan. 25 and on Wednesdays, Jan. 13, Jan. 20 and Jan. 27. College students from the University of Michigan’s Circle K chapter will provide homework help to school-aged children and teens at no charge. The downtown branch is at 343 South Fifth Avenue.
Also, online homework help is available for grades three through adult (for assistance with elementary, middle and high school subjects, including advanced placement.) Visit the library Web site at aadl.org/homework. Details: Visit aadl.org/homework or call 734-327-8301.
Free help offered for ACT/SAT testing
Free sessions are offered to students preparing to take the ACT or the SAT at the Ann Arbor District Library. Sessions at the Pittsfield Branch are offered in partnership with Kaplan, Inc. Details: 734-327-4200. The Pittsfield Branch is at 2359 Oak Valley Drive, Ann Arbor. Sessions include:
• How to approach test day with confidence. Kaplan instructors will lay out strategies and suggestions for preparing for the tests from 7-8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 6.
• Writing Test Tips, a road map for getting ready to write a dynamic response in a short amount of time, just in time for the March test date from 7-8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 13.
Other items of note around the district:
• Pioneer High School senior Kelsey Thompson and junior Emmy Guttman were recently named to the Midwest Regional Field Hockey Team by the United States Field Hockey Association.
• Ann Arbor Public Schools psychologist Mary Spence has written a chapter on special education in a recently released book, “Principals and Practice of Child Adolescent Forensic Mental Health.” It was her summer work in 2008.
• Ann Arbor Ultimate donated $2,500 to the Ann Arbor Public Schools Rec & Ed Department to help cover recent renovation maintenance work on the fields at Scarlet Middle School. Patrick Reed, a director for the organization, gave the check to Director Sara Aeschbach at the Recreation Advisory Committee meeting on Dec. 1. Ann Arbor Ultimate has more than 450 players participate in its summer league and hosts leagues in all seasons and welcomes players of all levels. Details: a2ultimate.org.