Congratulations to Clague’s Art Students for a successful show, Midnight’s Muse, held April 25th and 26th, on the stage at Clague! The students’ work was inspired by their discussions on Surrealism and images of the unconscious mind. Through the exploration of ideas connected to dreams, nightmares, the moon, and midnight; as expressed through the strange, perhaps eerie creations of artists such as Tim Burton, Joan Miro, Alexander Jannson, and Abigail Larson, a dark theme acted as the insight behind their varied visions. Students also found the grim inklings of Edgar Allen Poe and Edward Gorey, as well as the twisting architecture of Frank Gehry, to be insightful and illuminating. Continue reading
The NAMM Foundation has named the Ann Arbor Public Schools one of its “Best Communities for Music Education” this year, and it’s just one of three communities from Michigan to get the honor.
NAMM, which stands for the National Association of Music Merchants, named 307 districts across the country on the list this year. According to NAMM, the “designation recognizes collaborative, from-the-ground-up efforts of teachers, administrators, students and parents who continually work to keep comprehensive music education as an integral part of the core curriculum.”
It is no surprise that the Ann Arbor Public Schools is being honored by NAMM, because it continues to show tremendous success in and dedication to music education throughout the district. Pioneer High School’s music department has received seven GRAMMY® awards, including the unprecedented honor of honor of being selected twice as a National GRAMMY® Signature School. Continue reading
Orchestra teacher Abigail Alwin is going on a four-day, all-expenses paid trip to Yale this summer to attend its Symposium on Music in Schools.
To apply for the award, Alwin submitted her resume and an essay about the importance of music education in school reform.
“Music education needs to be something all students have the opportunity to participate in and experience,” Alwin said. “Music teaches discipline, artistic expression, cooperation and learning in a group.” Continue reading
By Tara Cavanaugh
The Ann Arbor PTO Thrift Shop’s mission is to support the schools. And three times each year, its support comes in the form of a small but valuable slip of paper: a check.
On Jan. 29 the shop distributed $50,020 total between all 33 of the Ann Arbor Public Schools (see comprehensive list below). The money supports enrichment opportunities for students in the form of field trips, sports clubs, academic supplies, camps and plenty more.
“It’s exciting to celebrate a great year in 2012 and immediately start another with this kind of vigorous funding,” said Ann Farnham, the shop’s executive director. ”What a couple of high notes for our shop and for our AAPS community.” Continue reading
Ann Arbor Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Patricia P. Green is pleased to announce that Cindy Leaman has been named the new Principal at Pioneer High School.
Ms. Leaman is currently the Principal at Clague Middle School. She will take the leadership position at Pioneer starting on Monday, Jan. 7, 2013.
Judy Hayes, current Assistant Principal at Clague, has been named the Interim Principal until the position is filled. Continue reading
By Tara Cavanaugh
A year ago, Tao Li was in Battambang, Cambodia, one of the country’s most impoverished areas, teaching 50 children in a small concrete classroom with one window and no electricity.
She returned to Ann Arbor in May, but the AAPS graduate won’t forget about her students, whom she still calls “her kids.” They’re the subject –– and artists –– of a photo exhibition that opens this coming Monday, Dec. 3 in the gallery of the University of Michigan International Institute. Continue reading
By Tara Cavanaugh
A school is never just a school. It’s a second home. It’s a place to grow up. It’s a family all its own.
That familiar feeling was unavoidable at Clague Middle School’s 40th anniversary celebration Sunday, Nov. 18. Teachers, staff and students came back to their old stomping grounds to reconnect with their middle school family. Continue reading
By Tara Cavanaugh
The Ann Arbor PTO Thrift Shop and the Ann Arbor Public Schools Educational Foundation have been nominated for annarbor.com’s 2012 Deal of the Year Award, which highlights business decisions that had the most impact over the past year in Washtenaw County.
The nonprofits are among two dozen businesses and organizations who have been nominated. Gov. Rick Snyder will present the awards at a black-tie gala at Eastern Michigan University Nov. 2. Continue reading
By Tara Cavanaugh
It’s smack in the middle of summer, in the middle of July, and our schools are still under a scalding sun. Playgrounds stand empty. Buildings are dormant. The bells haven’t rung for weeks.
But if you stop to really listen, you’ll hear gardens at the Ann Arbor Public Schools buzzing with life. Continue reading
By Tara Cavanaugh
A parade of bike riders rolled in to Wines Elementary Wednesday morning. Tikes on tiny bikes with training wheels. Kids in bike buggies, enjoying the ride. Tandem bikes. Junior-sized mountain bikes. Grown-up sized bikes ridden by moms and dads.
