School Bells: Corbitt retires from Bryant principalship

A series of briefs from around the Ann Arbor Public Schools:

Luther Corbitt has retired from his position as principal of Bryant Elementary School.

Corbitt began his teaching career in the Detroit Public Schools and moved to the Ann Arbor area in 1993 when he became co-principal at Tappan Middle School. In 1996, he became principal at Bryant and has remained a devoted advocate and principal for Bryant/Pattengill students.

Interim Superintendent Robert Allen thanked Corbitt for his service and noted that he had served in education for 44 years and was one of the longest-serving principals in Ann Arbor. “It was due to his efforts and passionate belief in the importance of early literacy development that the Bryant/Pattengill Literacy Endowment was created,” Allen said in a statement. “This endowment will continue to support literacy-related events at Bryant School for many years.”

Allen named Roberta Heyward, a first-grade teacher at Bryant, as  interim principal for the remainder of the 2010-11 school  year.

Skyline sophomore offers a peek into magnet program

Shoham Geva, a sophomore at Skyline High School, is enrolled in the Communication, Media and Public Policy magnet at Skyline. She will be writing a weekly column for

“A magnet is an elective enrichment program, the like of which is not available anywhere else in Ann Arbor,” she explains in her first column posted on the site last week. “There are four of them at Skyline; Design Technology and Environmental Planning, Health and Medicine, Business, Marketing and Information, and CMPP. CMPP stands for Communication, Media and Public Policy.”

Here is a link to her column, where she explains the program and how it works.

College Fair at Community High Nov. 18

Community High School hosts a college fair Thursday, Nov. 18 for students and families featuring programs for students with learning disabilities. Called “Life after High School,” the program will feature counselors and recruiters from schools and organizations that offer resources and support programs.

The college fair will take place from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Community High School, 401 N. Division St., downtown Ann Arbor. The event is free and open to the public. It is offered in conjunction with Eton Academy in Birmingham.

It is sponsored by the Ann Arbor Public Schools Student Intervention and Support Services, the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation, the AAPS Educational Foundation and Zingerman’s Delicatessen.

Details 734-994-2027.

WISD Superintendent Miller to retire in December

William Miller, who has served as Washtenaw Intermediate School District’s Superintendent for the last 12 years, will retire Dec. 31 after 36 years in public education to become the Executive Director for the Michigan Association of Intermediate School Administrators.

He has been a WISD employee for 22 years and said the decision was a difficult one. He credited many with the district’s success. Miller said his new role will keep him involved with the workings of education and intermediate school districts.

WISD Board President Mark VanBogelen said the WISD Board will have a transition plan in place before the end of December.  WISD is a regional, education service agency that works with local school districts and public school academies in Ann Arbor, Chelsea, Dexter, Lincoln, Manchester, Milan, Saline, Whitmore Lake, Willow Run and Ypsilanti.

7 districts sign on to IB school

County school officials are moving ahead with plans for the Washtenaw International High School, slated to open in fall of 2011. Several parent/student information sessions are being planned for January 2011 and officials anticipate that student applications will be due in early February, said Naomi Norman, the Washtenaw Intermediate School District’s director of planning and assessment.

The WISD will operate the county school with a consortium of local districts including Ann Arbor, Lincoln, Milan, Saline, Whitmore Lake, Willow Run and Ypsilanti in the newly renovated former East Middle School located at 510 Emerick St., Ypsilanti.  The new high school is expected to offer the highly recognized International Baccalaureate Diploma as the centerpiece of its curriculum.

The school plans to open with 150 ninth graders and gradually grow to 600 students in grades 9-12, as one grade is added each year for four years.  Teachers will be drawn from the partner districts but remain employees of their respective districts. The school will be similar in structure and curricular offerings to International Academy in Oakland County.

A formal application can now be made to the International Baccalaureate Organization to become an authorized IB Diploma Program. Norman says it’s planned that all students at the WIHS will pursue the full IB Diploma making the school one of only a small number of all IB diploma public high schools in the United States.  As full diploma candidates students will pursue a four-year curriculum that will include four credits in mathematics, four credits in literature, five credits in social studies, five credits in science, five credits in a second language as well as a variety of elective courses.

The last two years of course work will be in IB courses and include a 4,000 word research paper, an introduction to philosophy course called Theory of Knowledge and a minimum of 150 hours in experiential learning in the areas of creativity, physical action and community service. At the conclusion of the course work students will sit for examinations in all six subject areas.  Meeting all of the requirements as well as prescribed assessments and exams in six subject areas qualifies students for the IB Diploma.

The IB curriculum and assessments are provided by the International Baccalaureate Organization which is an educational nonprofit organization based in Geneva Switzerland with global centers around the world.

For more information about the Washtenaw International High School:
visit online or contact: Naomi Norman at or by calling 734-994-8100, ext. 1263.

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