The unusually high bike traffic was due to Bike to School Day, celebrated nationally for the first time this year on May 9. The event is sponsored by the National Center for Safe Routes to School, which also organizes Walk to School Day in October. Continue reading
The Board of Education voted to open 170 seats for Schools of Choice at its March 7 meeting. This means that more students have the option to request to attend a new district school. In the previous two years of Schools of Choice, the district opened up 150 seats. Continue reading
It’s that time of the year again: time for Orchestra Night, which showcases the talent of more than 800 students in the middle school and high school orchestras at the University of Michigan Hill Auditorium.
From Clague Middle School
A team of Clague Middle School technology students won first place in the Energy Works Michigan ShowGreenTV Student Film Challenge and were honored during a ceremony in January at The Michigan Theater.
Technology teacher Michael Harris said he was invited to the program by Clague students Karina, Zoe, Christina, Jasmine and Annika who won for the 13-and-Under Category in the second round of competition which asked the question: “What is global climate change and what’s your solution?”
The event was part of Energy Works Michigan’s Michigan Renewable Schools program. It challenged students around the state to create a short video outlining small solutions to global climate change, encouraging them to research and think about what they could do to help.
Students in grades K-12 created video projects of under two minutes and competed in categories of 13-and-under and ages 14-19. First prize was $200 and a new Flip Video Camcorder; the Clague team donated the camera to the school for use in technology class.
“I would like to be able to say that their winning video was my idea, that I told them what to do and so on and so forth … but this would not be true,” Harris said. Although Harris said he helped students with technology, gave them examples, encouraged out-of-the-box thinking, led them through the development process and helped them troubleshoot, “the idea was theirs and theirs alone, and in my humble, somewhat biased opinion, a worthy winner,” he added.
Harris said he feels fortunate to work in a school and a district that encourages him to teach the “how to” of technology and take it one step further to help students apply it. “Nowhere is this better illustrated than in the student film that won the award,” he said.
The Clague winning entry is titled “Earth.” View it and other winning student entries at the Energy Works Michigan website.
Schools celebrate the life, birthday of Martin Luther King Jr.
From AAPSNews Service
Buildings around the Ann Arbor Public Schools celebrated the Martin Luther King Jr. Day national holiday of Jan. 17 with activities in classrooms and assemblies for students. Some have already taken place and others are scheduled for the coming week.
Schools and public buildings throughout the country are closed today, Jan 17, in honor of the slain civil rights leader.
Following are some of the events around the district shared with the AAPSNews:
Clague students take multi-week journey
Students and staff at Clague Middle School have celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a multi-week celebration. Starting with a contest in December, it culminates with a display wall the week after their MLK Program. Some of the activities at Clague include:
• Contest: Students depict a theme in an essay, poem, poster, mixed media, or original creation. The school had 53 entries this year. The theme: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is what are you doing for others?”
• Mini-lesson on character: During Jan. 14 advisory, students received a character trait button to wear and brainstormed ideas of service in “an action plan.” They will have a week to perform the service – details of each student’s plan will be put on a common wall near the school office.
• MLK program: The school’s annual program on Jan. 14 was a collaborative effort of the staff and students. Music students performed, did choral readings and Powerpoints, and awarded the winners of the contest that began in December. Top winners receive a pizza lunch and a trip to the Sphinx concert in Ann Arbor.
Carpenter hosted all-school event honoring Dr. King
The Carpenter Elementary School community honored Martin Luther King Jr. during a Community Meeting on Jan. 10. Students sang “What Can One Little Person Do?” and “He had a Dream” and “He Wanted to Have the Same Freedom” under the direction of Laura Machida. Rebecca Archer’s third-graders read about Dr. King and performed “We Thank You Dr. Martin Luther King, Today and Everyday” and fourth-graders from Kelsey Cook’s, Marilyn Freeman’s and Ramona Sankovich’s classes performed “We Shall Overcome” on their recorders. Principal Ron Collins, reflected on Dr. King’s message and encouraged students to practice the messages of peace and getting along.
Expanding the MLK experience at Lawton and Northside
Julia Gold’s third-grade class at Lawton Elementary School did an all-class project passing on gifts of kindness during the week leading up to MLK Day. The class kept track of these acts by passing a “kindness card” to the student who received the act of kindness. The card was passed along to another student with each new kindness act. At week’s end the class counted how many acts were accumulated and hearts were hung for each.
Also at Lawton Fourth-graders at Lawton Elementary did an MLK musical performance for their school on Friday and first-grade teacher Kerry Krause planned to read “Martin’s Big Words” to her students, have students read a book about MLK from Enchanted Learning together and write about a dream that they have for the world.
Teachers at Northside Elementary School did a variety of classroom activities including A schoolwide assembly on Jan. 12 which included Janice Smith’s kindergarteners singing “Different Means Special,” fourth-graders singing “Something for You” and Susan Ulrey’s and Rebecca Coleman’s first-graders performing at the assembly, among others. Here are some other Northside activities:
• Rose Ann McGarty’s kindergarteners heard “A Picture Book of Martin Luther King Jr. and followed up with worksheets and writing assignments about respect. Fifth-grade reading buddies interviewed the young children and were comparing their lives to MLK’s.
• Evengeline Burgers’ kindergarteners also read aloud to her class and did an interdisciplinary activity reading “The Shape Story,” with the theme “that they can make beautiful things if they all work together.”
• In Sandra Chang’s kindergarten class, students read “Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King”, saw a video clip and did a time line paper looking at the events in his life.
• Second-graders in Jennifer Wade’s class had daily discussions of civil rights, equal rights and watched a video about King and created books about his life.
• Fourth-graders in Dianne Baker’s class read and wrote about King’s life, heard the “I Have a Dream” speech, posted bullet points of King accomplishments in the classroom entry and did other activities.
• Media Specialst Jeri Schneider has read King biographies and historical fiction relating to his work and civil rights. Fifth-graders created slides of King quotes that she edited together to use in the all-school assembly.
• ESL teacher Ana Taylor had special stations for students to rotate through including books on tape, writing activities, vocabulary to reinforce what they have learned about King and how his ideas shape and connect with life today.
Friday programs lead up to today’s MLK national holiday
Vincent York & Jazzistry performed at Dicken Elementary to help the school celebrate MLK Day. The school’s Recess Singers (group of first- through fifth-graders who practice at lunch) performed a song about equality to open the event. York also spent time with small groups of students by grade level on Jan. 11 and Jan. 12, offering a closer look into the instruments and their history that he uses during the all-school assembly.
Allen Elementary students hosted an all-school assembly with narration by Principal Joan Fitzgibbon and fifth-graders doing a presentation of “I have a Dream” with narration and songs.
Ann Arbor Open @ Mack hosted a MLK Day assembly celebrating the life of Martin Luther King and tying in the theme of bullying. The program pointed out how King was treated as he tried to bring a peaceful change in civil rights and stressed that every student should feel safe, welcome and valued. A theme: “We celebrate Dr. King today and we think about how all of us can become peacemakers. Everyone at Ann Arbor Open is a member of our community.”
All grades at Bryant Elementary School participated in an assembly with poems, songs, skits, choral readings and student artwork highlighting the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
At Eberwhite Elementary, the school celebrated MLK Day with an all-school assembly. The school sand three songs grouped by grade level (K-1, 2-3 and 4-5) and a few classes read poems, did a MLK life timeline and shared facts about King and the Civil Rights Movement.
Special invitation from EMU
Several students from Dawn Richberg’s class at Skyline High School were among area students performing at Eastern Michigan University’s Student Center Auditorium on Sunday, Jan. 16. The afternoon program featured the EMU Gospel Choir, Harambe Youth Drummers, PURe Dance Ensemble, Tiana Marquez, Primal 1 Ensemble and Inspirational readings by area teens. The event was one of several scheduled by EMU from Jan. 13-18 as part of this year’s “Their Footprints … Our Legacy.”
Thursday, Jan. 20
10:30 a.m. – Abbot Elementary School will host the Bright Star Touring Theatre production of “Struggle for Freedom,” a 45-minute production that honors the Civil Rights movement by celebrating moments of the struggle. The life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. provides the backdrop to recreated scenes of events such as the Montgomery bus boycott, the March on Washington and the Woolworth sit-ins. Visit www.brightstartheatre.com
Friday, Jan. 21
Stone High School’s Intergroup, led by Shaenu Micou, plans an all-school assembly today in honor of Martin Luther King Jr..
1:30 p.m. – “Sadie’s Spectacular Saturday,” Burns Park Elementary Auditorium. A character-ed production with imaginative costumes that make this play a favorite among young audiences while teaching good judgment, kindness, friendship and respect. Visit www.brightstartheatre.com
2:30 p.m. – “Struggle for Freedom,” Burns Park Elementary Auditorium. Bright Star Touring Theatre, a professional touring theatre company performed this production that celebrates the life and work and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the context of the American Civil Rights movement. The theme: One person can change the world. Visit www.brightstartheatre.com
Friday, Jan. 28
2:30 p.m. – Each Bach Elementary School student will have a chance to recite a poem and sing songs that honor Dr. King’s memory in this culminating assembly. The focus will be on peace, getting along with one another, positive conflict resolution and building friendships.
NAAPID (National African American Parent Involvement Day)
This Washtenaw County NAAPID program is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 14 at Saline High School Center for the Performing Arts, 1300 Campus Parkway, Saline. Students from throughout Washtenaw County, including Ann Arbor, participate in this event, which is scheduled each year for the second Monday in February. A poster contest is under way with the deadline scheduled for 3 p.m. Friday, Jan. 21. Information about the contest can be found by downloading a PDF here. This year’s event theme: “Parent Involvement 365 = Student Success.”